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Dogs and borders

Locations still not defined by city

Nathan VanderKlippe
Northern News Services

Iqaluit (Dec 10/01) - Tagak Curley is mad about dogs.

He and his wife wake at night to howling. He sees them tied up on rocks and he wants them kept far from the limits of his own property.

NNSL Photo

Tagak Curley is angry that the city has no designated areas for dog teams. - Nathan VanderKlippe/NNSL photo

The city passed a bylaw earlier this year promising to mark up a map of Iqaluit with designated dog areas. But it hasn't happened.

"I think it's a delay tactic," said Curley. He accuses the city of stacking a dog committee with owners.

That claim was countered by city bylaw officer Terry Augustus, who said the committee is made up of two owners and two other concerned citizens.

Iqaluit has about 20 dog teams. Dog legislation was introduced when a child was mauled to death on the ice in March of 1998.

"Dogs should not be tied up next to the lots," Curley said. "We have two dog teams right in front of us here. In my view, that is really not acceptable in today's age."

Keith Irving, an Iqaluit city councillor, owns one of the teams that are annoying Curley. "I've had my dogs there for 11 years and my neighbour's had them there for over 20. (Curley) is a new neighbour," he pointed out. "These are neighbourhood issues to a certain extent."

He and his neighbour have made applications to have their backyards considered designated dog areas. He said keeping dogs near a house is safer and a better learning experience for children.

"Owners know that dogs are safer when they're close by," he said.

"They get better socialized and you can have a close eye on them. By taking them and moving them out of town, kids don't learn about dog safety."

Even so, Irving said he will respect any ruling by the committee.

That committee was chaired by Neville Wheaton, who recently left the community.

The file has now been handed to Augustus. "I'm going to have meetings with the committee again. After that we should have a map drawn up. We're hoping to have that done certainly before Christmas," he said.