Editor, The News:
I feel that I have to respond to the letter from Dan Garrett in the July 8 edition of the Abbotsford News ('Are blueberry blues self-inflicted malady?' Opinion).
Dan says to buy ear plugs. Great idea Dan - wear ear plugs for 20 hours or more every day all summer. Right. I would hate to confuse you with facts Dan, seeing that your mind is made up, but our realtor would have to have been psychic to know that the blueberry cannons would start up about 15 years after we bought our farm.
The argument to move back to the city is pretty worn and thin. The countryside was peaceful when we moved here, with just the usual farm noises and smells, which no one can complain about. All of a sudden, some desk jockey in the Ministry of Agriculture decides that firing off propane cannons all day long all summer is normal farm practice. Now this decision is enshrined in the Right to Farm Act and overrides any municipal noise bylaws, if you can believe it. It even seems to overcome the Charter of Rights, where we are supposed to be guaranteed the right to peace and enjoyment of property.
The government that has entrenched this right for the blueberry farmer to make life miserable for neighbours is the same government that has extended the Right to Farm Act out into the ocean so that fish farmers may do whatever they like. The same minister who refuses to acknowledge that more than three Atlantic salmon have escaped from fish farms is adamant that nothing will be done to stop the use of propane cannons.
There is hope for us though, as our local blueberry farm is experimenting with a device called the silent sentinel, which moves flags across the field when there are birds around. With any luck, this will be successful and the blueberry council will recommend it to more farms.
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