Draft fireworks bylaw reviewed and passed by Carlow Mayo council

·3 min read

Carlow Mayo Township council reviewed a draft fireworks bylaw no. 15-2022 brought forward by Community Fire Safety Officer Dwayne Meharrie at their April 12 meeting. He first brought up the prospect of a fireworks bylaw to council at their Feb. 17 meeting. After discussing it and asking Meharrie some questions about it, council voted to pass the fireworks bylaw for the township.

The draft fireworks bylaw no. 15-2022 was brought forward by Meharrie at the April 12 council meeting. He first suggested having Carlow Mayo implement one back at their Feb. 17 meeting. This bylaw would allow the township to regulate the safe handling, storage, sale and discharge of fireworks within the municipality. Meharrie said that he had gotten the idea for a fireworks bylaw from a recommendation in the Ontario Fire Marshal’s Fire Protection Services Review.

Meharrie told Bancroft This Week back in February that fireworks pose a heightened fire safety risk to the community if stored, handled or discharged recklessly. He said that since Carlow Mayo doesn’t provide fire suppression services, a greater risk of fires is present with the improper use of fireworks and thus a greater risk to the township. At the April 12 meeting, Mayor Bonnie Adams introduced the draft bylaw and invited discussion. As they had at the meeting back in February, council wanted to make sure that the draft bylaw wasn’t too restrictive to residents’ enjoyment of the fireworks, but provided enough regulation to keep everybody safe, preclude the prospect of fires and reduce township liability, especially since Carlow Mayo doesn’t have a fire department. A Schedule A was attached to the draft bylaw, which stipulated set fines for everything from selling prohibited firecrackers to hindering or obstructing a bylaw officer, with fines ranging from $195 to $500. If residents want more information or a copy of this bylaw, it can be found on the township’s website at www.carlowmayo.ca or by contacting clerk Jenny Snider at clerk@carlowmayo.ca.

Councillor Dan Hughey had a couple of questions for Meharrie, about who regulates what fireworks are safe or not, and the safety protocols in place regarding having two exits for any establishments that sell fireworks. Meharrie replied they were regulated by the Explosives Act and that any businesses in town that did sell them did have the appropriate exits in place.

Another question about a prohibition on setting off fireworks over navigable waterways which was in the draft bylaw. Some on council questioned whether that was necessary, and Meharrie said that it was not mandated but he had included it because it was in other similar municipal bylaws. After a brief discussion on the safety aspects of setting off fireworks over navigable waterways, it was decided to take this provision out. With that revision to the bylaw, Adams called the vote and council unanimously passed bylaw 15-2022.

Meharrie told Bancroft This Week on April 14 that he thought the discussion regarding the draft fireworks bylaw was very productive.

“I am satisfied with council’s decision to pass the bylaw with the exclusion of the provision of discharging fireworks over navigable waterways,” he says. “At the end of the day, the main goal was to provide such a bylaw that would regulate fireworks in relation to fire prevention and safety and that has been achieved with this bylaw.”

Michael Riley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Bancroft Times

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