Citizen complaint addresses horse manure in North Saanich

Thanks to a resident raising a stink, North Saanich council is wondering what to do about horse manure.

Thanks to a resident raising a stink, North Saanich council is asking its agriculture and parks commissions for advice on what to do about horse manure.

Martin Enright, who lives on John Road, wrote to the council earlier this month about his issue with horse manure piling up on the road and on a nearby trail. He attended the June 16 meeting to ask local politicians to give his concerns more consideration.

“I am concerned with  only the one minute’s worth of discussion on the issue at your June 2 meeting,” Enright said. “We’re not trying to make trouble, just find a solution.”

He added while his family has no problem with horses or stables in the area, it’s the mess left behind he wants addressed.

Council was hard-pressed to come up with a solution on Monday night. Councillor Ted Daly said he understands the complaint but added he’s been overwhelmed in the past by people calling North Saanich a rural community “so get used to it.” He suggested having local riding clubs or stables find a way to deal with horse manure.

Coun. Dunstan Browne pointed to clean-up examples during parades, where a scooper follows the animals.

“Apart from doing that,” he said, “I don’t know how you fix it.”

Coun. Craig Mearns suggested this sort of thing disappears fast.

“It’s a nuisance, sure, but not uncommon. It’s biodegradable.”

Mayor Alice Finall added asking owners to clean up the manure might be problematic in the difficulty in identifying whose business it is.

Council discussed options and issues, including the benefits of manure in the garden. In the end, however, they referred the matter to their citizen-led commissions for their recommendations.