Monday night Council Chambers was packed as the issue of Urban Chickens was again on the table.
Before the debate even began, former City Councillor Caroline Postma appeared before Council requesting a deferral for 6 months to have the matter referred to the Pathway to Potential roundtable. This request was defeated by Council.
Several residences then spoke before Council including Philippa Von Ziegenweidt, who told council that the Great Chicken Debate won’t end tonight, but your vote will set the tone for what happens next.
Melanie Coulter Director of The Humane Society spoke before Council and requested a spot on the committee to ensure that the animal welfare side of the issue is looked at.
Much of the debate and presentations centered on the merits of urban chickens, but Mayor Francis pointed out several times that the decision being made was whether to form a committee to study the issue.
The motion put on the floor was to note and file the report.
Councilor Hatfield speaking against to note and file said we have the change to do it right. Councilor Halberstadt volunteered to chair the committee.
Councilor Gignac in favor of the note and file said it’s not a priority for the community. Councilor Valentinis stated that no city past London has endoursed Urban Chickens. He said stray cats are a more important issue in the city right now. Councilor Dilkens felt that it was not the right way to use city resources, and said you can have eggs grown right in Essex County delivered right to your door.
In the end the vote was tired 5-5 and Mayor Eddie Francis voted in favor of the motion to note and file, saying it was about resources.
The note and file means there will be no committee formed to study the issue.