New Year’s Eve celebrations and fireworks often go hand-in-hand, but not everyone enjoys starting out a new year with a bang.
Parksville resident Pauline McLeod said, in a letter sent to the NEWS, her New Year’s Eve — one she hoped to be peaceful —was “shattered by intermittent fireworks.”
In her letter, McLeod said her little dog was frantic while fireworks were being set off and was “impossible to comfort.”
“I couldn’t enjoy my quiet celebration with my dog being miserable,” McLeod wrote. “Please, people who set off fireworks, think of the thousands upon thousands of seniors and pets who are suffering for your brief, selfish, incredibly intrusive entertainment.”
McLeod believes fireworks are an outdated tradition and should be banned.
“If we can’t make it illegal, we can make it socially unacceptable,” she wrote.
A City of Parksville bylaw states that “no person may hold, possess, store, discharge, or otherwise use display fireworks without a fireworks event permit.”
“Both fireworks and the sale of fireworks are banned in the city,” said City of Parksville manager of communications Deb Tardiff.
Tardiff said she doesn’t know who would have set off fireworks in Parksville on New Year’s Eve and that no permits were applied for or issued by the city. She added that the city didn’t issue any tickets for firework use on New Year’s Eve and that no complaints were received.
Anyone wanting to set off fireworks in Parksville must apply for and receive a fireworks event permit and all applicants must hold a current and valid Fireworks Supervisor and/or Pyrotechnics Certification card as issued by Natural Resources Canada.
The bylaw says fireworks events need to end prior to 11 p.m. and may not start prior to 8 a.m.
Peace officers are designated to enforce the bylaw by issuing tickets. The bylaw states “any person guilty of an infraction of this bylaw is liable on summary conviction, to a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $10,000 or imprisonment not exceeding the maximum allowed by the Offence Act.”
The Town of Qualicum Beach has similar rules and regulations for fireworks as Parksville. Fireworks are banned in Qualicum Beach without a valid permit.
The Regional District of Nanaimo has no regulations against fireworks.