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Booming Agriculture
Has Got To Stop!

Dear Mayor and Councillors,
I understand that you will again be discussing the issue of propane cannons at Monday's session of council, on September 16th. I am concerned about the outcome of this session because I understand that an Abbotsford staff member has suggested that modifying existing bylaws to meet the new guidelines proposed by the Ministry of Agriculture is simply a case of downloading by the Provincial Government and should not take place without funding assistance. Also this staff member has suggested that noise control bylaws for propane cannons should be deleted from the current bylaws altogether.

As a citizen of Abbotsford who has to listen to more than one cannon blast per minute from a farm that deploys five cannons on a field very near to my home, all I can say is please help us out with this cannon problem.

If you delete propane cannons from existing bylaws you will be giving cannon users the green light to ignore any and all guidelines. I can hear cannon users now, "Abbotsford Council has dropped cannon bylaws so now we can do whatever we want with our noise makers"! Please don't let this happen.

Also, have any of you people looked at the new guidelines and compared them to what is currently on the books? As a victim of propane cannons I have looked at the new guidelines in detail and read the entire 65 page document issued by the Ministry of Agriculture. There are hardly any changes or improvements to existing bylaws.

The new regulations issued by the Ministry of Agriculture offer so little to people impacted by cannons, that I strongly suggest that you do not accept them. Don't waste the taxpayers money changing existing bylaws.

I hate to say this but doing nothing on your part may just be the best alternative in my opinion, ie. leaving existing bylaws in place, and not adopting the new Ministry guidelines.

One thing the Minister of Agriculture has said, and I quote, "I have encouraged the local governments in the Lower Mainland to establish farm bylaws regarding the use of audible bird scare devices. By establishing standards for farm bylaws, we have empowered local governments to regulate this issue and impose fines as necessary".

What I would really like to see you people do is take the Minister at his word above, and establish propane cannon regulations specifically for Abbotsford. Propane cannons are one of the most extreme cases of noise pollution that exist today. Municipalities are starting to address noise problems like boom cars, leaf blowers, and industrial noise. Abbotsford is somewhat unique with propane cannons, and something has to be done about these devices soon before our city becomes firmly established as the noise pollution capitol of British Columbia. As the mayor said at the Propane Cannon review sessions he held last winter, cannons should be banned and five years is an appropriate time frame for doing this.

I would like you people to give some thought to what is happening in cannon season to all of our small communities, such as Clayburn, Matsqui, Mt. Lehman, my area of Bradner, and ask if this is right. These little communities are becoming undesirable places to live, and it is places like these that are Abbotsford's history. I ask you, what is your vision of Abbotsford? Is it a town center full of condo's and a "booming" agricultural region surrounding the city. We all would like to see agriculture thriving and successful, but "booming" agriculture is not what any of us wants to see or hear.

Thank you for taking the time to read my note,
D G, from Bradner

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