Right to Quiet Society Noiseletter
Spring 2011 – page 5

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Amplified entertainment noise from boats

Loudly amplified “music” from many sources, stationary and mobile, has literally become a plague in many places. For several years now this type of unnecessary noise from a growing number of commercial and pleasure boats has caused a lot of stressful disturbance to numerous people along lake shores and beaches of populated coasts. In Vancouver the worst offenders are commercial boats that operate as floating discos and frequently blast the adjacent shores with their loud entertainment noise.

Complaints were issued to the local police and city hall; all in vain. Only the federal government has jurisdiction over

the water. So we turned to the federal minister of transport to possibly implement proper regulation to stop that noise. In August 2009 Society president Hans Schmid wrote the Hon. John Baird to bring this matter to his attention. The minister replied, explained that there is no regulation in place for this kind of noise, and to turn to the City, who issues the business licence to those boat operators.

After a cabinet shuffle in Ottawa, Hans wrote again. The Hon. Charles Strahl replied and at least offered an opportunity to petition for regulation of the type of noise in question. Following is the minister’s e-mail message:

Dear Mr. Schmid:

Thank you for your correspondence of August 9, 2010, regarding loud music emanating from vessels in waters around Vancouver. I have noted that this concern was also voiced in your letter of August 31, 2009, addressed to my predecessor.

As stated by the former Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Transport Canada’s Marine Safety program administers legislation to provide for a safe, secure, efficient and environmentally responsible marine transportation system, as well as safety on the water for recreational boating. While the Small Vessel Regulations under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 do contain provisions to address the issue of excessively loud vessels, these provisions are specifically aimed at addressing engine noise - not music emanating from boats.

Should you wish to petition for regulations, you may wish to attend the Canadian Marine Advisory Committee meetings that are held twice a year in Vancouver in September and March. The next meeting is scheduled for March 16, 2011. For further information, I would encourage you to contact Mr. Jatinder Gill, Senior Marine Inspector, Pacific Region, by email at Jatinder.Gill@tc.gc.ca or by telephone at 604-666-0871.

As also mentioned by the former Minister, since the vessels in question appear to be licensed businesses offering cruises in the Vancouver area, I would also encourage you to contact the City of Vancouver, as well as the vessel operators, with your concerns. Again, thank you for writing.

Chuck Strahl

We have contacted Cpt. Gill and submitted our “speaking notes”, respectively “petition” to be considered at the March 16, 2011 meeting. In a future NOISE-Letter we shall report what transpired there.

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How malls can save both the Earth and your ears 2

By Jess Zimmerman

We're big fans of anything that saves energy while generally improving your life - biking, for instance, or gardens. So we were psyched to hear that malls could save 1.18 gigawatt-hours of energy every year, and cut back 3,000 metric tons of CO2, just by turning off the Muzak. Enterprising Stanford students crunched the numbers on how much energy it takes to play all that pop and came up with a figure of 1.18 gigawatt-hours. Given the present energy mix, that means Mantovani adds more than 3,000 metric tons of CO2 to the atmosphere each year. In the grand scheme of things, this isn't giant, but it's the definition of a win-win. Malls save the energy equivalent of 107

homes every year, and you don't have to listen to a synthesizer version of "King of Pain."

Malls are giant energy hogs in general, especially their temperature control and lighting - plus of course they're the very face of sprawl. Down with malls in general, we say, or at least down with malls in many instances! But while we're working on the dense living revolution, malls could at least mitigate their outsize environmental impact (and be more tolerable to spend time in) by switching to efficient light bulbs and getting rid of the sh...y pop.

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"As soon as one sound owns the neighborhood, it is less of a neighborhood. It is in danger of becoming the petty fiefdom of the person or corporation making the most noise" - Garret Keizer

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Entire contents © 2011 Right to Quiet Society. Cartoon © 1996 Right to Quiet Society

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