- 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.
My wife and I have had two cats and two dogs and in all cases we have many fond memories of them while on hikes, just playing around and while they would go out every morning on the paper route with our two sons. The last soft-coated Wheaton Terrier knew the paper route so well she would wait at each house along the route.
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?
What are your thoughts on the economic impact of non-use on our local pet-amenities and residents regularly commuting for preferable options?
The local pet amenities (dog beach and parks) should be a component of the facilities and amenities master planning framework along with other assets owned by the city. Regular maintenance and care is the best option for getting a return on and maximum use of all facilities.
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?
As compassionate people we should all be concerned about the rights of individuals to own and have pets as long as it does not negatively impact others. In many ways they are like children and need regular care and attention and we as pet owners must be responsible for their behavior. I am quite disappointed at the heavy-handed tactics used by some landlords and strata property councils that prevent the ownership of pets which can provide companionship to people that often need it more than anything else.
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.
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?
I don’t feel it is a city council’s responsibility to provide services for pets. As much as that is an owner’s responsibility, council can play a proactive role in supporting pet ownership that does not interfere with another persons use and enjoyment of their property.