BRAMPTON – After receiving an influx of calls about fireworks this year, Brampton City Council is pumping the breaks on personal use of the explosives. A motion to ban the pyrotechnics and increase fireworks-related fines presented by Councillor Dennis Kenan was unanimously passed earlier this week, but is this the right move?
If passed, the new laws will prohibit the use, purchase, discharge, possession, sale, and offer to sell all fireworks in Brampton. Exclusions apply only to film industry use and events run by the City of Brampton. The amended by-law would also increase the fine for discharging pyrotechnics to a minimum of $500, while the fine for selling or offering to sell the explosives would be increased to a minimum of $1000.
On Twitter, Councillor Kennan announced that the motion will be ratified at the next City Council meeting.
“As promised during my recent electoral campaign, I’m sitting on Brampton City Council to make change – to voice the concerns of our residents, and take action on issues for the betterment of our community,” the release reads.
“With a significant increase in resident fireworks complaints, and a unanimous vote to pass my motion, it is clear that the current Fireworks By-Law needed amendments and harsher penalties,” the statement continued.
In 2022, city officials say they received 1,491 calls about fireworks. This is compared to just 492 calls in 2018. In addition, By-Law Enforcement has reported issuing over $38,000 in fireworks-related fines this year. Excessive noise, fire safety concerns, and left-over garbage were among the complaints made.
“Acknowledging that change takes time, the increased fines for possession and distribution of fireworks, as well as the enforcement blitz this New Year’s Eve, shows that the City is steadfast in our stance to eliminate personal fireworks,” reads a statement from Regional Councillor Gurpartap Singh Toor, who seconded the motion.
Councillor Toor went on to say city officials also acknowledge that fireworks are a special part of many holidays, and they are looking to add an annual Diwali event with fireworks put on by the city, similar to the current Canada Day and News Year’s celebrations.
Under current laws, those living in Brampton can set off fireworks on Victoria Day, Canada Day, Diwali, and New Year’s Eve.
People React to Brampton’s Proposed Fireworks Ban
As always, many people took to social media to share their various thoughts on the proposed ban. Along with many others, Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown tweeted out his support of the motion.
“Anyone living in Brampton knows they took it too far this year 3/4/5 AM fireworks going off next morning streets a mess…if they could be trusted to end at a decent hour it would be so bad,” said one person.
“I’ve dealt with fireworks right outside my bedroom window, waking up my kids at night. It has gotten out of control. I’m happy for this ban,” posted another.
“Good for Brampton! I wish Mississauga would follow suit! Fireworks is a danger to wildlife and domestic animals missing from their homes causing them to bolt into traffic or die of fright. Time for humans to grow up and stop this selfish act. Maybe invest in fireworks that are silent when set off,” commented a third.
While others felt that the proposed changes were a bit extreme.
“I think banning fireworks is a bit much before trying to put some restrictions around it, like time restrictions or have them in delegated areas where security can be around,” suggested one person.
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I do not support the ban on fireworks. However, I would love the city to enforce ticketing after 1:00 am or 2:00 a.m. My daughter needs to sleep. Pets need a break. We all have work in the morning,” commented someone else.
Meantime, some people said the proposed by-laws left a bad taste in their mouths.
“Fireworks are a safety hazard and a typical white culture celebratory pastime. The real issue here is Brampton didn’t pass the paper bag test (Brampton isn’t white enough) so fireworks are now outlawed in Brampton. Places they would never outlaw them no matter the situation: Vaughan, Milton, Markham, Stouffville, Scugog, Uxbridge, Oakville, Caledon, New Market, Richmond Hill, Aurora, King,” one person shared.
“Might seem like a simple issue but I only started hearing people complain during Diwali which adds another layer to the decision. I’m not a huge fireworks fan but it would be interesting if there was data related to whom those thousands of complaints came from,” commented a Youtube viewer.
Let us know in the comments, how do you feel about the proposed changes?