Ward 21, supported by our Councillor, Joe Mihevc, was chosen as one of four wards in the city to participate in The UrbanHensTO pilot program. This program, which runs from March 2, 2018 to March 2, 2021, allows residents to have up to 4 hens, but no roosters, in their backyards. Residents must register the hens with the city and comply with regular inspections. City Council approved this initiative against the recommendations of their own staff who were concerned about health issues.

The following email was sent today by the CLRA to Councillor Joe Mihevc.

The CLRA is not in favour of this program. There is no reason for our neighbourhood to be taking on the risks and noise and dangers of the backyard urban program.

I would ask you to immediately stop your support of it.  As you know City staff was also against it and recommended against the program. Your pilot program is indefensible – and to say it is “only” for 3 years is ridiculous – that is an extreme amount of time and much damage can occur then, including the passing of disease to humans. It is not safe and adds no value to us – only noise and filth. Chickens are not pets and food sources in the city. There can never be proper monitoring and enforcement of regulations by the limited resources at the City, and there is no reason to believe that people will or can adhere to any regulations, which are completely insufficient to begin with.

If you insist on this it can be done in a more restricted setting like the Riverdale Zoo or at the Barns.

Please stop this program and get rid of all backyard chickens immediately. There are stronger reasons against them than for them. Stop wasting any more taxpayer money or time on it. Stop all the disease and noise and filth that will come from these chickens!