Dysart looks at restricting fireworks in proposed bylaw
By Angelica Ingram
Published July 12, 2016
A new bylaw coming to Dysart et al council on July 25 could restrict the use of fireworks and the hours construction is permitted.
A draft noise bylaw that was presented at the June 27 meeting, which outlines general noise regulations, states “no person shall make, cause or permit to be made any noise which disturbs the quiet, peace, rest, enjoyment or comfort of any other person.”
It also states that construction shall not be allowed between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. on any day and that no person shall discharge fireworks between the same hours on any day.
Those excluded from the noise bylaw include emergency personnel or anyone who has written permission from the municipality for a specific event.
The draft bylaw is council’s response to a letter from the Kennisis Lake Cottage Owners’ Association in April, requesting the municipality establish a bylaw restricting use of fireworks.
Written by KLCOA president Tayce Wakefield, the letter addresses environmental, noise and safety concerns brought on by the use of fireworks.
Although the association organizes a community fireworks display on Canada Day and the civic holiday weekend, people continue to set off fireworks in an “undisciplined manner,” wrote Wakefield.
“We note that setting off fireworks from a general-use dock or near the shoreline may introduce pollutants that impact the water quality. Unfortunately, rather than collecting up and disposing of any residue, some people may brush it into the lake. Detonating fireworks is loud and inconsistent with the quiet enjoyment of the natural environment and night skies, particularly late at night, and given our distance from emergency services, we are concerned about the potential health and fire risks from fireworks that are not properly detonated,” wrote Wakefield.
Enforcement of the bylaw is the responsibility of the municipal bylaw officer, according to the draft bylaw.
In a report to council at the May meeting, municipal bylaw enforcement officer Ron Henselwood recommended council not proceed with a fireworks bylaw, and that any enforcement fall within the existing noise bylaw.
“Any regulation, including the existing noise bylaw; regarding the discharge of fireworks would be very difficult to enforce due to the fact that the person lighting the fireworks would have to be identified,” wrote Henselwood in his staff report. “If the bylaw officer(s) did not attend the scene and witness the offence and identify the culprits, then a civilian witness would have to attend court if a charge was to be laid. Another issue with a fireworks bylaw would be that from the time a call was received to the time it would take to attend the scene the violation would more than likely be over.”
According to Henselwood’s report, the municipal bylaw department only receives three to four fireworks related complaints a year.