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A Propane Cannon Threat!

To: Geraldine Auston
BC Blueberry Council

CC: Rick Dulat
Grower Liaison

John van Dongen
Minister of Agriculture

Mike de Jong
MLA Mt. Lehman

Mayor Mary Reeves
City of Abbotsford

I have a serious complaint, we have in the field next to us a blueberry grow-op, owned and run buy Johal Farms. Last week an electronic bird scaring device was installed in the field to keep wildlife from damaging the crop. This device bothers both my wife and myself like chalk on a blackboard.

Two days ago my wife phoned me at work in the evening to say that we had been contacted by the blueberry liaison person and a neighbour whose' property also backs onto the same field. The outcome was that if we complained we would have propane or carbide cannons put into the field. I find his offensive.

Johal farms are blaming birds for they poor crop yields. When we first moved here nine years ago the field had raspberries and they weren't very successful so after four years they were replaced with cauliflowers, they lasted two years, now we are one the third year of blueberries.

In our nine years of living in this house we have seen the worst farming practices ever, to increase crop yields it has been a constant barrage of chemical sprays, both pesticide and fertilizer, if some is good then lots is better. So bad was the pesticide use that my wife and I now only eat organically grown fruit and vegetables, because we could see this food going out for sale to the regular public.

I think Johal farms are comparing their fields to others at 3714 Mt Lehman Rd. which were planted at the same time, but he takes care of his bushes I see him in the field when I go to work almost year round, but it can be longer than three months between workers in our fields. He attributes poor crops to birds, yet he does not look after his fence line, it is overgrown with bushes and blackberries, this provides perfect nesting sites for the same birds he wants rid of. When the field was prepped for the blueberries some tree were removed, not off the field, but pushed up into a corner. We now have a thriving rabbit population living in man made warrens which also eats well in the blueberry field.

I do admit that the noise devices are not used every day but on days they are I have been awakened by some one tossing 'cherry bombs' (large firecracker) to scare the birds. With the farm not having an owner on living on site, he/she could see that the noise device has little effect on the birds now, because in less than a week they have become used to it.

Thank you for taking time and consideration for this complaint.
I. S. of Mt. Lehman

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