Council to seek citizens’ input on allowing bees/chickens in town

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

If you live in High Prairie, do you want your neighbour to keep bees and/or chickens?

It’s the simple question council will be asking its citizens in an online survey which is expected to be on the Town of High Prairie website soon.

Council decided to seek input from its citizens at its March 24 meeting.

Councillor Debbie Rose supported the survey, saying citizens need to be properly informed. To meet that goal, council will be posting information on the matter alongside the survey.

It is council’s intention to post the Mackenzie Municipal Services Agency report on the website. The report provided council with a detailed analysis on the matter. Council must first pass a bylaw to deal with the issue; currently, there is no bylaw.

Councillor Donna Deynaka was concerned only High Prairie residents should respond to the survey. Rose agreed saying anyone filling out the survey must disclose where they reside.

Council also discussed the possibility of a pilot project first.

Crystal Sturgeon, who recently moved to High Prairie, appeared before town council Jan. 28 armed with information on bees and bylaws passed “to reflect neighbouring communities in Grande Prairie and Edmonton”.

Sturgeon noted Alberta is Canada’s top honey producing province so it made little sense why there would be restrictions.

Council further discussed the matter at its March 10 meeting. Sturgeon again attended.

“The only issue I see is changing the bylaw,” she said. “Follow the Edmonton bylaw.”

Dan Cooper attended to support Sturgeon. He repeated a statement she made at a previous meeting that people keep bees on their deck in Vancouver with no issues.

“Why drag your feet on something that’s been proven?” he asked.

Councillor Michael Long agreed.

“We don’t need a pilot project. This has been tried, tested and true.

“I don’t see why we are prolonging this.”

Cooper agreed.

“Do we have to take a course to have a dog in town? We don’t require that.”

Councillor Arlen Quartly told the gallery he believes no one on council opposes bees.

“There’s a process we have to go through,” he said.

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