Arthur resident frustrated by use of home fireworks

WELLINGTON NORTH – An Arthur woman is fed up with the use of home fireworks in her neighbourhood.

In a deputation to council during an Aug. 23 meeting, Arthur resident Doris Cassan explained residents in some Arthur neighbourhoods have been frustrated by the frequency of home fireworks being used, with some being set off after 11pm.

“Increasingly, I’m noticing more and more random, noisy home fireworks set off in many neighbourhoods,” Cassan told members of council.

Cassan said the Canada Day weekend was particularly alarming in her neighbourhood.

“There were three very loud displays of fireworks, which lasted probably three quarters of an hour,” she said.

“Most weekends, there are fireworks set off here. There was an instance about a month ago at three o’clock in the morning of fireworks being ignited, and many people thought it was gunfire.”

Cassan said she believes the noise from fireworks has been detrimental to the peaceful atmosphere of the village. She also said fireworks have a disturbing effect on people with mental health conditions, as well as livestock, pets, and wildlife.

She also shared environmental concerns related to the use of fireworks.

“Fireworks also release noxious chemicals into the atmosphere, that last for quite a while. Certainly, the smoke from fireworks can be comparable to wildfires, and we’ve seen what that does in our west.”

Cassan requested that council create a bylaw or pass an amendment to a current bylaw that would:

  • either entirely ban, or limit home fireworks to one night of a weekend affiliated with a statutory holiday; and
  • limit the location of home fireworks to an open area that is more than 40 feet from buildings, trees, and fences

“Certainly, it would be preferable to ban fireworks. I don’t know the cost of making a change to the bylaw, but that would be my request,” Cassan said.

“Many fireworks around here are ignited in backyards. Backyards are not very big.”

Cassan also requested that the township appoint “fireworks operators” to research and implement alternatives to traditional fireworks that have a lesser impact on the environment and cause less noise.

Mayor Andy Lennox said the township has received similar complaints over fireworks in the past, but addressing the issue has been difficult.

“I agree that it probably is pretty disruptive for lots of people. The big struggle we often have with this type of thing is enforcement, because by the time you dispatch someone to try to enforce the issue, the evidence is already gone,” he said.

“Finding the right balance of what the appropriate bylaw is, and how we can enforce it is the big challenge. I know we have looked at it in the past and will continue to look at it.”