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Cannons: Berry bad noise

Dear Editor,

Aahh, the sweet sounds of summer. Birds singing, bees buzzing, warm breezes through the trees, and the ear-splitting explosions of blueberry cannons.

What a blight the Ministry of Agriculture and the Farm Practices Board has allowed throughout the Fraser Valley and other areas of BC!

Many blueberry farmers (and other fruit farmers) are ignoring the ministry's new operating guidelines of 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

My neighbour's cannon started blasting away at six in the morning, with intervals of only four minutes. I called the BC Blueberry Council, and within two days they had someone out to the farm to deal with it.

In all fairness to my neighbour, he does not have the cannon going all day, and the intervals between blasts later in the day are certainly more than the five minutes recommended by the ministry.

The best solution, of course, is to use nets. The farmers protect 100 per cent of their crop, and the neighbours are happy.

I give a huge bouquet of thanks to all those farmers who are considerate of their neighbours and go to the extra trouble of using nets.

I must also applaud the Blueberry Council for taking fast action on complaints. They have only one person to cover the whole Lower Mainland from Richmond to Chilliwack.

Minister of Agriculture John van Dongen says it's up to each municipality to do its own monitoring of complaints and enforcement of the rules. It's extremely unfortunate that MAFF has provided no means of enforcement of its guidelines, in the way of penalties and/or fines.

The non-stop noise for weeks on end is an outrage. Please help make this madness stop.

If the cannons are driving you nuts and ruining your enjoyment of summer, phone and/or email: - BC Blueberry Council, 864-2117,;

- John van Dongen, 870-5945,;

Farm Practices Board, (250) 356-8946,; and

Ban The Cannons,

Mount Lehman

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