New fireworks restrictions expected in Barrie
BARRIE, ONT. -- Enhanced restrictions on when fireworks are permitted to be set off in Barrie are expected.
On Monday night, Barrie city councillors are set to ratify a motion that would limit the timeframe fireworks are allowed to be used.
"But this came from a broad range of residents reaching out who said as the representative on council how do we bring this to the table, how do we have conversations about limiting the days," says Ward 3 councillor Ann-Marie Kungl who is behind the motion. "We were seeing broad impacts, and residents basically said it's not a trivial matter, yes we want neighbours to have fun, but it's gone a bit too far."
The motion would restrict fireworks only to be discharged on Victoria Day, Canada Day, New Year's Day, Chinese New Year and Diwali. Currently, regulations allow for fireworks to be used up to five days before any of the above-listed holidays.
Kungl first tabled the motion at general committee's June 7 virtual gathering. It passed with consent, meaning it had the support of all councillors to move forward.
"I was surprised, but I did start to hear from residents across the ward and across the city," says Kungl in response to the unanimous approval. "So I'm sure my fellow councillors had heard about this, but also when we look at other municipalities, by far, I'm seeing Barrie has given a lot of opportunities for residents to have fireworks."
Kungl says in her research she has discovered that the motion would put Barrie in line with a majority of other communities in regards to the restrictions.
The Ward 3 councillor says she's heard a wide variety of concerns from residents. According to Kungl, many shift workers and parents are concerned about the noise volume startling them. Some pet owners have also said they have had to change where they walk, as many dogs have been scared of them going off in certain parks.
Once approved, Kungl expects the rules to go into effect immediately, potentially in time for Canada Day. She says an education campaign will be needed.
"We'll have to then look at how do we get out some good education and information about what does this mean and what does this mean for how people communicate concerns," says Kungl. "Because what we are also seeing is while we permit it before a holiday, we were seeing after Victoria Day, up to two weeks after people were setting off fireworks."
Barrie city council is expected to meet virtually Monday at 7 p.m.