Milton approves consumer fireworks ban
Published November 14, 2023 at 4:39 pm
While the fuses were a bit longer at Monday’s Milton Council meeting, the motion to ban consumer fireworks in the town still sparked plenty of debate, especially among those who want the right to light up the night in their own backyards.
Their concerns weren’t enough to sway the councillors, who approved a by-law – #088-2023, to be precise – that prohibits the sale, distribution and discharging of consumer fireworks. The new by-law went into effect immediately, meaning violators could be subject to a fine as per the Provincial Offences Act.
Display fireworks are still permitted as long as the by-law requirements are met, a proper permit is issued by Milton Fire & Rescue Services and the guy in charge is licensed.
As Milton Fire Chief Peter Gatto, who believes fireworks “are best left to the professional” noted, “we’re not banning fireworks here. We’re banning consumer fireworks displays.”
Gatto also pointed out that consumer fireworks – powerful pyrotechnic devices in the hands of untrained citizens – have the potential to cause injury, noise disturbances and property damage and tie up emergency response teams.
Gatto did admit that enforcing the ban will be a problem. “Even with a ban it will be difficult to enforce,” he said at last month’s meeting, as by-law officers must witness the fireworks being set off and be able to identify the people involved.
A report presented to councillors by Gatto October 23 found that less than one per cent of properties in urban Milton could potentially meet the clearance requirements needed to safely discharge consumer aerial fireworks.
Consumer fireworks had been permitted on Victoria Day, Canada Day, Diwali and Chinese Lunar New Year between dusk and 11 p.m. The minimum clearance requirement for aerial fireworks is 30 x 30 metres, or about half and acre of land free from building, shrubs, and overhead wires.
“While Council understands the significant role fireworks play in celebrating key events throughout the year, we continue to receive complaints from residents who are frustrated by the late-night noise disturbances,” said Milton Mayor Gord Krantz. “This new by-law ensures our residents can enjoy the magic of fireworks in a controlled and safe manner.”
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