To the Editor,
Re: Alberni birds and bees bylaw, Jan. 26.
I am very happy to hear that Port Alberni City Council is considering changing the local bylaw to allow people to keep chickens and bees within city limits.
Before moving here, I was involved with the Nanaimo Poultry Collective (NPC) that successfully lobbied for a Nanaimo bylaw to allow up to four chickens (no roosters) in backyards.
Nanaimo City Council voted to allow urban poultry for one year to see if any issues arose. The trial period didn’t ruffle many feathers, so Nanaimo recently amended the bylaw to increase the number of birds that urban homesteaders can keep on their property.
The NPC hosted a public awareness campaign as well as workshops on how to raise healthy chickens. Workshops like this are necessary to ensure that hens are properly cared for.
Locally, the Alberni Valley Transition Towns Society aims to educate the public on raising chickens. Students of Alberni District Secondary School’s building maintenance program will construct chicken coops to sell to the community.
Raising chickens is a fun way of providing affordable fresh eggs for your family. I raised laying hens to sell to people all over Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. I can attest that this is one way of addressing food insecurity in our community and improving food security on Vancouver Island.