- 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.
While my wife and I do not have any pets at this time, we have had both a dog and a cat who both lived into their teens and were great and much loved members of our family.
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?
A group like Pet Friendly Penticton should make a presentation to Council on specific changes they would like to see made to Penticton’s Pet Amenities. It is difficult for Council to consider changes to dog parks, etc without a specific ask and perhaps a willingness to fundraise to help pay for any requested upgrades.
What are your thoughts on the economic impact of non-use on our local pet-amenities and residents regularly commuting for preferable options?
Residents commuting to other areas in the Okanagan that offer better pet amenities increases emissions of green house gases and can take money out of the local economy as pet owners may also shop or eat out in these other communities.
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 question that would require further investigation. I would not be in favour of a blanket ruling to allow pets in rentals without restrictions on the number, size and type of pets that renters could have. These are difficult to craft as 1 person’s definition of a small pet may vary widely from someone elses.
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?
I was not 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?
It is not City Council’s responsibility to mandate or support one private business over another. Council can certainly identify this issue and encourage one of the local veterinary clinics to offer emergency services after hours and on weekends.