Changes made to Animal Control Bylaw

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Airdrie city council was asked to amend the one-year-old Animal Control Bylaw at its regular meeting Sept. 18.

Staff asked for three changes: a reduction in the time an animal with no owner identification would be held before being put up for adoption from 10 to three days, the removal of a reference to the city manager in the section dealing with prohibited animals and a change to the wording which would allow peace officers to seize animals running at large.

“The impound for animals where the name or address of the owner is known would still stay at 10 days,” said Lynn Mackenzie, team leader of Municipal Enforcement (ME). “This year we had 19 dogs that were impounded and 17 of those were returned (to their owners). So, the majority of those were returned before the end of those 10 days. Cats – we had nine and five of those were returned.”

Mackenzie said staff wished to align the length of time animals with no owner identification were impounded with the City of Calgary’s bylaw.

The removal of the reference to the city manager in the section dealing with prohibited animals was requested by ME to deal with requests within city limits. Mackenzie said once the city’s Urban Agriculture Program is launched, staff will have further guidelines for dealing with these kinds of requests. According to Mackenzie, the bylaw does not prohibit residents of the annexed areas from owning animals such as horses and cows.

Adding the word ‘seize’ to the section outlining the authority peace officers have when dealing with animals running at large was requested in order to make those authorities clearer, according to Mackenzie.

Council unanimously passed the amendments to the bylaw.

Airdrie resident Kevin Hughes spoke to council during the public question period and asked it to respond to a number of offensive posts he said Coun. Allan Hunter made on social media. Hughes provided copies of these posts to all of council.

Hughes asked council to add a clause to the proposed Code of Conduct specifically for social media. He also asked council to make an on-the-record statement regarding the copies of the posts he provided.

Hunter is the focus of controversy surrounding his posting of offensive material to social media.

Mayor Peter Brown said he would not be able to respond until he had a chance to review the material Hughes provided. No other members of council responded.

Council was provided with information regarding the final design and location of a mural being produced to mark Canada 150.

The Canada 150 Mosaic Project is a nation-wide project, which is being led by the Creative Airdrie Society (CAS) locally. Members of the public have been invited to paint one of 400 four-inch tiles. Local artists have also been invited to take part.

The completed eight foot by eight foot mural will be installed on the east side of the new concession at Nose Creek Park. An unveiling is planned for Oct. 1 at 1 p.m.

Council unanimously accepted the report on the Canada 150 Mosaic Project.

Linda Strong-Watson of the Alberta TrailNet Society gave a presentation regarding the TransCanada Trail and its intended route through Airdrie.

According to Strong-Watson, the TransCanada Trail, along with the National Hiking Trail and Trans Canadian Snowmobile Trail, is known as the Great Trail and winds 24,000 kilometres (kms) from one coast of Canada to the other. In Alberta, the trail covers approximately 3,000 kms.

City of Airdrie staff has been working with Alberta TrailNet to determine the route the Great Trail should take through the city.

According to Jessica Mills, parks development co-ordinator, existing pathways within Airdrie can be tied into the trail to the east towards Irricana and to the south to Calgary. Signage will be installed to clearly mark the pathways as being part of the Great Trail.

Council unanimously approved accepting the route proposed by staff so installation of the signage can go ahead.

Council was asked to approve a number of requests for proclamations and letters of support, including a request from the Cerebral Palsy Association to proclaim Oct. 6 World Cerebral Palsy Day in Airdrie.

This request was unanimously approved, as was a request from CAS to proclaim Sept. 9 through Oct. 1 as ARTember in Airdrie and to light up City Hall in purple Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 to mark Alberta Culture Days.

Letters of support for the Airdrie BMX Society and Volunteer Airdrie were also unanimously approved by council. Airdrie BMX requested a letter of support for its application for a Heinz Project Play grant, which would be used to do some upgrades to the BMX track.

Volunteer Airdrie has applied for a $25,000 Alberta Canada 150 Community Initiatives Program Grant to fund its Canada 150 Legacy Contest.

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