EDITORIAL: Another cannon misfire

When it comes to dealing with blueberry cannons, Abbotsford council is a dud...

When it comes to dealing with blue-berry cannons, Abbotsford council is a dud.

Yet again, this group cannot find a way to take action against these incredibly invasive devices.

That’s not to say they haven’t tried – with each time ending in an ineffective stalemate.

Council was on the right track last year with a bold bylaw that would have set out strident restrictions on the blasting devices. Ultimately, it was sent to the province, which predictably rejected it as too strict.

Instead, city staff had to come up with a watered-down version.

On Monday night, council couldn’t even get the cannon-lite version onto the books.

In the tie vote, arguments were put forth that it wasn’t tough enough; was too tough; and was better than nothing.

Those who took the latter position were bang on.

This bylaw is a popgun compared to the first attempt to bring an end to propane cannons, or at least significantly muzzle them, to the relief of frazzled and frustrated residents living next to the berry farms that use them.

Even though it may be a squib, it’s a start, especially when combined with pressure on the blueberry industry to curb cannon use and encourage alternatives.

The province isn’t going to help. It clearly favours the antiquated Right to Farm Act, which allows wide latitude in the use of bird scare devices, and little to no enforcement.

Langley Township has taken a step to challenge the status quo, implementing a bylaw that allows it to further regulate the number of shots, and levy fines for non-compliance, among other conditions.

Put your heads together, mayor and councillors, and figure out a way to pull this trigger in Abbotsford.