Urban Chickens and Getting Changes through Council
I wrote this in May of 2010 and was posted on both my campaign website then [and now] as well as Blake Batson's much missed PerspectivesOttawa site. A copy can be found on my website at www.aronec.ca. I feel it is just as relevant today as it was then.
May 20, 2010
Living in rural Ottawa, where this morning I woke to the sound of turkeys [wild] I read the May 5 article in the Ottawa Citizen about “Urban Chickens” with more than a bit of interest. I personally don’t see a huge issue here. Of course, the NIMBY crowd will have issues, you cant please everyone. I certainly am not an expert on the issue, but there seems to a good volume of information available on the subject just by goggling “Urban Chicken”.
The City By-Law that address’s this issue is 2003-77, Respecting Animal Care and Control. It regards chickens as ‘livestock’ and forbids owning and raising them except in certain specified areas of the city. Article 79, however relates to Pigeons. It allows anyone to have up to 70 birds (depending on the calendar) so long as they meet a specified set of, what appear to be, common sense requirements. My first thought was, get the red pen out, replace ‘pigeon’with “chicken” and see how the text read. With the exception of laughing at the notion of a ‘recognized racing or homing chicken club, which is affiliated with a national chicken association” and the designated ‘flight time’ windows, the markup looked reasonable. Certainly the number of birds would be reduced to a number of less than 70, to perhaps 5.
My suggestion to CLUCK, and anyone else who want Council to consider some form of By-Law Change is to make the job of city staff and council easy. “Don’t reinvent the wheel” is the mindset I encourage any group to adopt, and is one which I personally abide by. Plagiarism is the highest form of flattery in a number of instances where looking at implementing something new. The Whig Standard recently had a number of good points on this issue. What this group should do is prepare a documentation package and submit it to the city. It should, as a minimum have a briefing note summarizing their position; SPECIFIC details of and links to others who have done this previously which corroborate their position, a suggested amendment to the applicable By Law(s) and what the advantages are to the City( be they health, lifestyle, financial etc). Identification of, and a rebuttal of the potential negatives would go a long way as well.
Please visit my website at www.aronec.ca to see what I believe is the best defined, thought out and viable candidate platform in Ward 5. The decision you make when you vote is important so please take a few minutes and make an informed and not “Miss Congeniality” based decision.