Burnaby looks into ban on fireworks sales
Burnaby city hall is looking into the feasibility of banning the sale of fireworks after concerns raised by the Heights Merchants Association.
Isabel Kolic, the association's executive director, said in a letter to council that fireworks vendors who set up shop temporarily in vacant commercial buildings around Halloween, often don't respect city signage bylaws.
"Indeed, their large, garish signage and flashing lights demonstrate their disregard for the communities that surround them," Kolic wrote.
While the temporary fireworks vendors provide some income for property owners between leases, they "bring more consternation than prosperity to our business community as a whole."
The association's board "expressed a desire to ban them outright," but knows some property owners would not support such a policy, she said. At the very least, the association asks that council consider stricter enforcement and stiffer fines for violations of the signage bylaws.
At Monday's council meeting, councillors discussed the feasibility of going even further and banning the sale of fireworks in Burnaby altogether.
However, Mayor Derek Corrigan recalled that the Burnaby Fire Department had in previous years concluded that a provincial ban on fireworks sales would be preferable to prevent Burnaby residents from simply buying them elsewhere in the region.
Coun. Sav Dhaliwal said the issue is raised almost annually and that most municipalities in the region already have such bans.
He noted that last Halloween, Burnaby's fire department responded to several incidents caused by fireworks and suggested that changed circumstances in the region would warrant a new staff report on the issue.
Coun. Paul McDonell, a retired Vancouver firefighter, was prepared to pass a motion immediately to ban fireworks sales in Burnaby, pointing out it is one of only three cities in Metro Vancouver which still allow it.
Corrigan said he was inclined to have a careful study of the issue since if council wants to go in that direction it would need to know what happened elsewhere and the implications of such a decision.
Council directed Burnaby's planning department staff to report back, in consultation with the fire department, on the feasibility of a ban.