This week the municipal council of the District of North Vancouver voted to prohibit the keeping of pigeons in the District. Or, more specifically, they voted to prohibit the keeping of pigeons by one resident.
Even that wouldn’t have particularly bothered me, except that the homeowner in question, Kulwant Dulay, happens to live next to the sole person complaining to the District about his pigeons – District council member Betty Forbes.
CBC reports that Dulay says he’s lived in the District of North Vancouver for 25 years and, for most of them, he’s kept homing pigeons on his property in a coop in the backyard, without ruffling any feathers. Only when he moved in next to Forbes three years ago did this become a problem.
The biggest concern with this story has to be the way that the District and Forbes very explicitly didn’t name her as the complainant, or discuss why a new bylaw was needed to deal with her complaint. It seems that only when CBC filed an FOI request did the truth emerge. There’s now a suggestion that Forbes was in clear conflict of interest.
Perhaps ironically, the previous council actually brought in rules that allow people to keep chickens in their back yards.
Postscript: Justin McElroy has a great Twitter thread recounting this saga. Including this gem in the comments: