Deer population control. (OakBay.ca Image)

Residents show love for deer in Oak Bay survey

Majority of respondents happy with Oak Bay levels of service

Residents responded to the 2020 budget questionnaire with submissions that varied from useful, to extraordinary, while some show ongoing values for a staunchly conservative Oak Bay.

On the major issues, residents are content with the levels of service provided by the District of Oak Bay.

A deeper look, though, shows a community with polarized opinions, especially around animals.

READ ALSO: Emergency measures whittle Oak Bay budget down 1.2 per cent

Respondents to the survey were almost all from Oak Bay with only six of the 341 submitted from outside the District.

The location of residence was split right down the middle, 168 living north of Oak Bay Avenue and 166 living south of it. Ages were proportionate to Oak Bay’s demographic “with the exception of 45-54 year olds, who were considerably over-represented, and 18-24 year olds, who were under-represented,” said the report.

Among the controversial narratives is a small but vocal support to cull the deer rather than Oak Bay’s new staged approach of using birth control. Oak Bay ended its 2015 deer cull with 11 deer killed amid public controversy and other challenges.

As for the deer population, 54 per cent of respondents believe the number of deer should be permitted to increase. One third are OK with the current population.

Residents were also asked about the number of domestic animals in Oak Bay and ultimately, a total of 73 per cent had no problem with maintaining the current number as 17 per cent supported increasing the number of domestic animals.

However, 26.9 per cent think Oak Bay’s domestic animal population should be decreased, namely dogs and cats as judged by the write-in section.

Dog and cat poop was a particular bugbear of those write-ins. It’s not just the scat left in parks by irresponsible dog owners but ill-discarded poop bags and poop left by roaming house cats that are irritating locals. Some argue to keep dogs off sports fields to keep the playing surface ‘feces’ free, while others wish for additional dedicated off-leash dog parks and that dog owners are “harassed” themselves.

Cats and dogs “harassing” wildlife was also mentioned in the write-ins, with one resident suggesting Oak Bay adopt Calgary’s bylaw that restricts the “nuisance” of cats by limiting them to their owner’s property.

In fact, one of the biggest themes is “enforcement.” Residents used the term 79 times in the write-in answers with almost all of the references requesting additional and more strict enforcement for issues such as dog poop.

In most cases the requests for enhanced enforcement are pet related, such as keeping cats out of yards.

Twenty-four per cent supported increased bylaw enforcement though 61 per cent believed the current level of bylaw enforcement is acceptable. Even more, 59 per cent, supported current levels of parking enforcement (through Commissionaires contract) though 29 per cent asked to decrease it.

READ MORE: Last year 380 dead deer were collected by Oak Bay and Saanich city staff

Oak Bay’s public art situation was also assessed with more than half, 55 per cent, saying it’s OK as is. Over the past six years the District of Oak Bay has worked to cultivate public art with the Arts Alive program. Yet 34.5 per cent want less.

A common theme in the anti-public art suggestions was to reprioritize the money towards infrastructure and other amenities.

One respondent said, “Developers can sponsor public art as part of a building permit, but the municipality should not.”

Some other write-ins stood out as part of the recent narrative in local media. Three write-ins took the opportunity to request a ban or limitation on the use of gas-powered leaf blowers.

More than 80 per cent of residents supported the current levels of police and fire protection.

View the full budget survey responses here www.oakbay.ca/sites/default/files/Budget-Questionnaire-Responses_0.pdf

reporter@oakbaynews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Greater Victoria gets 13 new handyDART buses to replace aging fleet

Rollout part of nearly 70 new buses across B.C.

Camosun College shares free design of medical-grade face masks

Manufacturers across Canada, United States and UK have inquired

Cannabis responsible for higher incomes among Canadian farmers

Without cannabis sales, national crop revenues would have dropped in 2019

Man who bound, murdered Langford teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

North Saanich artist brightens pandemic with whimsical signs

Artist Anna Trelford decorates her fence with signs that riff on COVID-19 pandemic

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

POLL: Do you agree with the provincial government’s decision to increase the minimum wage?

B.C.’s lowest-paid workers will be getting a few more dollars to try… Continue reading

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

Stolen gargoyle returns to its perch on central Vancouver Island yard

Petey, a concrete gargoyle statue, was returned by Nanaimo RCMP after being found by city crew

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

B.C. teacher reprimanded for sharing homophobic and sexist memes, making racist comments

Klaus Hardy Breslauer was accused of making a laundry list of concerning decisions as a science teacher

Most Read