Mono residents get closer to legally setting the sky alight

October 14, 2022   ·   0 Comments

By JAMES MATTHEWS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

With a few details to be ironed out, Mono inched closer to a bylaw to regulate fireworks use in town.

Council decided during its Oct. 11 regular meeting to await another draft of a bylaw that’s been in the works since March. This next version, to be delivered at a future council meeting, will include a schedule of set fines for infractions.

Town staff will poll neighbouring municipalities that regulate fireworks use to get a sense of what range of fines they enforce to ward against bylaw infractions.

The legislation has been in the works for a while. 

Staff prepared digital and print versions of a survey. About 1,000 copies of the survey were delivered to residents via their July water billing mailout and another 4,052 copies of the survey were delivered through an advertising mailout.

And the survey was advertised on the municipality’s social media avenues.

The outreach effort garnered 484 submissions from residents. The online survey accepted responses until Aug. 8 with a small number of hardcopy surveys received afterwards.

There’s federal legislation that governs the use of fireworks and explosives and other pyrotechnics. But, at the municipal level, there’s little direction about the over-the-counter flash-bang means of a spectacle.

Deputy Mayor Fred Nix said the majority of respondents opted to allow fireworks’ use on four specific holidays. And, even then, respondents indicated a specific time limit would be favourable.

He said regulating evening hours for the use of fireworks is a good idea. Except for New Year’s Eve, should that be selected as one of the permitted occasions.

“I think people would want to set them off at midnight,” Nix said.

Councillor Melinda Davie said statutory holidays would be acceptable for fireworks. Regardless, she said, the question would remain as to how the bylaw would be enforced.

Even if the hours of use were to be regulated, people would set the sky afire with fireworks after business hours.

One of the top four days selected by survey respondents to allow fireworks was Diwali, which is a religious festival of lights that symbolizes an inner spiritual light that protects from a spiritual darkness.

In a spirit of inclusion, Coun. Ralph Manktelow suggested religious occasions not be included in a schedule to allow celestial lights by gunpowder.

He said fireworks should be limited to Victoria Day, Canada Day, and New Year’s Day.

“These are culturally (significant days) for the entire community,” Manktelow said.

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