Residents in the Regional District of Nanaimo want a bylaw that will ban the sale and use of fireworks in the region.
An ongoing petition organized by Lynn Northwood currently has more than 2,000 signatures. Northwood and Liz Yeates presented this at the RDN electoral area services committee meeting Nov. 20.
Yeates said the petition clearly indicates a strong desire for some form of fireworks bylaw to be implemented by the RDN, similar to what other jurisdictions have adopted, such as the Comox Valley Regional District and Cowichan Valley Regional District. The City of Nanaimo has a bylaw that prohibits the sale, possession and use of fireworks without a permit.
“We are seeking your support for the prohibition of the sale of fireworks to general public and adequate penalties for the indiscriminate use of fireworks,” Yeates told the RDN committee.
She added that “it’s like guns being sold along the highway.”
“It’s been every night and I don’t know how it’s been tolerated for this long,” said Yeates. “I don’t know why someone would justify allowing this to carry one.”
Northwood’s presentation highlighted the impact fireworks have on the quality of the lives of people, household pets, livestock, wildlife and the environment.
“Stop year-round sale and use of fireworks,” Northwood expressed in her presentation. “Most people enjoy a beautiful fireworks display that is shared during special holidays a few days of the year. Are they appropriate as entertainment at other times of the year? The answer is no.”
Yeates and Northwood want the RDN to follow the Cowichan Valley Regional District’s footstep by enacting a bylaw that restrict the sale of fireworks to specific days of the year such as on Canada Day or New Year’s Day and require permits to set off the fireworks.
They indicated that they do not want to stop celebrations but would like to see the use of fireworks to be limited and not used indiscriminately.