Mono aims to outlaw airborne litter after kite fighting festival

September 28, 2023   ·   0 Comments


Somebody flying a fighting kite in Mono isn’t necessarily a problem.

Deputy Mayor Fred Nix said during town council’s Sept. 26 meeting that the real problem occurs when the people participating in kite fighting allow the debris to fall on neighbouring properties.

And council tasked Fred Simpson, the town clerk, to craft proposed legislation prohibiting “airborne litter.”

Combative kite flying became an issue for Mono council in July when councillors said they felt duped by organizers of a South Asian festival at the Orangeville Agricultural Society’s Fairgrounds.

Hundreds of kites and kite strings were pulled from the waterway at Island Lake Conservation Area, as well as surrounding trees and lands.

Basant Mela is the spring festival of kites to many people in northern India and Pakistan’s Punjab province. It traditionally welcomes the spring season.

The town got many noise complaints that arose from the event, which drew as many as 7,000 people.

The complaints prompted council to consider a municipal bylaw banning the flying of kites. But such a move would have dampened the joy of local children who fly kites in their backyards or farmers’ fields.

Nix suggested Mono take similar steps that Oakville has taken to address kite fighting in that municipality. Or, he said, wait to see how nearby Orangeville tackles the issue.

“Maybe we want a simpler bylaw that only makes it an offence if you have a fighting kite that ends up as debris falling on somebody else’s property,” he said. “Maybe that’s the real, crucial issue.”

Councillor Melinda Davie agreed. She said there’s mention in some of the Oakville verbiage that cites undesirable effects.

“But what are those undesirable effects?” she said. “It’s pollution and it’s disrespect for your neighbours. Those kinds of things should be itemized out.”

Mayor John Creelman said flying a single fighting kite is not the issue. He said the whole objective of kite-fighting is to bring down the defeated kite.

“Personally, I’d stay pretty close to a definition of a fighting kite that is somehow enabled to bring other kites out of the air,” he said. “I think it’s as simple as that. But I don’t want to ban kite-flying per se.

“But there is a particular kind of kite that is equipped with razor blades and a special kind of wire and various other things … that does create litter and potential harm to wildlife.”

Coun. Elaine Capes said the flying of any object, even a balloon or a regular kite, causes litter when they’re let loose into the environment.

“I think that’s what’s not desirable,” Capes said. “It’s the debris that’s left behind.”

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