In response to the wishes of the public and the media. I want to update everyone on this subject. -including where I stand.
This is David Haywood, Merritton Ward Candidate,
I will be honest, when I first encountered this issue during my campaigning I did not know a lot about the subject. However, I knew that it was an important issue so I posted it on http://www.merritton.com/.
On the site, I asked both sides for their opinions; asked them to post any peer-reviewed literature to add strength to their position; and to clarify any misconceptions they felt there was on the issue. The response has been great and to make a long story short -the pro-side had a solidly researched, scientific-based, ecologically friendly points on the issue.
Therefore, I agree the city should LOOK into allowing people to engage in urban farming. A good start to this would be to work with other councillors to see if allowing people to raise chickens (which are already legal in the city) in coops that are located in their backyards (4 to 6 as required for their winter survival) is something that we should allow. This includes any regulations, enforcement, or yard-size requirements that need to be formulated for back yard urban farming.
As for other animals, I would need to work with other members of council -plus residents of the city, to see if they have the same benefits as animals like the chicken (or hen BUT not roosters). Having these animals can reduce our local carbon foot-print (less trucks transporting the goods we now raise, result in less waste to the landfill -chickens and other farm animal eat most of our food scraps); and lastly, provide local residents with cheap food while at the same time freeing up their scarce disposable income. Income that can be spent locally and create an added economic benefit for the local economy.
Even though I did not know the issue, I set out to try and personally know it. I worked with local residents and engaged them on the issue. The funny thing is, I was updating the information on http://www.merritton.com/ about the issue. A resident even invited me to her house to see their hens, an offer I excepted. I hope I answered the question properly. If not, email me at email@example.com or call me at (905)3240123. I want to also thank the residents of the city for their information. That includes people from both sides of the debate.
Merritton Ward Candidate.