More dog debate expected

Council extends the leash on unruly issue



The hotly debated issue of where dog-team owners can keep their animals is going to be debated once more.

Councillors voted this week to send the four-year-old issue back to the planning committee for review.

The move comes just one month after city council finally outlined which sections of town would be designated for dog teams.

According to a list approved by council on Oct. 22, dog teams can be kept in the following places: Upper Dog Creek, near the airport; the West 40 area past the Department of National Defence barracks; near the access road to Upper Base; near the road to the FOL site; on the sea ice in the winter; and near the causeway in the spring.

One popular spot was dropped from the list: the creek near the south end of the runway. It means at least four dog-team owners will have to move their animals.

On Tuesday, councillor Stu Kennedy asked council to take another look at the decision after dog-team owners, residents and some councillors disagreed with the final list of designated areas.

But not all councillors wanted more debate on the matter.

Councillor Chris Wilson argued the issue is so controversial that no one will ever be pleased with council’s decision. “We should hammer this out and get it resolved,” he urged his fellow councillors.

Glenn Williams expressed frustration with the whole matter. He said very few people rely on dog teams for hunting any more.

“We talk about traditions and stuff, but I think dog teams have been replaced with snow machines.”

He said city council had no problem passing bylaws affecting snowmobile users, including laws requiring them to wear helmets. “More Inuit use them and hunt with them, yet we were strict with that.”

Williams was also adamantly opposed to allowing dog-team owners to tie up their animals near the runway. “It’s an area of high use. There’s kids, there’s bicycles, there’s people camping out there and going to the river,” he said.

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