Raise a stink

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Residents of Legacy Point are doggone tired of dog droppings so close to their homes.

It’s an unfortunate situation for all involved. The Lacombe Lake dog-friendly park is the most popular in St. Albert, but off-leash dogs have been a hazard for cyclists and joggers, who also wish to use the park. City council opted to put in a fence, but that solution hasn’t worked for nearby residents. The new fence is a popular spot for dogs to urinate and it’s a bit too close for those with backyards facing the dog park.

To make matters worse, for whatever reason, dog owners are not picking up after their pets. On January 19 and 20, a total of 680 kilograms of doggie doo-doo was removed from Lacombe Lake Park during a mid-season cleanup. But Lacombe Park isn’t an outlier, the problem is happening all over St. Albert. Last year 3.7 metric tons of dog waste was collected and removed by contractors. That number was actually an improvement from 2016, when 5.8 metric tons of dog waste was collected. That really stinks for other dog owners, nearby residents and taxpayers of St. Albert.

The city needs to deal with this through extra bylaw enforcement, something that is expected in the coming weeks. There needs to be fines against violators, not simply warnings. Dog owners who don’t pick up after their dog have no excuse – either they aren’t paying enough attention or they are too lazy to do the right thing. This is public infrastructure and by not cleaning up after your pet, you are putting your own laziness over the enjoyment of others.

There’s no sense in any type of information campaign, these dog owners know what they are supposed to do. The only thing that will make a difference is fines for those who break the rules. Let’s hope with this sticky situation the city finds a solution with some teeth.

Bitumen battle

Just when one neighbour dispute ends, another one starts. Alberta and Saskatchewan have seemingly patched things up, but British Columbia is now keen to cause trouble with our province. The B.C. government does not want the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and it’s looking to stop any increase in diluted bitumen shipments so it can conduct more spill response studies. It’s simply a delay tactic by the B.C. government, which is hoping it can delay the project long enough to kill it.

What B.C. is doing is counter to the very idea of federalism. Why would one province try to sabotage economic growth? The pipeline has already been approved federally and it’s a matter of national interest. While Premier Rachel Notley has threatened both legal action and economic sanctions against B.C., there may be a need for federal intervention soon. When you consider the implications this could have for future investment, thousands of current and potential jobs are on the line. A trade battle between provinces is a race to the bottom.

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St. Albert Gazette

The St. Albert Gazette has been the source for news and community information in St. Albert and area since 1961. Today the twice-weekly full-colour tabloid delivers award-winning journalism in print, online and on mobile.