Here's a brief footnote to last week's Council vote against approving a pilot project to keep backyard hens in Wards 1 and 2. Councillor Robert Pasuta (Flamborough) argued against allowing urban chickens during the discussion, warning that chickens are hard work to take care of and that children could watch videos on farming if they want to learn where food comes from.
However, when it came time to vote, Pasuta sided with the minority of Councillors - Ward 1 Councillor Brian McHattie, Ward 2 Councillor Jason Farr, Ward 4 Councillor Sam Merulla, Ward 9 Councillor Brad Clark and Ward 13 Councillor Russ Powers - who were willing to let the pilot project go ahead.
RTH contacted Pasuta to find out why he voted in support of the pilot after speaking against it. He responded:
Yes I did speak against urban chickens at Council. I voted to receive the report but voted against no further action being taken because I am supportive of the idea of a pilot project depending on what additional information comes forward. In other words, I'm not in favour of urban chickens, but I am trying to keep an open mind about it and am willing to consider further information.
There's a lesson for his Council colleagues who were less willing to keep an open mind and follow the evidence, even when they had reason to be skeptical. As Councillor Clark tried to argue, "My expectation ... would have been that reasonable and pragmatic minds would have prevailed" in the debate.
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