Fact or Fiction: Young children doing cartwheels or handstands on the grassy areas of the promenade, may be in danger of picking up bacterial infections from dogs that have passed by. Fact: Even if feces is picked up, the smear left behind may hold harmful viruses, bacteria and parasites (including giardia, E coli, and salmonella) that takes years to decompose.

Fact or Fiction: The mess left by Canada Geese is just as harmful. Fiction: The natural diet eaten by wild animals produces waste products that are although very unpleasant, do not produce the same harmful bacteria the "pet feed" dogs do..

Fact or Fiction: Fecal droppings from Canada Geese and Seagulls present the same health risk to humans as dog feces. Fiction: Although Canada Geese and Seagulls can carry diseases, there is no overwhelming evidence to show that they are signifiant disease transmitters to humans. Dogs on the other hand are a major reservoir of zoonotic infections for humans, and there are plenty of academic studies to support this. People must stop feeding the Gulls if they are concerned about their droppings. It’s never a good idea to feed wildlife.

Fact or Fiction: The trial of dogs on White Rock's promenade will correspond with the off season. Fiction: There is no “off season” because October to March corresponds to the sensitive overwintering period for migrating birds, and April to September corresponds to the period of high pedestrian traffic. It’s a bad place for dogs all year round.

Fact or Fiction: The majority of White Rock residents are in support of allowing dogs on the promenade. Fiction: The is no reliable quantitative evidence supporting this claim. However, there is reliable evidence disputing it since White Rock residents did not elect Mike Armstrong (for City Council), the principal proponent for dogs on the promenade. The people have spoken Mike!

Fact or Fiction: The promenade is no different than any other area in the City used by dog-walkers. Fiction: There is no sidewalk in the City where families pick-nick on the ground, within a stones throw of a Wildlife Management Area. Therefore, the promenade is a very special place. In addition dogs on the promenade is an open invite to tens of thousands of dogs, that could all show up at one time.

Fact or Fiction: The trial will determine if allowing dogs on the promenade is acceptable or not. Fiction: First of all, designing a quantitative, unbiased “trial” is fraught with problems. Second, because there will be attempts by the public to influence the results of the trial, any effort on experimental control will be futile. Third, unless specific objective levels are set up in advance, the end result will be determined by popularity politics – and we know what that is. And finally, the trial is actually a farce since in modern civil society, the burden of proof should be on the proponent (dog-walker) to show that there is no adverse impact on the environment or public health and safety. Permission by the governing authority is granted after all relevant evidence has been reviewed – not before.

Fact or Fiction: The majority of dog-owners area responsible people. Fiction: Studies show that on average 25% of dog-walkers do not pick up after their pet. And more than 80% of White Rock dog owners are breaking the law because their dogs are unlicensed. Even visual observations at any given time, in any given place will prove more delinquent owners than responsible.

Fact or Fiction: Voluntary compliance, and public awareness and education must be the first principle of dog management. It’s White Rock's policy. Fact: There is, and always will be a residual group of social misfits who continue to misbehave with impunity by ignoring dog bylaws as well as awareness or education campaigns. The best solution is to follow the precautionary principle, which denotes a duty to prevent harm, when it is in our power to do so, even when all the evidence is not in. In other words, do not allow dogs anywhere near sensitive environmental areas, or public realms where they pose an undue risk to public health and safety. And you don’t need a trial to prove this.