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Sicamous public beach may continue to allow on-leash dogs

Flocky’s Beach to be renamed in bylaw restricting dogs on beaches
Mayor Colleen Anderson stands with a sign denoting the dedication of a stretch of Two Mile Beach in Sicamous as Flocky’s Beach Park, named after NHL player Rob Flockhart. (Rebecca Willson-Eagle Valley News)

Sicamous’ dogs will likely continue to be allowed at a popular memorial beach.

Earlier this summer, the beach area previously known as Tecumseh Beach was renamed to honour late NHL player and Sicamous resident Rob Flockhart. The unveiled sign recognizing Flocky’s Beach Park has a symbol on it denoting dogs are allowed, on-leash only. District operations manager Darrell Symbaluk came to council’s Aug. 23 meeting to discuss if this was still what was best for the beach.

Read more: Late Sicamous NHL’er recognized with stretch of beach named in his honour

Symbaluk said he’d had some feedback from residents which claimed the district bylaw states dogs are not allowed on public beaches at all, and he said he didn’t dispute that fact. He went to the sign company and had a patch made to change the sign to conform to the bylaw, but wanted council’s input about allowing on-leash dogs.

The bylaw will need to be brought back to council to officially change the name to Flocky’s Beach. After research, he said most other jurisdictions don’t allow dogs on public beaches, even on-leash, and keep off-leash dog parks for that reason.

A proposed amendment reads that, with the exception of special needs dogs, no dogs would be permitted on any area of the Beach Park, the Carter Road beach area or the Tecumseh Road beach area (to be renamed in the bylaw) at any time.

However, council discussed the option of continuing to allow on-leash dogs at Flocky’s, and keeping the other beaches in the district dog-free.

Coun. Malcolm Makayev said it could be nice to have a place for dogs and families to enjoy the beach and mentioned the dog owners’ community is usually self-sufficient, reminding each other to keep dogs and others safe and clean up after their pets.

Coun. Ian Baillie said he was worried more problems would arise when opening up his restaurants’ patios to allow dogs, but saw much less of an impact on diners’ experiences than he expected. He allowed beaches are different and require certain safety considerations but agreed with Makayev about dog owners taking responsibility.

Symbaluk confirmed the change, if approved, would only affect Flocky’s Beach, not other beach areas, and would involve looking into more garbage and pet waste stations being set up.

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Rebecca Willson

About the Author: Rebecca Willson

I took my first step into the journalism industry in November 2022 when I moved to Salmon Arm to work for the Observer and Eagle Valley News. I graduated with a journalism degree in December 2021 from MacEwan University in Edmonton.
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