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The primary goal of our group, Ban the Cannons, is to strive for a total ban of propane cannons and all other noise polluting bird scare devices in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia.
(Here is Roger, preparing for the next      
blast from a neighbor's propane cannon!)  
Our Fearless Leader At the request of a committee set up by Mayor Ferguson of the City of Abbotsford to review the propane cannon issue, our group documented this goal and suggested a phased-in approach for its implementation. A position paper detailing this goal was presented to the Mayor's committee in October, 2001.

In November of 2001 the group met with the Minister of Agriculure, Mr. John Van Dongen. He also asked us to document our objectives and present them to him prior to a propane cannon review that he would be undertaking early in the New Year of 2002. We further refined our position paper and presented it to Mr. Van Dongen in December, 2001.
The following is that document.
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Ban the Cannons

Position Paper


Citizens have the legal right to peace, quiet and the enjoyment of their property. In recognition of this fact, we demand that changes be made to the Farm Practices Protection Act. Below are listed the changes we seek and a calendar for their implementation:

  1. All noise-making devices currently used to protect crops be banned for use in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley by Jan.01, 2003
  2. Interim measures to be implemented for the 2002 growing season:
    • No noise-making devices will be allowed on new farming operations nor additional noise-making devices on existing farms
    • All existing noise-making devices will be registered ($100 per device).
    • A registry list will be made available to advisory committees, bylaw officers, and police.
    • Each farm, using noise-making devices, will provide the name and phone number of an individual (contact person) who will be responsible for controlling those devices 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
    • Farms will post, at the farm gate, a list of all noise-making devices in use along with registration numbers and the name and phone number of the contact person.
    • All noise devices be limited to a sound level of 50 DB at the farm property line
    • The use of noise devices on any day is limited to these hours: 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. in the morning and 3:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the afternoon/evening.
    • Any noise-making devices will have a discharge/sound emission frequency no more than once every nine minutes.
    • Multiple shot cannons must be reset to fire only single shots.
    • Noise scare devices will be directed away from residences and not be allowed to rotate.
    • The number of noise scare devices is limited to one per 5 hectares of planted crop.
    • No noise devices are to be used if the planted area is less than 5 hectares

  3. Municipal Bylaw Officers must be given the authorization to enforce these new regulations. The fines for violating noise bylaw regulations should be meaningful:
    • $100 for a first offence
    • $250 for a second offence
    • $100 per hour fine, for any device firing outside mandated hours of operation, if that device is not silenced within one hour of a complaint.
    • Unpaid fines will be attached to annual property taxes.

Furthermore, we strongly advise the MAFF to assist farmers with grants, tax write-offs, or low interest loans if they net their fields. This recommendation was made in the May 1999 Farm Practices Board Report but the Ministry, to date, has not been forthcoming with any financial assistance to blueberry farmers.

Members of the BTC should be included on any advisory committee set up by the Minister to study the impact of propane cannons or other noise-making devices, or to set guidelines and/or regulations for their use.
These are boom times in the Fraser Valley!

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