Brace yourself: I have an idea.
With the apocalypse around the corner, I think yard owners should be allowed to raise chickens in Weston and Mount Dennis. The city already allows chickens in several other wards, but not here. I think we should change that.
There are many reasons to raise chickens. First, they’re hilariously cute. My mum had some for many years, and they were adorable.
In part they were hilarious because she didn’t raise any old tin-shed chickens; she raised heritage poultry. You can’t buy those eggs from a grocer, either because the egg cartel controls the market. Raising chickens could help maintain the market for endangered breeds.
Urban chickens produce eggs and fertilizer—and though I’m not going to tell you that you’ll save money, they are uniquely well suited to our neighbourhood because our large trees shade other food crops. We’re also quite safe from the scourge of my mum’s roost: foxes (though we do have the occasional coyote).
Of course, there’s a hurdle: we’re not one of the wards in which chickens are permitted. In the past, Frances Nunziata has been a vocal opponent, saying:
“If you want to have chickens, then buy a farm, go to a farm. You can’t have chickens in your backyard. Do we have to retrain our police officers to catch the chicken thieves that you’re going to have in the middle of the night? … We have enough to worry about.”
The city allows chickens in neighbouring wards, though, and they have extensive bylaws to ensure the birds aren’t disruptive to neighbours or inhumanely kept.