General News

Hastings Highlands working on fireworks bylaw

October 12, 2017

By Sarah Sobanski

Hastings Highlands is moving forward with developing a fireworks bylaw for the municipality.

Deputy mayor Gregg Roberts motioned to direct staff to produce a “simple, enforceable” fireworks bylaw “on or before April 1, 2018.”

Council approved the motion and discussed attributes that could be contained in the bylaw including restrictions to fireworks except on certain holidays, constructing it by “revamping” the municipality’s noise bylaw between 12 a.m. and 6 a.m. and restricting firing them over area lakes.

“[It’s] just a starting point of what I think we’re looking for [and] what the people are looking for,” said Roberts.

He described new and dangerous ways fireworks were being used.

“Explosive targets… you can buy them at… all sorts of places. What they’re designed to do is, you have a small pad on a target that you hit so it explodes… I’ve seen it first hand very close to my house, they’re bunching several of them together and it sounded like a bomb going off,” said Roberts. “They’re blowing up paddle boats. Somebody said they wound them up the size of a baseball and blew up a car… I’m surprised actually they’re allowed, so I want to include that.”

He added, “Somebody’s going to get hurt or we’re going to have a fire started. It’s unbelievable.”

Mayor Vivian Bloom agreed. She said it seemed that people could buy commercial grade fireworks considering the size and cost of firework packages she’d seen available at local stores.

“You can buy fireworks that should only be used by licensed people,” Bloom shared her opinion.

“If they’re packaged with colourful coating on the package, they’re consumer grade,” said North Hastings Fire Service fire chief Pat Hoover. “If it’s got a decoration on it… Those are considered consumer grade. All of your commercial or industrial grade you have to have a license.”

Hoover ensured council that “local stores don’t sell commercial grade.”

“It doesn’t make a difference to me as long as we curb the issue,” said Roberts.

         

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