Initial Position Paper
Ban the Cannons
Citizens have the legal right to peace, quiet and the enjoyment of their property. In recognition of this fact, we demand that changes be made to the Farm Practices Act Right to Farm Legislation. Below are listed the changes we seek and a calendar for their implementation:
- All noise-making devices currently used to protect crops be banned for use in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley by Jan.01, 2003
- Interim measures to be implemented for the 2002 growing season:
- No cannons will be allowed on new farming operations nor additional cannons on existing farms
- All noise devices be limited to a sound level of 50 DB at the farm property line
- The use of noise devices on any day is limited to between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.
- The use of noise devices on any day will provide a four hour shut-off period during the afternoon
- The number of discharges from any noise scare device is limited to a maximum of one discharge in any nine minute period
- Multiple shot cannons must be reset to fire only single shots
- Noise scare devices will be directed away from residences and not be allowed to rotate
- The number of noise scare devices is limited to one per 5 hectares of planted crop.
- No noise devices are to be used if the planted area is less than 5 hectares
- Municipal Bylaw Officers must be given the tools to enforce these new regulations. The fines for violating noise bylaw regulations should be meaningful:
- $250 for a first offence
- $500 for a second offence
- $100 per hour fine, for any device firing outside mandated hours of operation, if that device is not silenced within one hour of a complaint
- confiscation of noise device(s) for a third offence
- confiscation of noise -device(s) for fines not paid within 14 days ( devices returned upon payment
Furthermore, we strongly advise the Ministry of Agriculture to assist farmers with grants, tax write-offs, or low interest loans if they net their fields. This recommendation was made in the May 1999 Farm Practices Board Report but the Ministry, to date, has not been forthcoming with any financial assistance to blueberry farmers.
In addition, we require the findings of this committee to be reported directly to the Minister of Agriculture, Foods and Fisheries on behalf of the City of Abbotsford.
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