Please Read This Page!!
Back on September 16, 2002, the issue of propane cannons was discussed by Abbotsford Council and presentations were made by three residents who have to endure propane cannon noise. A lengthy round table discussion followed, and the following motion was passed:
"City staff will work with a citizens group, the Ministry of Agriculture (MAFF), and the blueberry industry to develop a strategy to ultimately eliminate the use of propane cannons!"
More details about this decision can be found on our Abbotsford Council Page.
Since that date, what if anything have any of you done, councillors, to follow up on this mandate? Have you initiated any meetings to discuss the problem further? Have you made any public statements voicing your opposition to propane cannon noise levels? Have you done anything positive to help Abbotsford residents who are putting up with this unnecessary and unhealthy noise pollution?
Councillors, what have you done?
If you are sitting on the fence doing nothing about this issue, or if you are hoping for some compromise with the Ministry of Agriculture or the blueberry growers, all you are really doing is perpetuating the problem by allowing the practice of propane cannon use to continue.
Do you know that there are only about 125 blueberry growers in Abbotsford and way less than half of them use propane cannons. However the noise from a single cannon can be heard at least a mile away, and if you are so unlucky as to live next door to propane cannons, your windows literaly shake. This is not right and you people must address this problem and do something about it.
Please Abbotsford Council, do something for your residents!
April 14, 2003
It's been a long time since our last update and unfortunately there is still no good news to report. We have met with the Mayor, the City Manager, and several councillors, and everyone we spoke to was sympathetic to our cause, but we still wait.
Only two Abbotsford councillors have refused to see us, and we will give them one more chance before adding their names to our long list of "Noise Pollution Advocates".
The latest news is that City staff are working with their solicitors and representatives of the Provincial Government to see if something cannot be done about the noise pollution issue. All theAbbotsford councillors we spoke to agree that propane cannons have to go, and in the long run they will be gone. We just would like to shorten the timefame and ban agricultural noisemakers sooner rather than later.
February 24, 2003
It's has been a month since our last update and Abbotsford Council has still done little to address their motion to ban propane cannons. The latest is that the Mayor is now saying that propane cannons are the Ministry of Agriculture's issue, and she has asked them to organize the meetings that the previous council were going to champion.
Our group has followed up with the Ministry and pressed the issue. The Ministry are saying that a meeting will be set up in early March to begin to discuss the Abbotsford motion. We aren't holding our breath!
Our group is currently split on this issue, and some feel that we have to be patient and let the pace of government move in it's usual slow and ponderous manner. Others in the group have seen this all too often, and think that it is time for a more aggressive plan of action, as was taken against the abusive Okanagan Winery.
January 24, 2003
It's late January now, and after a volley of e-mails from two of our group's more dedicated letter writers we have gained an understanding of how Abbotsford plans to address the motion of banning propane cannons. The message unfortunately is mixed. Some members feel that the latest responses "Mark" the beginning of a rapid retreat on the part of Mayor Mary and our once stead"Fast" anti noise council. They feel "Strong"ly that the initiative to ban propane cannons is simply "Lynn"gering and going nowhere! Others in the group however, are more confident that council are "Simon" pure in their intentions and progress is being made. The "Moe"tion to ban cannons is moving ahead, but at the usual slow pace of municipal politics.
The next phase in the Abbotsford ban initiative is to be a kick-off meeting arranged by the Minister of Agriculture sometime in February. All the Minister's usual noise experts will be there as well as a group representing the noise polluters, and our group of hard of hearing residents. None of our city's councilors who were a part of the initial mandate to ban propane cannons will be participating.
This "Beck"ons these questions, "Why aren't any of our councilors taking part in these meetings and does no one on our "Ross"ter of councilors care about getting involved in this pollution issue?"
Come on council, help us out here! Abbotsford is becoming known as the air pollution capital of British Columbia. By "George", do you want us to become known as the noise pollution capital as well?
November 25, 2002
It is almost December now, and Abbotsford has elected a new mayor and changed several councillors, but still nothing has happened concerning the motion to ban propane cannons. Will the new council (photo above) follow through with the mandate agreed to by their predecessors? The latest news is that the issue will be reviewed by the new council during the month of December.
One of our members from Surrey has been down this road many times before with that municipalities council. He suggested that the lobby groups have won the day, and the motion will die a quiet death. But your web master is much more optimistic than that. Nothing about propane cannons is ever quiet, and our group certainly won't stand by quietly and let this issue slide to the back burner.
November 14, 2002
Early November has come and gone now, and a decision has been made to schedule the first propane cannon meeting after the municipal elections have been held. A date has not yet been set to start the process of banning cannons, but we anticipate that a late November or early December date will be chosen.
Several of our members have been getting quite anxious about the delay, and we even had an e-mail from the Okanagan asking about this. All we can suggest to our supporters is to be patient.
October 21, 2002
The first meeting of the initiative to ban propane cannons is now being set up for early November by Abbotsford staff. This is a busy time for all municipal employees as local elections will also be taking place in November, so our group would like to thank Abbotsford staff for all their efforts.
The same group of people mentioned below will be attending, and once the date is firmed up we will update this page and let everyone know.
October 9, 2002
As our group predicted, the first meeting of Abbotsford Council's initiative to ban propane cannons has been cancelled. The Minister of Agriculture, John van Dongen refused to attend, and Abbotsford staff was unable to organize the meeting with the groups concerned. This was no surprise to us as we have been down this road before with these people. Fortunately Abbotsford are pushing ahead with their initiative. And in reality, the above mentioned aren't required at the table anyway!
Do people consult with cigarette smokers before banning smoking in their premises? NO!! Do health conscious officials consult with chemical polluters before establishing regulations and fines for pollution violators. I don't think so!
There is an opportunity here for the industry to have some say in how events are going to unfold. But I guess they are still hoping that we are just going to go away.
October 1, 2002
Following this motion, Abbotsford staff have been very busy and Toireasa Strong has organized a first meeting of the Propane Cannon Committee and it is tentatively scheduled for Friday, October 11, 2002. Mayor Ferguson will attend the initial session and will invite the Minister of Agriculture, the Hon. John van Dongen. Hopefully John will find the time to attend.
The BC Blueberry Council are invited and likely will be represented by Geraldine Austin and possibly other members of the blueberry industry.
Abbotsford Councillor Moe Gill will attend.
Dean Dandurand of the University College of the Fraser Valley will be invited.
And our group, Ban the Cannons, will be well represented.
As the motion states, the purpose of this meeting is to come up with a strategy to eliminate the use of propane cannons in the municipality of Abbotsford. It will be interesting to see which of the above mentioned attendees support this objective and will work towards its success.
So stay tuned folks, these sessions will be most entertaining and if you aren't lucky enough to be a fly on the wall, then you had better bookmark this page, because you will get to read all about it here first on the Ban the Cannons web site!
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