Councilor Sue Heaton-Shersobitoff hold a new no dogs allowed sign.

Bylaw breakers beware

Fines for animals at large and illegal burning to increase.

Due to many complaints and frequent disregard of dog leash rules at the Millennium Park and especially the Ponds area, council has decided to increase fines for off leash animals at all city parks to $100.

Planning and Development Committee member Councilor Kevin Chernoff explained, “This gives us a little more bite to our bark, or vice versa, pardon the pun.”

New signs reminding dog owners that even dogs on leashes are not allowed in the Millennium Ponds area will also be installed soon. No pets are allowed on the pond side of the paved walkway, this includes the grass area, sands and the pond itself.

“This came up because people are letting their dogs loose on the sand and in the ponds, so it came to council that we need to do something about it,” said Councilor Heaton-Sherstobitoff.

Fines for breaking the open air burning bylaws are also being increased. These fines have not been increased since 2000 and the new amounts will bring them more in line with Provincial Standards. The increases are significant and council hopes this will influence the public to heed the bylaws more carefully.

“We have still found that when conditions are very dry, people are still burning. The deterrents we have in place really aren’t doing the trick, so we are hoping that having more recourse … will deter some of these actions from happening.” said Councilor Chernoff.

Previous fines ranged between $100 and $150. The new fines are as follows: burn prohibited material $500, Start a fire without a permit $300, burn during a prohibited period $300, burn without a competent adult in charge $300, burn without adequate fire fighting equipment $300, nuisance fire $300 and out of control/dangerous fire $500.

“We have still found that when conditions are very dry, people are still burning. The deterrents we have in place really aren’t doing the trick, so we are hoping that having more recourse … will deter some of these actions from happening.”