Terrace city council is exploring further restricting the public’s use of fireworks after receiving a request to do so from a member of the public.
Currently, adults are allowed to purchase and use fireworks between Oct. 24 and Nov. 1 each year. They must be set off from private property with property owner’s written permission, and they are subject the City’s noise bylaw.
Monique Gagne told council Nov. 9 that she had to sedate her dogs for the days surrounding Halloween that fireworks are allowed in the city.
“It was like a war zone on Halloween night,” she said.
Gagne said fireworks scare pets, livestock and wildlife, interrupt people’s ability to rest at night, and pollute the environment.
She said she would prefer a full, year-round ban on the sale and use of fireworks in Terrace. But a fair compromise, she said, would be to limit fireworks to Halloween night only, and to create a permit system so the City could track firework users.
Councillor Lynne Christiansen made a motion to ask City staff to research how restrictions could be increased, saying she agreed with Gagne’s position and she has been approached by many community members who feel the same.
Councillor Jessica McCallum-Miller seconded the motion, saying that firework remnants are often littered. She added that neurodiverse people, such as those on the autism spectrum, may be frightened or overstimulated by fireworks.
Councillor James Cordeiro said banning the sale of fireworks would be ineffective because they can be purchased outside City limits (in Thornhill, for example) or online. He also said enforcement of firework violations could be tricky for bylaw officers because it is difficult to prove someone used a firework inappropriately unless a bylaw officer witnessed it. However, he said he supported further limitations on the time frame that the public is allowed to use fireworks.
Council voted unanimously in favour of Christiansen’s motion to direct staff to research the issue and make recommendations to council.