Make your own free website on

A Mid-summer's Night-mare!

Abbotsford is a beautiful area in which to live, and I’m sure the Street of Dreams will no doubt prove this to the world. But while visitors flock to Eagle Mountain to dream, there is an all-too-real nightmare taking place in the Valley below. Propane cannons used by blueberry farmers to scare birds have turned many once peaceful areas of the Valley into virtual war zones. These pre-programmed machines explode ad nauseam all summer long driving shell-shocked neighbours, more than the intended starlings, to distraction. For over twenty years, my husband and I took great pride in our small acreage boasting to our city friends about how great it was to live in Abbotsford. Then, five years ago, dairy farms became blueberry fields and our ordeal began.
We no longer entertain in the summer. We are just too tired of answering the inevitable questions….. “What’s that noise!”…….. “How can you stand listening to that all day?” …… “Why don’t you do something about that?
These are questions we ask, too. How can the citizens of the city of Abbotsford be protected by noise bylaws against barking dogs or loud stereos while only a mile away we second class citizens who live just outside the city limits have no recourse whatsoever when “neighbours” start blasting off ear-splitting explosions every few minutes from dawn to dusk?
The use of these cannons is nothing short of barbaric. It is a crude method one would expect from primitive man. Although there are environmentally friendly methods available, propane cannons are still used simply because they are cheap and easy to use. But in this 21st century we no longer do things the cheapest and easiest way if it pollutes our environment. And these propane cannons are a blatant form of noise pollution as well as a blatant violation of neighbouring farmers’ right to peace and quiet. It is a disgrace that the powers that be (John van Dongen, Minister of Agriculture and Bert van Dalfson, MAFF) condone this outrageous practice. There have been hundreds of complaints regarding the use and misuse of these cannons. But the farm lobby is very strong and these politicians and bureaucrats are complacently protecting the status quo.
Until or unless the victims of the archaic farm practice get together and make as much noise as these obnoxious cannons, this insanity will only get worse.
So, fair warning to you Street of Dreamers who would be tempted to move to our “peaceful” valley. Beware blueberry cannons, they can turn your country dream into a nightmare.
To learn more about this problem or to help Ban the Cannons,
or check the Website:
BL, Abbotsford.

Back to the Letters Page