Thunder Bay City Council – September 23 2013

Roots to Harvest - a mini farmer's market right on the steps of city hall. Very European!
Roots to Harvest - a mini farmer's market right on the steps of city hall. Very European!

City Hall delegation returns from AMO
City Hall

THUNDER BAY – Local – Telecommunications towers were the topic at City Council tonight. Council was looking at the locations of new towers, with Councillor Ruberto in the chair, the meeting seemed to sail along smoothly. All the the locations for the towers were approved. 

The towers approved will be at 1450 Rosslyn Road, 4305 Garden Avenue and 440 Balmoral Street

The next item on the Agenda was Food Strategy. The agenda had moved along so quickly that the new food strategy co-ordinator wasn’t in the room yet. 

Mark Smith introduced the program and Council was told that Development Services, Parks, the District Health Unit and other groups and organizations are involved in the development of the plan to have more locally grown healthy food.

Access to healthy food is not always there, Councillors were told. One of the goals is having more places in the city for growing food. Another area raised was ‘Back yard Chicken Co-ops’, and other ideas were presented.

Council was presented the Food Strategy Report

Councillor Foulds congratulated the committee and Councillor Johnson who has chaired the effort. “There are people in the community who don’t have food, healthy food,” commented Foulds. “Please comment on some of the concrete steps the committee is taking”.

Council was told, “Through volunteer groups, recommendations will be made. The Northwest Community Health Clinic, the Nishnawbe-Aski Nations Food Council, and agricultural groups will be consulted”.

“Food access is about changing the city, to allow more access and more space for growing food”.

Council was told that social agencies will also help.

Urban agriculture will be encouraged, including edible landscaping and backyard chickens.

The  goal appears to be taking measures to ensure that people can grow gardens.

“What I am really interested in,” stated Foulds, “Is sound strategies for systemic issues, including poverty”.

“I like the thought you are teaching food literacy, and if you put a sharper point on the effort”.

Council was told, that is one of the most difficult challenges. “Healthy corner stores are one of the ways to do this, every neighbourhood has the opportunity for a healthy corner store”. Council was informed there are pilot projects in some communities that are already doing this, but not told which communities where it is being done.

Poking some fun at Councillor Ruberto, Westfort Councillor Virdiramo wanted to know if a proposed pet limit would impact backyard chickens, and if by-law had been consulted over what to do if the rooster crows at 3AM.

Councillor Pugh commented that the committee has been working hard, and wants to have something for the poverty discussion.

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