Vancouver's busking bagpipers have been hit by a city ban to reduce noise pollution. Following complaints about noise the city's engineering department has imposed a maximum sound level of 70 db, excluding buskers from playing bongos and bagpipes.
Regular buskers were shocked to see a new addition to the Vancouver council website which said: "The City reserves the right to decline issuing permits involving instruments that have proven problematic in the past (some percussion instruments, bagpipes etc.)."
One such shocked bagpiper was James McNair who plans to compete in the BC Pipers' Association's 80th annual bagpiping competition. CBC reported he declared "That would be a cruel idea... [for] the citizens of Vancouver not to be able to hear the glorious bagpipe."
The Globe and Mail reported that Vancouver's Mayor Gregor Robertson, pictured here wearing a kilt, is also opposed to the ban and warns the council may oppose it. He released a statement which said “My first reaction is that a complete ban on bagpipes and percussion instruments across the city is ridiculous and culturally insensitive. The clans won’t stand for it.”
However, residents and businesses may well welcome the relief from the blare of the bagpipes as they bask in the new found city silence the ban brings.