LETTERS: Dog park debate – welcome to the Island

What started with one Metro Vancouver poop bag has evolved into a rapidly changing small town.

Following the current “dogs in parks” debate is interesting.

I moved from the mainland to Sidney in 2015 to enjoy all aspects of Island living, including how everyone seemed to not only get along, but actually greet and speak to one another. If someone failed to say good morning on the seawall, I assumed they were not local.

Everyone thanked the bus driver. Merchants chatted with customers. The lack of litter, crime, pushy drivers and noise was so foreign, refreshing and welcomed. Dogs were accepted in the mix.

About a year in I found the first poop bag, discarded on the path near Tulista Park. On the bag, in big bold letters, “METRO VANCOUVER PARKS.” A troubling find because it is a “Metro” belief that these things can be left anywhere; sidewalks, doorways, bushes, tied to tennis court fences, tossed upon coffee shop awnings.

Dogs are not the problem.

Now, two years in, I find “Vancouver” Island is just that; an island suburb with all the negative elements of the big city creeping in. People coming here have lived with it and brought it with them, so are puzzled by our reactions to bad behavior.

What started with one Metro Vancouver poop bag has evolved into a rapidly changing small town. Increases in impaired driving, break and enter, mail theft, assault and traffic accidents.

Litter is now common along the curbs and around bus stops. Speed limits are greatly ignored. Drivers are becoming more aggressive in general but particularly at crosswalks.

People are less friendly, “thank you” is waning and developers; oh, never mind.

Soon, the day will come when I hear those familiar words; “get out of the way old man.”

So, those of you engaged in dog fights; relax, it doesn’t get better.

Welcome to “Vancouver” Island.

Ron Baker, Sidney

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