EDITORIAL: Dogged by debate

Perhaps the pendulum has swung on this favourite topic of letter writers one final time

The letters to the editor typically arrive like clockwork.

For example, when Peace Arch News publishes one person’s opinion espousing the notion that trains should be rerouted off the waterfront, we often receive one noting trains have been here for more than a century and another asking where the tracks would go. And on it goes.

When we publish a letter that calls for opposition to one particular political philosophy, it is usually soon followed by an equally partisan opposing viewpoint.

And, in the case of pet owners, when we receive a letter in the spring either calling for dogs to be allowed on White Rock’s promenade or complaining about dog owners ignoring the ban, this is followed by the opposite view.

Of course, this latter example will usually result in a week or three of back-and-forths, with opponents using inventive euphemisms for canine feces, proponents noting rules in neighbouring communities and the debate expanding to not-unrelated topics, including calls for specific breed bans.

Truth be told, there are few issues that divide our community more than dog ownership.

Those who like the idea of allowing dog walkers on the waterfront note White Rock is one of the few cities to have an absolute ban on such a touristy walkway. Those who oppose it point to potential dangers and health concerns.

And we have no doubt you, the reader, have your opinion, as well.

However, this year has been different. While we thought we might have a reprieve from the topic for all of 2018 – we didn’t, after all, have an influx of letters on the issue last spring – fate had other plans.

Last week, White Rock council supported resident Mike Armstrong’s request to conduct a year-long pilot project that would allow leashed pets on the promenade for all but the four warmest months.

READ MORE: White Rock to allow dogs on promenade

And when we posted our article reporting council’s unanimous vote – not a quite a done deal, though a reversal before final reading would be a rarity – readers online were abuzz with comments mainly in support of the idea.

Curiously, it was quite the opposite result in print, as you might note on today’s letters page.

Whether the electorate reflects the majority opinion in either medium remains to be seen. However, this year’s reversal of opinion – from elected officials at least – gives us hope that perhaps the pendulum has swung on this favourite topic of letter writers one final time.

Just Posted

MADD Canada’s anti-impaired driving campaign coming to Surrey school

The ‘hard-hitting’ program is descending on schools across the country

Four teams left standing in fight for Surrey RCMP Classic basketball championship

School squads in all-Surrey tourney prep for Friday semifinals at Enver Creek gym

South Surrey woman mastering the stuff that matters

KonMari method, developed in Japan, draws on heart connection

Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

Former welfare clients still owed money, B.C. Ombudsperson says

Investigation found 2,600 people docked illegally for earning income

Prince George could get province’s second BC Cannabis Store

The first brick-and-mortar government retail location opened in Kamloops on Oct. 17

B.C. chowdery caught up in ‘rat-in-soup’ scandal to close

Crab Park Chowdery will be shutting down Jan. 20

Caribou herd disappears from Kootenays after last cow relocated

One cow from the South Selkirk herd and two from the Purcells were moved this week

Vancouver councillors unanimously approve motion declaring climate emergency

Vancouver joins cities like Los Angeles and London

B.C. mayor criticizes school trustees ahead of paid trip to China

Brad West believes trip is unethical, and points to added safety concerns as relations grow tense

‘I never said there was no collusion,’ Trump lawyer says

President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani says he has ‘never said there was no collusion’

5 to start your day

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages, more trouble for Chilliwack man infamous for Stanley Cup riot assault on Good Samaritan and more

Most Read