Saugeen Shores considers opening more beaches to dogs

More Saugeen Shores beaches could be going to the dogs, if that’s the response an upcoming public consultation yields.

Council received an update from staff on Monday about possibly opening more beaches to pooches during the summer months.

The town will take the matter to public consultation in the coming weeks. Potential options include opening all beaches to dogs during morning and evening hours, opening new areas to them, or keeping things as is. Currently, Port Elgin and Southampton each have one beach where dogs are allowed between May and October.

Mayor Luke Charbonneau says expanding offerings to dogs has been a hot-button issue.

“We’ve ended up where we ended up today as a result of a lot of conversation over a long time, essentially a prohibition, at least in the summertime,” he said. “So I’m glad we’re revisiting it, we got a lot of interest, I know during the election there was a lot of talk about it so it’s a good opportunity to look at it again. But I think we all want to be careful about it and I have received a lot of correspondence, like the rest of you have, and all of it has been negative to the idea. So I’m going to be very interested to hear a more wholesome, a more complete input from the public.”

The proposal put forward by staff includes opening the beach north of High Street and south of Miramichi Bay, among others.

Vice Deputy Mayor Mike Myatt says they may be moving too quickly.

“This is an area I think we need to move slowly. Perhaps try one areas this year? I’ve got an area I think staff should consider: it’s the base of Concession 4,” he said. “There’s a nice little beach down there for a doggy beach. It’s a sand beach, and there’s lots of parking on both sides of the road. It’s right at the north end of MacGregor Point Provincial Park… if we want to try one area, I could get behind that.”

There will be an online consultation opening soon for two weeks. Once open, residents are encouraged to share their thoughts with Josh Planz, Chief Building Official.

More From Author