Dog owners in Sainte-Foy and Sillery accuse the City of Quebec and Mayor Bruno Marchand of having signed the death warrant for the Saint-Yves dog park without valid reason, and of having given in to a deluge of complaints from 3 or 4 citizens.
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Marc-Antoine Désy appeared at the microphone in the municipal council chambers at City Hall on Monday evening to question the mayor in person. Armed with documents – obtained through freedom of information requests made to the city – he said he did not understand how the city could have closed the dog park, four months before the end of the pilot project.
“We ended up with levels of tension that didn’t make sense and which, in some cases, resulted in complaints to the police. We needed to lower the tension. We understand that the effects of this for the citizens who benefited from it, it is obviously unfortunate and we are working to find solutions, ”explained Mayor Marchand.
Photo JEAN-LUC LAVALLEE
From left to right: Normand Bergeron, Diane Lavallée and Marc-Antoine Désy wonder about the real reasons that led the City of Quebec to prematurely end the Saint-Yves dog park pilot project last June. For them, the mystery remains intact.
According to the documents provided to Mr. Désy by the City itself, it appears that 96% of the approximately 240 noise complaints lodged were made by a handful of citizens living at the same three or four civic addresses, near the park. .
According to an acoustic study carried out by the experts Yockell Associés on behalf of the City, we learn that barking is not the main source of noise in this urban sector.
At the back of the nearby residences concerned, there are decibel levels that correspond to the song of birds, notes Mr. Désy. However, we can also read that the frequencies of yelps can come “particularly to seek human hearing acuity”, we nuance in the study. During the two busiest days during the study, their authors recorded 627 and then 734 barking.
“The effect on ambient noise, one of the main complaints of opponents, is minor,” insists Mr. Désy. It is not an impact that is nil, but it is an impact that is weak. It is difficult, therefore, to see an intolerable nuisance. Why did you close this park in a hurry, ”questions the one who criticizes the City for having ignored the objective data at its disposal.
“The alleged tension comes from three people who started making repeated complaints. Is it on this basis only that this decision was taken which now harms all the users of the park? How (the mayor) is he going to manage the citizens’ rebellion against the tram if he is not able to manage the complaints of three citizens who are crashing a project appreciated by all? “, added the citizen Normand Bergeron.
For Diane Lavallée, this pilot project, which ended prematurely, represents a bitter “failure” in terms of living together.
Several options on the table
The mayor reiterated the City’s intention to find an alternative as soon as possible, saying he was aware of the need to be filled. Councilor Claude Lavoie took the leap, said work on the rest of things in an active way. A new report will be “available” in December.
“I want to reassure the citizens present this evening. All options are on the table. Nothing will be discarded. Local parks, we believe in it. A park accessible on foot is what we prefer. We looked at three types of parks and everything is currently on the table. The file is progressing and our intention is really to meet the needs in terms of parks and canine areas, ”he said.