Fireworks. File photo by Mark Brown/Blackburn News.Fireworks. File photo by Mark Brown/Blackburn News.

Fireworks debate fizzles out as Point Edward updates bylaw

After first considering banning fireworks in Point Edward, the village has instead opted to shorten the time frame private displays are allowed through an amended bylaw.

The updated document was approved during a recent council meeting.

Rain dates surrounding approved holidays included in the previous bylaw have been removed. For example, fireworks are allowed on Victoria Day but not on the days preceding or following May 20.

The amended bylaw also puts a time cap on displays.

Family fireworks are now only allowed in the village on Victoria Day, Canada Day, and Diwali between dusk and 11 p.m., and on New Year's Eve between dusk and 12:15 a.m. on January 1.

Other dates may be allowed as permitted by the chief administrative officer, fire chief or deputy fire chief, and by permit.

Deputy Mayor Greg Grimes said part of the reason Diwali was added to the approved list was because the City of Sarnia issued a permit last year to allow fireworks on the holiday.

"In most communities, I know London and a couple of others have added it," said Grimes. "So, it was more recognizing that if we didn't, it was probably going to be added and that's why we sort of got ahead of it."

The observance of certain American holidays was also removed from the amended fireworks bylaw.

During a previous Fire Committee meeting, Mayor Bev Hand said if residents want to watch fireworks on American holidays, they can simply do so from across the St. Clair River.

Grimes said the village will share educational materials with citizens regarding the safe use of fireworks, as well as changes to the bylaw.

Prior to now, the bylaw had not been amended since 2016. Discussions surrounding potential changes (including a full ban) were brought up in the new year after noise concerns were raised by residents.

A representative from the Canadian National Fireworks Association (CNFA) later spoke to Point Edward council and said enforcing a full ban would be challenging.

Amendment recommendations were later discussed in mid-March before the bylaw went to council for approval on March 26.

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