Montrealers who want to walk their dogs on a leash in parks can do so everywhere except… in the borough of Saint-Léonard, where voices are being raised to denounce this regulation when dogs could soon be allowed in the metro.
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“What is the danger of a dog walking through a park on a leash? It’s people who don’t like dogs who have put this in place,” says indignant Roberto Colavecchio, who has lived in Saint-Léonard for more than 50 years.
His borough is the last in Montreal to prohibit access to dogs in its parks, even if they are on a leash.
This regulation is also very visible, since The newspaper noted the presence of many signs reminding that pitous are not welcome there.
Exasperated by this regulation which, according to him, is “worthy of another era” and which prevents him from walking his dog Zeke in the parks near his home, Mr. Colavecchio joined the former elected representative of Project Montreal Rosalie Filato to start a web petition asking for it to be changed.
The latter has collected nearly 900 signatures since it went online on Saturday.
Mr. Colavecchio says he does not understand why this policy is necessary in Saint-Léonard if it is not elsewhere.
“It’s a bit difficult to understand. Why can a dog be on a leash on a sidewalk, but not in a park? also asks Paolo Vacca, crossed by The newspaper accompanied by his dog Vinny.
In the metro, but not in the park
For several years now, citizens have been trying to convince their elected representatives in Saint-Léonard, all from the Ensemble Montréal party, to take this action.
Mme Filato decided to revive the debate when this same party asked that dogs be allowed on the subway, a request that was accepted by the Plante administration, which had the motion passed by the city council a few weeks ago.
The Société de transport de Montréal is currently looking into setting up this pilot project, which should be launched by the end of the year.
“For the sake of consistency, that should change,” says Mme Filato, speaking of the position of elected officials in his borough.
“The pandemic effect made people adopt more dogs,” she continues. They need places to roam.”
Pressed by questions from many citizens on the subject on Monday at the borough council, the administration of Saint-Léonard intends to discuss the by-law at the planning commission on June 21 and to consult the population, said Monday evening Richard Caron , political attaché to the mayor and councillors.
“Things are changing and the new council is ready to look at this question again,” he said.