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News Releases

June 27, 2013

Proposed By-law to reduce pet overpopulation in Winnipeg

Cat Licensing Program will support spay/neuter programs and is expected
to save thousands of cats from euthanization annually

Released: 9:16 a.m.

Winnipeg, MB - Next week the Standing Policy Committee on Protection and Community Services will consider a report which recommends repealing both the Pound By-law and the Exotic Animal By-law in favour of a newly created Responsible Pet Ownership By-law. The proposed Responsible Pet Ownership By-law is the result of continued consultations with stakeholders, and is supported by the three largest animal sheltering organizations in the city, including the Winnipeg Humane Society.

The proposed Responsible Pet Ownership By-law provides a more contemporary approach to animal ownership in Winnipeg while serving to protect the safety of pets, their owners and other residents. The proposed By-law includes measures aimed at reducing pet overpopulation issues in Winnipeg and will assist animal shelters and rescue organizations that deal with the effects of pet overpopulation by strongly encouraging responsible pet ownership and promoting the importance of spaying and neutering.

A Cat Licensing Program is proposed as part of the new Responsible Pet Ownership By-law. It is also proposed that half of the gross proceeds of the Cat Licensing Program be used to expand The Winnipeg Humane Society (WHS) spay/neuter programs for owned, stray and feral cat populations and/or for the WHS to provide to their key partner organizations such as Winnipeg Pet Rescue and D’Arcy’s A.R.C. for expansion of cat spay/neuter programs.

The City of Calgary boasts a 52 per cent return rate on lost cats with a cat licensing program; Winnipeg lags at nine per cent. As a result, Winnipeg area animal shelters take in high volumes of stray cats that are not reunited with their owners and thousands of stray and feral cats are euthanized annually. Most major cities in Canada have both dog and cat licensing.

The Cat Licensing Program would be implemented on January 1, 2015 whereby cat owners would be required to purchase an annual cat license for a $15.00 fee for spayed/neutered cats and a $50.00 fee for intact cats. Failure to license a cat would result in a $250.00 fine, similar to the fine imposed for the failure to license a dog.

“Cat licensing will protect more cats with a license tag and provide a revenue stream for enhanced spay/neuter programs,” said Animal Services Chief Operating Officer Leland Gordon. “Both dogs and cats affect neighbourhood livability and place a strain on area animal shelters. A license increases owner responsibility while adding value and protection to our feline companions.”

“We applaud the direction to dedicate 50 per cent of the gross license revenue from the proposed Cat Licensing Program to the Winnipeg Humane Society for the further enhancement of cat spay/neuter programs and for the Winnipeg Humane Society to provide such funding to their key partner organizations such as the Winnipeg Pet Rescue and D’Arcy’s A.R.C,” said Bill McDonald, Chief Executive Officer of the Winnipeg Humane Society. “Cat overpopulation in Winnipeg is a significant issue and these measures are important steps towards addressing this problem.”

With cat licensing, 311 operators would be able to reunite lost cats wearing licenses with their owners. In 2012, 311 reunited 927 dogs wearing licenses without those dogs having to set foot in Animal Services. 

Additional highlights from the proposed By-law include:

  • Allowing residents of Winnipeg to own or harbour up to six dogs and cats, four of which may be dogs. The previous By-law allowed for a maximum of three dogs and three cats.
  • Travelling zoos, exhibits or circuses will only be able to exhibit or use dogs, cats, and commercial animals. The use of exotic animals will not be allowed in travelling shows or circuses. 27 other Canadian municipalities restrict the use of exotic animals in circuses.
  • Urban chicken keeping in Winnipeg will be allowed only in areas that are agriculturally zoned due to potential food safety, humane and neighbourhood liveability issues.
  • Maintaining the ban on pit bulls in Winnipeg.
  • A Prohibited Animal Listing based on research of jurisdictions across Canada and best practice. The proposed list overall is less restrictive than the current Exotic Animal By-law taking into account public safety and humane treatment of animals while still providing a variety of animals available for pet ownership.

View the report, which will be considered by the Standing Policy Committee on Protection and Community Services on Thursday, July 4, 2013.

The City's first-ever buffered bike lanes along Pembina Highway
add safety for cyclists

Innovative $4 million Active Transportation design unique in Canada

Released: 1:37 p.m.

Winnipeg, MB - Winnipeg’s first-ever buffered bike lanes have been built on one of the city’s busiest commuter cycling thoroughfares to create a safer route for cyclists. The lanes marked by special polyposts, located on the east and west sides of Pembina Highway between Chevrier Boulevard and Plaza Drive, were officially opened today by Local Government Minister Ron Lemieux and Mayor Sam Katz.

“We are seeing more people choose Active Transportation options as a preferred way to do their daily commute,” said Lemieux, “It’s important that our roadways reflect this by having dedicated and safe sections of the road for cyclist. This Pembina design is unique and will be well utilized by local residents, university students and visitors to the new Investors Group Field.”

“Pembina Highway is a very busy thoroughfare and these new posts create a welcome physical barrier between cyclists and traffic,” said Mayor Katz. “With the addition of Pembina Highway to the City’s Active Transportation network, Winnipeg now has 392 kilometres of multi-use pathways and bike lanes. This expanding network makes cycling an attractive option for transportation, recreation or fitness.”

This buffered bike lane closes a critical gap in the City’s Active Transportation (AT) network and allows people to have a sustainable option to travel from downtown using AT facilities leading to Crescent Drive and to various areas in south Winnipeg, including the University of Manitoba. It also provides a connection to the Bishop Grandin Greenway and other AT facilities in the area.

Pembina Highway is a vital north-south link in the City of Winnipeg’s Regional Transportation Network connecting the University of Manitoba, the Central Business District, the Perimeter Highway and the Inner Ring Strategic Road Network. The buffered bike lanes give cyclists a dedicated space while respecting the many other users of Pembina Highway. The design was the result of a planning process involving various stakeholders and includes a wider reserved lane for cyclists.

This cycling facility features a unique bus stop design that illustrates the City’s commitment to balancing the needs of all users within our public rights-of-way. This bus stop island design features an elevated bike lane between the bus stop and the sidewalk that accommodates buses by not requiring them to pull out of their travelling lane or block cyclists. The bus stops also feature unique way-finding tactile surfaces to aid pedestrians of all abilities to navigate the bus stop area.

The project cost $4 million, with the City of Winnipeg contributing $3.5 million through the Capital Budget and the Province of Manitoba contributing $500,000 through the Road Improvements fund.

Related links:

Phase one of the City's first aquatic park of its kind opens
with a splash in Transcona

$800,000 splash pad includes multiple spray features, a family picnic area and landscaping

Released: 3:05 p.m.

Winnipeg, MB - Families will enjoy cooling down this summer at Winnipeg’s newest splash pad. The Transcona splash pad, located at Kildare Avenue and Wabasha Street, is the first phase in what will soon become the Transcona Aquatic Park, the first outdoor water facility of its kind in Winnipeg.

Once fully constructed, the Transcona Aquatic Park will become a landmark in Winnipeg, that is unparalleled elsewhere in the city. The park will include an expanded splash pad, new pool with a beach entry, waterslides, diving boards, a lazy river feature, sundeck, picnic area and event space with site landscaping. There will also be upgrades and improvement to the existing pool including change rooms, windows and mechanical upgrades.

"This splash pad is just the start of what will be an amazing recreation facility for the families of Transcona,” said Mayor Katz. “When the aquatic park is completed, it will be a phenomenal destination for kids of all ages.”

"For many children, the option of going to 'a lake' or 'the cottage' may not exist, yet kids are kids and they deserve a place to play and cool down in our hot summers,” said Councillor Russ Wyatt, "and that's why the development of new, larger and regional outdoor aquatic parks is so important and fills a real need in our city.”

Funds for the $800,000 splash pad came from the sale of City-owned, undeveloped parkland inside the Transcona Ward, which was declared surplus by Council in September 2011. Features of the splash pad include:

  • 16 spray features
  • Site furniture including picnic tables, benches and waste receptacles
  • New fencing and landscaping
  • Lawn areas for sitting or picnics near the splash pad
  • Pump house with an environmentally friendly recirculating water system

The second phase of the aquatic park will be funded in part through the decommissioning of Roland Michener Arena and associated lands. The entire Transcona Aquatic Park is expected to be completed by 2015.

Prior to 2007, there were no splash pads in Winnipeg for families to enjoy on a hot summer’s day. The Transcona splash pad marks the 12th the City has opened in the last six years with many more splash pads to be built throughout the city in the next few years.

For images of the aquatic park, please visit City of Winnipeg - Transcona Aquatic Park

Last update: 28.06.2013

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