Corey Gardi launches pro-bird (anti-cat?) initiative

Bird-friendly certification criteria strongly favors cities that use education, policy and enforcement to control and reduce stray cat populations

Ward 5 County. Corey Gardi will ask City Council on Monday to consider getting Bird Friendly City recognition from Nature Canada.

A resolution moved by Gardi and seconded by his friend Matthew Scott points out that bird populations have dropped more than 25% in the past half-century, and Sault Ste. Marie is home to many species of birds, including migratory birds.

The Gardi/Scott resolution fails to mention that, according to Nature Canada, stray cats kill between 100 and 350 million birds each year, which accounts for up to 75% of bird deaths in the country.

Nature Canada’s criteria for bird-friendly environmental certification strongly favors cities that use education, policy and enforcement to control and reduce stray cat populations.

“Cities can become a safer place for birds and cats,” the organization says.

Other suggested measures include treating and retrofitting buildings with large glass windows to be more visible to birds, and regulations reducing or eliminating pesticides known to harm birds, either directly or indirectly.

Monday’s city council meeting will be streamed live on SooToday from 4:30 p.m.

Here is the full text of the Gardi/Scott resolution:

Nature Canada: Bird Friendly Cities Certification Program

Proposer Advisor C. Gardi
Supporter Advisor M. Scott

Whereas North American bird populations are declining at an alarming rate, having fallen more than 25% in the past 50 years; and

Whereas Nature Canada has developed a certification standard to certify eligible cities as a “Bird Friendly City” to recognize and celebrate the contributions they have made to saving bird life in their municipalities; and

Whereas the purpose of certification is to provide communities with a clear standard that reflects what a city must do to make it safe for birds; and

Whereas the City of Sault Ste. Marie and its surroundings are home to many species of birds, including several species of migratory birds; and

Whereas there are many individuals and groups who already admire and watch birds, in addition to being engaged in efforts to protect birds;

Be it therefore now resolved that staff be invited to explore the Bird Friendly City Certification program to learn more about the criteria involved in joining the program and report to council on working with community partners to achieve a Bird Friendly City designation by Nature Canada.