The CVRD will reconsider its policies on fireworks after receiving complaints. (File photo)

The CVRD will reconsider its policies on fireworks after receiving complaints. (File photo)

Cowichan Valley Regional District considers options for fireworks after complaints

Distict only allows fireworks on Halloween and New Year’s Eve, with a permit

The Cowichan Valley Regional District will revisit its rules around fireworks after receiving complaints from the community after Halloween.

Cobble Hill director Mike Wilson told the board at its meeting on Nov. 25 that he’s been receiving significant feedback and complaints recently from residents about the noise from fireworks, and its impacts on people, as well as livestock and pets.

He said he had a discussion with Cowichan Tribes councillor Debra Toporowski about the possibility of approaching the manufacturers of fireworks to see if they would lower their explosive force, or make them more quiet, to deal with the community’s concerns.

RELATED STORY: HALLOWEEN FIREWORKS DISPLAYS IN COWICHAN REQUIRE A PERMIT

“Maybe that can still have the same sparkles without the big bangs,” Wilson said.

“I’m hoping we can come up with some sort of agreement that would have less of an impact on humans and animals.”

Lori Iannidinardo, director for Cowichan Bay, said this is not the first time the issue has come before the board.

She said the fact that it has returned to the table was years in the making.

“We worked with the Cowichan Tribes on this issue before and it benefited both of us, and we still want to work with them on it,” Iannidinardo said

“The issue is detrimental not just to the health of domestic animals, but wild ones as well. There’s also the health impacts of the stuff that comes from the fireworks. We had this under control, but now it’s out of control again, and it’s good that we’re looking at this.”

Fireworks are only allowed with a permit twice a year, Halloween and New Year’s Eve, within the CVRD, unless special permission is granted.

Also, according the district’s bylaws, no one is allowed to sell fireworks within the district and it’s not permitted to discharge them within 500 metres of a livestock property.

RELATED STORY: POLICE SEEK SUSPECTS IN ATTEMPTED ROBBERY OF FIREWORKS STAND IN SHAWNIGAN

North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring told the board that the elephant in the room is the fact that while the CVRD can regulate the discharge and sale of fireworks within the district, it has no jurisdiction outside the CVRD’s boundaries.

He said that while Cowichan Tribes no longer sell fireworks on their lands, members of the Halalt First Nation continue to do so.

Siebring said even if the First Nation members stopped selling fireworks, then other people would step in to do it.

“We can all see the signs on the highway,” Siebring said.

“Short of finding ways to compensate them for their loss of revenue, and I’m not suggesting we do that, I really wonder how much difference tightening up our regulations is going to make. I’m not optimistic we’ll get the results we want. I wonder if the issue should be brought to a higher level [of government].”

Board Chairman Aaron Stone, who is also the mayor of Ladysmith, acknowledged that dealing with the issue faces challenges.

He said it’s easy to just go online and buy fireworks these days as well.

“We’re never going to be able to get rid of the sales of fireworks,” Stone said.

“One option is for us to take on a more advisory role on the issue, and tighten up sales and regulations where we can. I’m looking forward to the staff coming back with recommendations.”



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

municipal politics

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation elected chief councillor Moses Martin, who was also Chantel Moore’s grandfather, speaks to media in Port Alberni on Aug. 16, 2020, during a visit from NDP leader Jagmeet Singh following the police shooting of Chantel Moore. (Elena Rardon photo)
Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chief says community “devastated” by third police shooting

Woman shot by Ucluelet RCMP in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu on May 8.

Tofino is adding to its planning department to keep up with rising interest in residential development in town. (Westerly file photo)
Interest in residential development rising in Tofino

District of Tofino boosting planning department.

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of an Indigenous woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu. (Black Press Media file photo)
NTC president calls for ‘massive change’ after Indigenous woman shot by police in Hitacu

“We need to get to the root of what is actually happening with the RCMP and our communities”

Hotel Zed Tofino has won a Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Commercial Building Award. (Westerly file photo)
Hotel Zed Tofino wins commercial building award

Vancouver Island Real Estate Board holds virtual gala.

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Fraser Health is using ‘targeted’ vaccination clinics in high-risk areas of the Lower Mainland. (Fraser Health photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 decrease continues, 515 new cases Tuesday

426 seriously ill people in hospital, up from 415 Monday

A scene from the Schoolhouse Squat from October 2018, where Alliance Against Displacement members and supporters occupied the Rutherford Elementary School site, advocating for people experiencing homelessness. (News Bulletin file)
‘Schoolhouse Squat’ activists get conditional discharge in Nanaimo school occupation

Ivan Donald Drury, Tingchun (Listen) Chen sentenced in provincial court in Nanaimo

The site of Sunfest, Laketown Ranch, will be open for camping this summer. (Citizen file)
Sunfest country music bash won’t be shining on B.C. in 2021

Annual Vancouver Island Festival cancelled due to COVID-19, along with Laketown Shakedown

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham promotes the government’s BuyBC food program in 2019. (B.C. government)
Money running out for fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in B.C. schools

‘Looking at ways to support this type of program,’ minister says

Most Read