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Steps to take in dealing with cannon noise in Langley Township
Editor: Well, it’s that time of year again — warm weather, clear skies and the explosions from propane cannons amongst the blueberry fields of rural Langley. Every year the residents of this normally peaceful region along with our neighbours throughout the Fraser Valley, Surrey and Delta are victimized by the ear-splitting blasts from these archaic devices.
Some have described it as a war zone, livestock bolt and riders’ risk being thrown from their horses. It is all supposedly to protect that precious crop, the B.C. blueberry. This year, the Township should begin its enforcement, including issuance of fines of a bylaw passed in 2013 to regulate the use of cannons and other noise making devices.
Bylaw 5005 calls for operating permits, signage, notification to nearby horse farms and specified hours of use. Like many other bylaws in the Township, this is a “complaint-driven” bylaw. In other words, only those who submit signed complaints to the appropriate department may get results.
Also, complainants need to be aware that Langley Township policy is to not update you regarding your complaint. They need to call in to get updates. The phone number to call is 604-532-7551.
The good news is you can (if you wish) submit complaints daily and on various sections of the bylaw, but make sure to include the correct address of the farm you are complaining about. My experience has shown that violators often take advantage of the weekends and statutory holidays (when bylaws officers are not working) to run cannons day and night.
For more details on the bylaw, go to the Township of Langley website, www.tol.ca and search for Bylaw 5005 – Audible Bird Scare Devices. Page 4 describes the conditions that must be adhered to.
If you feel the conditions are being violated outside normal Township business hours, you have the right to call the RCMP non-emergency at 604-532-3200. You must have the farmer’s address or the RCMP will not attend.
Before you call, please try and find out if the farmer has a sign posted or not. If there is no sign posted, let the RCMP know that sections 4(a) (“must have a permit”) and 5(g) (“must post a sign showing you have a permit”) are being violated, in addition to your main complaint. Advise the RCMP that bylaw 5005 assigns a $150 fine on a first offence.
If you make their job easy, they will attend and help you get some peace and quiet.
For more information on cannons and alternatives, go to www.banthecannons.com.