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

Province to pass $1.25-million repair bill for South Surrey overpass on to ICBC

152 Street overpass was struck by overheight truck on Dec. 4, 2017

Ex-Mountie who investigated ‘Surrey six’ murders gets conditional sentence

Derek Brassington pleaded guilty in B.C. Supreme Court on Friday

Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser to support Cloverdale Community Kitchen

Kitchen, emergency weather shelter seeing increased turnout

How fallen Surrey Mountie’s Stetson ended up in Europe puzzles police

Constable Terry Draginda’s hat is repatriated after being found at a flea market in Hamburg, Germany

Surrey social justice activist wins Sher Vancouver’s Youth Leadership Award

Shilpa Narayan says her work is about ‘ensuring a safe space’ for marginalized youth

VIDEO: U.S. Congress to probe whether Trump told lawyer Cohen to lie

At issue is a BuzzFeed News report that about negotiations over a Moscow real estate project

Rookie Demko backstops Canucks to 4-3 win over Sabres

Young Vancouver goalie makes 36 saves to turn away Buffalo

Charges upgraded against mother of murdered B.C. girl

Kerryann Lewis now faces first- rather than second-degree murder in the death of Aaliyah Rosa.

UPDATE: Injured firefighter in stable condition

Kelowna fire crews responded to a blaze at Pope’sGallery of BC Art & Photography on Friday

Heavy snowfall expected on the Coquihalla

Snowfall warning in effect for the Coquihalla Highway, from Hope to Merritt

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Arrest made after historic B.C. church hit by arson

The fire at the 150-year-old Murray United Church in Merritt was considered a possible hate crime

Missing man from Crowsnest Pass could be in Lower Mainland

58-year-old Stuart David Duff was last seen on Jan. 6, 2019.

B.C. dangerous offender in court for violating no-contact order, sends letter to victim

Wayne Belleville was shocked to see a letter addressed to him from his shooter, Ronald Teneycke

Most Read