Town of Powell River received request to ban fireworks
Powell River city councilors have received a request for a total fireworks ban.
At Committee of the Whole on August 31, councilors reviewed correspondence from John Young, who said he was writing to strongly encourage councilors to take the final step in banning the “public threat” of fireworks.
“I’m sure many people in the city would join me in asking you to ban fireworks on October 31, just as they are banned every other day of the year,” Young said.
Councilor Rob Southcott said he’s wondering if staff will consider the request and come back to the committee with an opinion on whether it’s a good idea.
Councilor Cindy Elliott said she was in favor of not overwhelming staff at this time.
“I think if the board doesn’t think it’s a good idea, we shouldn’t ask the staff if it’s a good idea,” Elliott said.
“I’m not in favor of a 365-day-a-year ban because I think there are events that people plan and people get all the permits they need,” Elliott said. “It is traditionally appropriate on certain days to have fireworks. I understand the concern and we may be looking at allowing fireworks in certain areas so that we don’t have them on residential streets and so on, or during fire seasons.
Councilor CaroleAnn Leishman, chair of the committee, asked about the possibility of staff reporting a report on the pros and cons of fireworks.
Executive director Russell Brewer said if advisers asked staff for advice, they would get as many opinions as there were staff.
“We could bring back a report, as Councilor Elliott pointed out, if there is any direction from this committee on what kind of by-law amendment they want to look at, but just to have a report with a number of opinions on the pros and cons. would be a challenge for the staff, quite frankly, ”said Brewer.
Councilor George Doubt said the issue the committee is discussing is whether banning fireworks on October 31, 365 days a year is a good idea.
“Frankly, I think that’s the board’s decision to make,” said Doubt. “If the board thinks it’s a good idea, then we should tell the staff that we think it’s a good idea and ask them to create a bylaw. If we don’t think it’s a good idea, we shouldn’t. Asking the staff if this is a good idea is just asking the staff to do the job of the board.
Doubt said Young’s letter makes a reasonable point because the fireworks scare off animals and might upset some people in the community.
“Right now, I don’t think that’s the most important thing the board is working on, but it’s my opinion,” said Doubt.
Councilor Jim Palm said the call for a fireworks ban is not new. According to him, one night a year, to allow residents to enjoy the fireworks, is a traditional family outing.
“I’m not in favor of sending this to staff,” Palm said. “They are taxed like that. Let’s just receive this correspondence, and if we receive an avalanche of these, we’ll take care of it. “
Mayor Dave Formosa said he has a pet that hates fireworks, but asked if council should start regulating the way human beings live.
“People feel their rights are being taken away all over the place, but loose,” Formosa said. “Now we’re starting to say on Halloween, you can’t have fireworks. My dog doesn’t like it at all but I know my grandchildren like it. I would hate to see him disappear on Halloween.
Formosa asked Fire Chief Terry Peters if Halloween night is causing his firefighters much grief.
Peters said there is a fireworks bylaw which he thinks is very well written.
“If you want to have something outside of Halloween, you have to have a permit, like the Blackberry Festival or the Sea Fair,” Peters said. “It has to go through our office and the insurance has to come with it. If it’s Halloween, you are not allowed to have fireworks outside your own property and you cannot do so in public places.
“Children in the streets with Roman candles are not allowed, it is not legal and they can be prosecuted for it. There are fines that will come with that.
Peters said it is up to the RCMP to enforce the regulations and that the fire department does not go out on Halloween looking for fireworks.
The committee voted to receive Young’s letter.