The Abbotsford Berry Festival
and Propane Cannon Protest!
On Saturday afternoon, July 06, we held our second protest of the season, at the Abbotsford Berry Festival. What an appropriate place to protest the irresponsible use of propane cannons by Fraser Valley Blueberry growers.
Our Ban the Cannons group met at the Minister of Agriculture's office on McCallum Road and established our plan for the day. Unfortunately John was not there to greet us, but we wish to thank him for the use of the parking facilities.
From John's office, we proceeded down McCallum to the corner of South Fraser Way and received many supporting honks and well wishes along the way. Most people we spoke to were very sympathetic to our cause. People shake their heads at the thought of cannons in an adjacent field going off at 6:30 AM . They usually ask, "How can this be allowed to happen?"
We spent some time at the entrance to the Berry Festival on South Fraser Way, talking to people and prominently displaying our placards, and then the group wound its way through the festival grounds. The entertainers got a big kick out of us, and we got free doughnuts from an Agassiz couple who also share the pain of pro"pain" cannons. We certainly added a little excitement to the event. Roger even spoke to two members of Abbotsford's finest and left them smiling and reading one of our handouts. Hopefully these two gentlemen will be helping bylaw officers ticket propane cannon users who do not follow the new guidelines this season.
We remained at the festival for about three hours, and then retraced our steps back to John van Dongen's parking lot where we made plans for our next action. We just might be back to visit John some time soon, as it seems, despite what was promised, that the municipalities are ill prepared for handling the cannon issue this season.
One group who was conspicuously absent at the festival this year was the BC Blueberry Council. We so much wanted to debate the propane cannon issue with them, and what better place than at the berry festival. One of our members wondered if they were ashamed to show their faces at this event?
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