Dogs allowed off-leash in Edmonton, first step in relaunch

The City of Edmonton will allow dogs to run off leash again at 38 parks, starting Saturday, interim city manager Adam Laughlin announced Friday.

Starting at sunrise on Saturday, dogs will be allowed off leash at 38 Edmonton parks

The City of Edmonton has required dogs to be on leash since Apr. 2 in an effort to ensure physical distancing orders. (Emily Rendell-Watson/CBC)

The City of Edmonton will allow dogs to run loose again starting Saturday at 38 off-leash parks, interim city manager Adam Laughlin announced Friday.

It the city's first step in response to Alberta's relaunch plans announced by Premier Jason Kenney on Thursday. 

Safety remains the priority, Laughlin said at a news conference at city hall.

"We ask that people continue to keep appropriate physical distance," he said. "Let me be clear. This is one turn of the dial, not the flip of a switch." 

The city has heard public complaints since ordering dogs be kept on leashes at the beginning of April, Laughlin said.

He noted that most people have been following physical distancing rules, But he reminded park users to be careful in parking lots. 

The city is developing a plan to open municipal golf courses, which include Victoria, Rundle Park and Riverside.

Laughlin said his team will study how to monitor physical distancing requirements at golf courses but also the financial capacity to reopen. 

The city's state of local emergency remains in place until at least next week, Laughlin said. 

 While Edmonton phases in a relaunch, provincial orders remain in place requiring people to:

  • Keep two-metre physical distance in public spaces, including outdoors
  • Self-isolate if confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19
  • Limit all gatherings to a maximum of 15 people

Mayor Don Iveson urged the public to continue following critical guidelines such as self-isolating when sick and maintaining physical distancing. 

"We could well see another spike in cases, and of course the road to stage two and stage three would then take a lot longer," he said. 

Temporary lay off notices affecting 4,100 staff in transit operations, recreation centres, libraries, Edmonton EXPO Centre and Edmonton Convention Centre remain in place.



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