Vision's Chicken: Illustration: John Coulter
Legalizing backyard hens high on Vancouver Council priority list
There are people dying on Vancouver streets due to gang violence. The City is facing an unprecedented tax increase of 10% or more. Controversy swirls around the awarding of two $30K PR contracts to a big Vision Vancouver donor. But guess what? The priority of Vancouver Council next week is to debate a motion regarding legalizing backyard chickens.
The motion is being brought forward by Vision Councillors Andrea Reimer and Heather Deal. If approved, it would mean that residents of Vancouver could now set up quasi-chicken farms in their backyards and neighbours would have nothing to say about it. This motion certainly begs the question of what the priorities of this new government actually are?
For those city folk that can't envision what chickens might be like in their neighbourhood, close your eyes and listen to this (link):
Speaking of priorities, in a media scrum held earlier today, sources say Mayor Gregor Robertson was grilled big time over why he didn't show up at a meeting called by Mayor Watts last week to address the issue of gang violence. His worship confirmed that no one bothered to attend the meeting because they had different priorities that day. What was that priority? It was attending a photo-op with Olympic mascots Quatchi and Sumi.
It's been less than 90 days for this new government, and it is becoming abundantly clear they are beginning to show a few cracks in the armour. Whether it's the Hoggan contract issue, or the "mis-firing" of former City Manager Judy Rogers, this is starting to look a little like the team that simply couldn't shoot straight.
It's still early days indeed, however, the voters are not going to tolerate a government that said it was all for openness and transparency, then refuses to disclose who funded their nomination campaigns. Nor one that has had little regard for taxpayers' money by spending $85K on a party for themselves and a few key party stalwarts. And now spending time to debate a new chicken farm policy for Vancouver.
As far as the chicken motion is concerned, here is a copy you're interested.
MOVER: Councillor Andrea Reimer
SECONDER: Councillor Heather Deal
WHEREAS Vancouver’s current Animal Control By-aw (#9433 section 7.2) forbids the keeping of chickens in our City;
AND WHEREAS on July 8, 2003, Council approved a motion supporting the development of a just and sustainable food system for the City of Vancouver that fosters equitable food production, distribution and consumption; nutrition; community development and environmental health;
AND WHEREAS in April 2002 the City adopted a formal position, definition and principles on sustainability;
AND WHEREAS in January 2007, Council adopted the Vancouver Food Charter which sets out the City’s commitment to the development of a coordinated municipal food policy that recognizes access to safe, sufficient, culturally appropriate and nutritious food as a basic human right for all Vancouver residents;
AND WHEREAS many cities in North America such as Victoria, BC, Seattle, Washington, and New York City already permit households to keep chickens;
AND WHEREAS urban chicken-keeping can contribute to our City’s improved food security, decrease greenhouse gas emissions related to the transportation of food, and the goal of creating a just and sustainable food system for our City;
BE IT RESOLVED
A. THAT Council instruct the Director of Legal Services to bring forward for
enactment an amendment to the Animal Control By-law in order to repeal the
prohibition against keeping of backyard hens in the City of Vancouver.
B. THAT Council direct staff to develop policy guidelines for the keeping of
backyard hens in the City of Vancouver that both protects the health and
welfare of citizens, and ensures the humane treatment of backyard hens.
C. THAT Council thanks the City’s Food Policy Council for their significant
investigations into the feasibility of repealing the prohibition on the keeping of
backyard hens and advocacy for improved food security in the City of