Deer population control. (OakBay.ca Image)

Residents show love for deer in Oak Bay survey

Majority of respondents happy with Oak Bay levels of service

Residents responded to the 2020 budget questionnaire with submissions that varied from useful, to extraordinary, while some show ongoing values for a staunchly conservative Oak Bay.

On the major issues, residents are content with the levels of service provided by the District of Oak Bay.

A deeper look, though, shows a community with polarized opinions, especially around animals.

READ ALSO: Emergency measures whittle Oak Bay budget down 1.2 per cent

Respondents to the survey were almost all from Oak Bay with only six of the 341 submitted from outside the District.

The location of residence was split right down the middle, 168 living north of Oak Bay Avenue and 166 living south of it. Ages were proportionate to Oak Bay’s demographic “with the exception of 45-54 year olds, who were considerably over-represented, and 18-24 year olds, who were under-represented,” said the report.

Among the controversial narratives is a small but vocal support to cull the deer rather than Oak Bay’s new staged approach of using birth control. Oak Bay ended its 2015 deer cull with 11 deer killed amid public controversy and other challenges.

As for the deer population, 54 per cent of respondents believe the number of deer should be permitted to increase. One third are OK with the current population.

Residents were also asked about the number of domestic animals in Oak Bay and ultimately, a total of 73 per cent had no problem with maintaining the current number as 17 per cent supported increasing the number of domestic animals.

However, 26.9 per cent think Oak Bay’s domestic animal population should be decreased, namely dogs and cats as judged by the write-in section.

Dog and cat poop was a particular bugbear of those write-ins. It’s not just the scat left in parks by irresponsible dog owners but ill-discarded poop bags and poop left by roaming house cats that are irritating locals. Some argue to keep dogs off sports fields to keep the playing surface ‘feces’ free, while others wish for additional dedicated off-leash dog parks and that dog owners are “harassed” themselves.

Cats and dogs “harassing” wildlife was also mentioned in the write-ins, with one resident suggesting Oak Bay adopt Calgary’s bylaw that restricts the “nuisance” of cats by limiting them to their owner’s property.

In fact, one of the biggest themes is “enforcement.” Residents used the term 79 times in the write-in answers with almost all of the references requesting additional and more strict enforcement for issues such as dog poop.

In most cases the requests for enhanced enforcement are pet related, such as keeping cats out of yards.

Twenty-four per cent supported increased bylaw enforcement though 61 per cent believed the current level of bylaw enforcement is acceptable. Even more, 59 per cent, supported current levels of parking enforcement (through Commissionaires contract) though 29 per cent asked to decrease it.

READ MORE: Last year 380 dead deer were collected by Oak Bay and Saanich city staff

Oak Bay’s public art situation was also assessed with more than half, 55 per cent, saying it’s OK as is. Over the past six years the District of Oak Bay has worked to cultivate public art with the Arts Alive program. Yet 34.5 per cent want less.

A common theme in the anti-public art suggestions was to reprioritize the money towards infrastructure and other amenities.

One respondent said, “Developers can sponsor public art as part of a building permit, but the municipality should not.”

Some other write-ins stood out as part of the recent narrative in local media. Three write-ins took the opportunity to request a ban or limitation on the use of gas-powered leaf blowers.

More than 80 per cent of residents supported the current levels of police and fire protection.

View the full budget survey responses here www.oakbay.ca/sites/default/files/Budget-Questionnaire-Responses_0.pdf

reporter@oakbaynews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich police see spike in excessive speeding compared to previous years

Nearly 100 excessive speeders caught since January 2020

Colwood branch drop-off to continue throughout summer

COVID-19 safety measures remain in place

Welcome to grilling season: Saanich firefighter talks barbecue safety tips

Grills should be cleaned, serviced prior to use, firefighter says

Cycling scavenger hunt comes to Tweed City

Cyclists scour Oak Bay for clues in Bike to Work Week event

Colwood woman launches Adopt a Grad

Facebook page aims to support students during pandemic

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

$200,000 Maybach impounded after ‘L’ driver caught excessively speeding in Vancouver

Meanwhile, the supervisor sat in the passenger seat, police said

Most Read