The Cowichan Valley Regional District is looking at how to tighten up fireworks rules after numerous complaints came in around Halloween, 2020. (Citizen file)

Editorial: You can’t just set off fireworks whenever you want

People should think carefully about where and when to host fireworks displays

We love fireworks, too, but there have to be limits.

After numerous complaints around the time of Halloween this year — one of the most popular times of the year for fireworks — the Cowichan Valley Regional District is once again looking at ways they can curb an excess of people setting off fireworks illegally.

With one of the other most popular fireworks dates coming up — New Year’s Eve — it’s a timely discussion.

This has been a perennial problem in most corners of Vancouver Island for many years. Jurisdictions have brought in bylaws governing their use and sale, but the effect that had on cutting down on unauthorized use has started to wane.

RELATED: Cowichan Valley Regional District considers options for fireworks after complaints

RELATED: Spike in Greater Victoria fireworks a response to COVID, says fire chief

Under the rules, people can plan and execute fireworks displays twice a year (Halloween and New Year’s), but they need to have a permit, or face fines. Unfortunately, we would guess that those that actually go to the trouble to get one are few and far between, and most people who buy and set off fireworks simply count on not getting caught.

Fireworks displays can be wonderful, even awe-inspiring. But if your neighbour is setting them off in their backyard right next to your fence with no warning they can be a nasty suprise. Especially if you have pets or livestock. And nobody wants to be kept up until 1 a.m. by intermittent loud bangs, with only the hope that your neighbour is more diligent with their safety precautions than they are with their courtesy.

Fireworks can be very upsetting for dogs, cats, horses and numerous other furred and feathered friends. Every year, people lose their dogs and cats to panic after they take off in terror at the noise of fireworks. Livestock can try to bolt, injuring themselves. And wild animals are even less used to our human noises. To them, fireworks must seem like they are standing next to lightning strikes, from which they would obviously try to flee.

All of which is to say that people should think carefully about where and when to host fireworks displays, and at the very least let neighbours know about their plans so they can try to mitigate the negative impacts on their pets and other animals.

Fireworks are a tradition at certain times of the year for many people. That doesn’t mean setting off fireworks whenever you feel like it is a right. If you want to preserve your tradition, being considerate and following the rules will go a long way.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

Editorials

Just Posted

This weekend Amy Pye is holding a virtual book launch for her latest children’s book, <em>Bruce the Silly Goose</em>. (Photo courtesy Amy Pye)
Nanaimo writer and illustrator pens children’s book about COVID-19 safety

Amy Pye to hold online book launch for ‘Bruce the Silly Goose’

Coaches with the Juan de Fuca Minor Hockey association have had to get creative during their weekly practices to keep players interested and improving their skills without physical contact. (Damian Kowalewich photo)
Vancouver Island minor hockey coach shares what it’s like on the ice without parents, fans

Most practices consist of relay races, goalie shots and passing drills

3L Developments has stated it is pulling the plug on its plans to build a residential neighbourhood in the Stotan Falls area. The company has repeatedly offered to turn the Stotan Falls area into parkland, if the CVRD were to amend its Regional Growth Strategy to allow for a residential community to be built in the area. The CVRD has steadfastly turned down the development company. File photo.
Plugged pulled on decade-old Comox Valley development project

3L Developments say there will be no further development applications filed for Stotan Falls

The profitability of Victoria International Airport dropped by almost $17 million in 2020 because of COVID-19. (Black Press Media File)
Victoria International Airport revenues in a tailspin

While airport made $9.2 million in profits 2019, COVID-19 brought estimated losses of $7.5 million

(pixabay)
Simpson: Training for snowball fights best done in socks

It’s odd the things our kids do to make us proud

Justin Kripps of Summerland and his team have competed in Olympic action and World Cup competitions in bobsleigh. (Jason Ransom-Canadian Olympic Comittee).
QUIZ: Are you ready for some winter sports?

It’s cold outside, but there are plenty of recreation opportunities in the winter months

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

Jackie Hildering, whale researcher with the Marine Education and Research Society, and Nanaimo Area Land Trust will present the Return of Giants, a webinar about the humpback whales’ return from the brink of extinction and how boaters can help protect them. (Jackie Hildering/MERS photo taken under Marine Mammal License MML-42)
‘Return of the Giants:’ B.C. getting a second chance to coexist with humpback whales

‘Marine Detective’ partners with Nanaimo stewardship group on webinar

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

The Gardens at Qualicum Beach is now owned by family-owned The Care Group. (thegardensatqualicum.com)
The Gardens at Qualicum Beach has new owners

Family has travelled to Qualicum Beach for more than a century

Jude Somers of Oak Bay won the 2020 People’s Choice Award for her creation The Santa Train, during Habitat for Humanity’s 12th annual Gingerbread Showcase. (Courtesy of Habitat for Humanity)
Winners of Victoria’s 12th annual Gingerbread Showcase announced

Habitat for Humanity raises over $35,000 with annual event

Snowshoeing is gaining popularity in the community. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
Snowshoes a hot-ticket item in the Comox Valley

Pandemic has sparked demand for trudging through Vancouver Island snow

Most Read