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Ban Cannons
in Maple Ridge!

While I lived in Pitt Meadows, from 1982 to 1999, the only area covered by a noise bylaw was the town core area. The "farm area" had nothing. In the mid-1980s, the municipality received at one point, as I understand it, some 600-plus complains in regards to berry cannons.
I remember all too well being rudely awakened at 4:30 a.m. by motorcycles revving, cannons firing, car horns blasting and so on. This went on all day long and sometimes until 11 p.m. Finally, a neighbour and I went over and tried to talk to the farmer (he was renting the property) in order to get the level of noise reduced. His answer was very clear, "You don't like it, move." Is it any wonder so many people would like to take those berry guns and dump them in the river, along with that damn "tweeter" thing)? I wasn't until the late 1980s a noise bylaw was put in place for the lowlands. A lot of good it did. The cannons still fired off at high levels. I called the noise bylaw officer several times and complained. They did squat.
On one occasion, a councillor sat in his car and watched as the cannon was firing and, oh yes, the birds were using it as a perch. A lot of good those things do.
Nothing was done. It seems to only get worse.
In my opinion, unless the municipality is going to put some teeth into its bylaw and crack down on complaints with heavy fines, or the confiscation of the cannons, a "review" of the issue will be a waste of time and money, and, as I see it, nothing but paper shuffling. The only way to solve the problem is to completely ban all cannons and other such devices and force the farmers to use nets. I asked a farmer about nets and he replied: "$6,000 to put up and $6,000 to take down."
Maybe the municipality should start handing out fines of that amount, per issue of it.

T. W.
Maple Ridge

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