No fireworks at Barrie council over motion to limit fireworks to five holidays

Change to bylaw to take effect before Canada Day

A motion passed at Barrie City Council without debate on Monday to limit the setting off of fireworks to five specific holidays.

The holidays are Victoria Day, Canada Day, New Year’s Day, Chinese New Year and Diwali. Previously, fireworks were allowed to be set off up to five days before those holidays.

Councillor Ann-Marie Kungl put forward the motion.

“Residents across the city have been reaching out saying five days in advance of the five holidays, in addition to the holiday, is just too many. We’re looking at 30 days of permitting fireworks to go off without a permit.”

Kungl says she fielded calls about fireworks being let off two weeks after Victoria Day, as well as concerns about animal welfare and people who suffer from anxiety.

“One resident reached out and shared how his mother lived through the war in England and was actually having some memories of the raids happening.”

Toronto, Ottawa and Guelph all have much narrower parameters regarding fireworks, according to Kungl.

Amendments to the bylaw will come to city council on June 28 and Kungl says the change will be in effect before Canada Day. Rather than increasing fines, Kungl says much of the enforcement will be educational.

“It’s sometimes very hard to even identify the property after the fireworks have gone off,” she noted.

Residents who want to incorporate a fireworks display for something like a wedding will still be allowed to as long as they contact the city to get a permit and learn about the process around safety regulations.