We need a total ban on cannons

Editor, The News:

Thank you so much for your recent story on the possible future ban of propane cannons (“Cannon ban on the table,” Nov. 24).

As someone who lives in close proximity to several cannon-using blueberry farms (and was quoted in your article), I am happy that The News is helping to bring this contentious issue to the general public.

It was the remarks  made by Paul Gill, chairman of the B. C. Blueberry Council, that has prompted me to write. 

In the article, Mr. Gill, referring to a total ban on cannons, says “I hope it doesn’t go that far.”

As a farmer who resides on a 180-acre blueberry farm, Mr. Gill alone has the potential to fire off 1,350 legal blasts a day, seven days a week. (Current regulations are such that a cannon can be placed every five acres and can, via triple shots, blast every five minutes from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.)

Mr. Gill is also quoted as saying that “our neighbours are our friends.”  

Well, Mr. Gill, living in the “heart of berry country” as we do – and I think that I speak for many, many of my neighbours –  I just have one thing to say to you and to all other blueberry farmers who use archaic farming practices like propane cannons when other more humane methods like netting are available: With friends like you, who needs enemies? 

Nothing short of a total ban will do.

Kerry Proudfoot


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