Alberta briefs – July 15

A group of Calgarians wants bylaws changed so people can keep chickens in their backyard.

Group wants to raise chickens

A group of Calgarians wants bylaws changed so people can keep chickens in their backyard.

Other cities allow it and the Calgary Food Policy Council says it’s time Calgary did too.

There have already been meetings with several other aldermen about the idea.

Paul Hughes with the Calgary Liberated Urban Chicken Klub says the birds provide eggs, eat pests and produce waste that puts nutrients into the soil.

Hughes says they are asking for a bylaw that would allow for four to six “very quiet” hens, no roosters, for family use.

Vancouver allows residents to keep hens.

Patients file human rights complaints

At least three dozen sex change patients have filed human rights complaints since the Health Department cut funding for operations that can cost up to $80,000.

Jordenne Prescott, a 31-year-old from Calgary who is waiting for male-to-female surgery, says she was told by the Alberta Human Rights Commission last week that her complaint will be heard.

A lawyer for the commission couldn’t confirm that, but said most of the complaints are still under review and not all of them will proceed.

Prescott says the Alberta government suggested when it cut the funding in April’s budget that sex change patients already in the system would get funding, but that hasn’t proven to be the case.

A similar cost-cutting measure by the Ontario government in 1998 resulted in a partial victory for sex change patients after they filed similar human rights complaints.

An Ontario human rights tribunal ruled in 2005 that the province should not have denied funding for those already enrolled at a sex change clinic.

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