Fireworks ban: Vancouver approves motion to stop sale | CTV News
VANCOUVER – A motion to stop the sale of fireworks in the City of Vancouver was approved by council Tuesday.
Three opposed, one abstained and seven voted in favour of the motion.
City staff will now work with Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services as well as the Vancouver Police Department to develop a plan that would ban the sale and use of fireworks in the city by 2021. They are expected to report back to council by 2020.
Exceptions would be made for fireworks used as part of events with permits like Canada Day, the Celebration of Light, New Year’s Eve, as well as cultural and religious celebrations like Diwali and the Chinese New Year Parade.
The suggestion was put forth by Coun. Pete Fry, who cited fire damage, impact on animals and the triggering of post-traumatic stress disorder as among the reasons for the ban.
In a three-page summary, Fry wrote that each year, calls to the Vancouver Police Department “dramatically increase” in the lead-up to Halloween.
Last year, Vancouver firefighters compiled data that suggested the average annual fire loss per year due to fireworks is $379,000.
The ban would not apply to display fireworks, which are designed to be used by professionals. Exemptions might also be made for large public events like New Year’s Eve and the Celebration of Light fireworks contest.
The vote was initially scheduled for the end of October, but it was pushed back after council heard from speakers on both sides of the issue.
A spokesperson for the BC SPCA spoke about the negative impact on domestic and wild animals, while others brought up childhood nostalgia and cultural significance.
Several Metro Vancouver cities already have laws banning the sale of consumer fireworks, including North Vancouver, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Pitt Meadows.
Maple Ridge, Richmond, Delta, Surrey, Langley and Abbotsford also have bans, as do Seattle and Victoria.
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