Nothing gets B.C. residents more upset than people who don't pick up after their dogs according to a new Insights West poll.

West Coasters have a reputation for being laid back, and most, the poll finds, describe each other as law abiding.

But it seems there are some surefire ways to tick them off, and dog poop tops the list of pet peeves, with 94 per cent rating it as the most annoying illegal activity on the list.

"I've stepped on a lot of landmines," one disgruntled resident told CBC News.

Insights West poll

A recent Insights West poll shows not picking up dog waste is the number one irritant for residents in B.C. and Alberta. (Insights West)

While no one likes scraping doggy doo off the bottom of their shoe, it's far from the only minor offence that gets B.C. residents upset.

Also at the top of the list of pet peeves are litterbugs. A whopping 94 per cent of residents say it sends them over the edge when someone doesn't bother to toss their trash in a garbage can. 

Talking on a cell phone while driving, throwing cigarette butts on the ground, smoking near windows or doorways and speeding on a municipal street are all in the top ten list of ticketable offences B.C. residents hate.

Downloading tolerated

Perhaps more surprising to visitors might be the stuff west coasters are quite prepared to tolerate, including smoking the province's most famous cash-crop.

"We see that are a lot of people are resistant to being upset about certain things that are illegal — starting with smoking marijuana," said Insights West pollster Mario Canseco.

"A lot of people don't see it as something that makes them unhappy or uneasy."

Insights West poll

We may not like people who don't pick up after their dog, but according to the poll we're quite prepared to turn a blind eye to illegal downloads of copywrited material. (Insights West)

"The one thing that was the lowest rank was downloading or streaming copywrited material without paying for it. Only 31 per cent of B.C. residents get upset when this happens."

Even more fascinating says Canseco is how that number comes down to just nine per cent in the 18-to-34 demographic.

"Less than one-in-10 young adults in B.C. believe that it's morally reprehensible to download illegally," he said.

Also on the list of things illegal activities B.C. residents are not too concerned about are riding a bike without a helmet or on the sidewalk, watering the lawn when it is not permitted, and jaywalking. 


Results are based on an online study conducted from July 15 to July 18, 2014, among 627 Albertans aged 18+, and an online study conducted from August 11 to August 12, 2014, among 816 British Columbians.

The pollster says the data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures. Results have a margin of error of +/- 4.0 percentage points, for Alberta and +/- 3.5 percentage points for British Columbia, 19 times out of 20.

With files from Jesse Johnson