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City poised to crack down on neighbourhood fireworks

'I’m still getting a lot of questions about … noise limits and durations,' said Coun. Ann-Marie Kungl, who also wondered about 'enforceability'
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Fireworks shows could have a little less dazzle and may be limited to the holiday itself in Barrie.

City councillors gave initial approval this week to a motion which would amend the regulatory bylaw to shorten the number of days fireworks can be set off in Barrie near holidays.

Instead of five days before a holiday, pyrotechnics would only be allowed the actual day of Victoria Day, Canada Day, New Year’s Day, Chinese New Year and Diwali, unless authorized to do so.

Coun. Ann-Marie Kungl, whose motion passed without debate Monday, said there might be more work to do.

“I’m still getting a lot of questions about … noise limits and durations,” she said. “Enforceability…is also another question and how we operate and when does this take effect, should it be approved.”

Council will consider final approval of this motion at its June 14 meeting.

Jason Forgrave, Barrie’s supervisor of enforcement services, said there are no provisions for times in the regulatory bylaw when fireworks can go off, but there may be some provisions in the city’s noise bylaw.

Kungl, the Ward 3 councillor, says residents have been calling and emailing her to ask what can be done to change the number of days and time of day fireworks are permitted near holidays. Concerns also include safety, noise, pet and wildlife wellbeing and consideration for the impact on neighbours. 

Barrie Fire Chief Cory Mainprize said he believes that the safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a fireworks show handled by professionals. 

Barrie Fire and Emergency Service (BFES) receives very few if any complaints regarding the use of fireworks, he said, and BFES is not aware of any incidents that have resulted in a fire from the use of fireworks in Barrie. 

“The only concern from BFES regarding the use of fireworks is for residents to follow the manufacturer’s instructions,” he said. “Residents must be ensuring they are able to maintain the clearances directed by the manufacturer. Injuries from the use of fireworks are almost always a result of improper handling and a disregard for safety.” 

Mainprize said the number of days fireworks may be used prior to, or on a recognized holiday, is not a fire safety issue and BFES is unable to comment. 

The regulatory bylaw states that no person shall discharge or set off any fireworks of any kind or description within the city, save and except during a period of five calendar days prior to and the Victoria Day holiday, and five calendar days prior to and the Canada Day holiday, and five calendar days prior to New Year’s Day, and five days prior to the day of Chinese New Year unless authorized to do so.  

Kungl’s motion is that the appropriate sections of the bylaw be changed to replace the provision of allowing the setting off of any fireworks period from five calendar days prior to only the duration or day of Victoria Day, Canada Day, New Year’s Day, Chinese New Year and Diwali, unless authorized to do so.

Diwali is the five-day Festival of Lights, celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhns and Jains across the world, usually sometime between October and November.



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Bob Bruton

About the Author: Bob Bruton

Bob Bruton is a full-time BarrieToday reporter who covers politics and city hall.
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