Kitimat’s fireworks bylaws under discussion

Some residents feel the laws about fireworks in the community are too lax.

The community regulation on fireworks is perhaps in need of an overhaul.

That’s the feeling after a presentation by community members to town council who feel that some adults in the community are using fireworks irresponsibly, and that the current rules on their use mean too wide a window to set them off.

As it is fireworks can be set off three times a year, for about a week each time.

For New Years, fireworks can be set off from Christmas Eve until January 2.

On Canada Day they can be set off from June 22 to July 2.

For Halloween they can be set off October 24 to November 1.

Those are also the same windows where fireworks can be sold in the community.

Phyllis Greg, along with her friend Elizabeth Stumpf, asked council for action following incidents where people were using fireworks near houses, and placing them on cars and front yards.

“It’s becoming a big, big problem especially when they’re throwing them under cars,” said Gregg.

She also has particular issue for her pets who are, naturally, scared quite a bit at the sound of fireworks being set off.

“I’ve always felt this community was a safe place. With this going on it’s not very safe at all.”

Councillors have asked for the District of Kitimat staff come to them with a report on their options as far as regulating fireworks in the community.

Chief Administrative Officer Warren Waycheshen said they’ll bring the issue to a future committee of the whole meeting. The B.C. Municipal Code allows towns to place whatever restrictions they want on fireworks, even prohibiting them entirely, although that is not so far a suggestion from anyone.

Mario Feldhoff offered up his own ideas as well.

“I think the biggest issue can be addressed by reducing the permissible time which discharge of fireworks is allowed,” he said. “It would not be restrictive to reduce it to just the one night.”

That, he said, would give better certainty to pet owners.