- Kona Sankey
If the Pet-Friendly Penticton project has made one thing clear, it's that this community is passionate about their pets – Pets are family!
Do you share that passion? Tell us about the pets in your life!
If you don't have pets at home, let us know how animals have been important in your life.
Milo, 15 1/2-year-old, long-haired dachshund who is from Louisiana originally. We've had him since he was a pup. My first dog but I did a lot of dog sitting before Milo came along. Shadow, a Jack Russell Terrier, stayed with me most weekends for many years. My wife and I previously owned two Siamese cats - Sam and Simon. Very vocal. Lived into their mid-teens. I'd love a cat and a dog (although Milo disagrees) but our condo limits us to one small pet only. When we bought here in 2014, the whole deal was depending on if Milo fit the criteria of "small pet," otherwise it would have been "no deal."
Penticton's pet-amenities are a regular point of contention due to issues around
maintenance, safety, and design/materials. Many Penticton residents regularly travel to surrounding communities across the Okanagan Valley for their dog parks and beaches rather than going to our local places due to these issues.
If elected, what solutions might you propose to address the concerns of residents local pet-amenities?
I'd love to see a small area of Skaha Park fenced for dog walkers, the area over by the parking stretch by Gilligan's would be ideal. This could be challenging due to the sentimental value of Skaha, but it's not commercialization and it would serve people in the south-end of the city well.
What are your thoughts on the economic impact of non-use on our local pet-amenities and residents regularly commuting for preferable options?
Obviously with any City service (library, parks, skating rinks) we encourage usage and our pet exercise areas should not be neglected.
Ontario's Residential Tenancy Act, Section 14, states that a Landlord cannot prevent a tenant from owning pets. Meanwhile, pets are being surrendered daily, all over BC, because their owners cannot find pet-friendly housing. Penticton faces additional pressure for housing as we have some of the highest rent rates in Canada, and a severe shortage on long-term and year-round rentals of any variety.
While a change to the Residential Tenancy Act is a provincial government matter, municipal government can still move to include/promote similar clauses on a local scale, and has the ability to push in support of such a change if a Bill were proposed.
What are your thoughts on revising the Residential Tenancy Act in BC, to be like that of Ontario, in regards to pets and rentals?
This is a provincial issue.
Penticton doesn't have an emergency veterinary clinic!
If something happens and an animal needs to see a vet in the evenings, on weekends or on holidays, residents need to drive an hour out of Penticton in order to reach help. Many pets do not make it, and many more don't because their human doesn't have access to transportation.
Were you aware of this situation?
When vital and time sensitive services are missing from a community, what do you feel are a City Council's responsibilities in regards to communication and/or action?
Unfortunately, although highly regulated, vets are essentially a business. We can't force vets to offer that service. Mayor John Vassilaki heard a delegation from the community about this and, although supportive (he too is a pet owner), they were handcuffed. Another challenge is, like physicians, there is a lack of vets in Canada. They need to speed up the process for accepting foreign vets from out-of-country (with the adequate educational equivalency), which, again, is a provincial responsibility.