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

Forty-two residential properties in Oak Bay were assessed the speculation and vacancy tax in 2019 for a total of $693,000. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
74 Oak Bay property owners paid $693,000 in spec tax

42 properties were assessed with the SVT in 2019

Jail cell - Reporter file photo
Two of Greater Victoria’s most notorious teenaged killers have parole privileges extended

Derik Lord gets overnight privileges while Kelly Ellard’s are extended

Staff at Artemis Place Secondary were shocked to find that one of the student-built greenhouses on the campus was stolen overnight on Jan. 11. (Artemis Place Society/Facebook)
Saanich school hopes to catch greenhouse thief red-handed

Student-built greenhouses stolen from Artemis Place Secondary on Jan. 11

Sipili Molia, regional kettle manager, shows off the Salvation Army’s new contactless donation system for the 2020 Christmas Kettle Campaign. (Black Press Media file photo)
Greater Victoria raises record-breaking $350,000 for Salvation Army

The charity says it’s seen an increase in need since COVID-19 hit

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
536 COVID cases, 7 deaths reported as B.C. finds its first case of South African variant

Henry said 69,746 people have received their first dose of the COVID vaccine.

Two toucans sit on tree at an unidentified zoo. (Pixabay.com)
BC SPCA calls for ban on exotic animal trade after 50 parrots, toucans pass through YVR

One toucan was found dead and several others were without food

Smaller egg farmers find themselves in a David and Goliath situation when it comes to major producers and chain-grocery store shelf space. (Citizen file)
Vancouver Island egg producer cries foul over ‘Island’ label

Egg farmer frustrated with regulations allowing mainland-laid eggs to be labelled ‘Island’

Police and fire crews at work at a fire scene at Mount Prevost School (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Classes cancelled by fire at a Duncan-area school for the second time this week

Fire this morning at Duncan area middle school follows Monday blaze at nearby elementary

Nanaimo RCMP seek public assistance after numerous tire slashings between Jan. 12-14. (News Bulletin file)
Police seek public’s help after ‘tire slashing spree’ in central Nanaimo

Ten reports of slashed tires in the last three days, say Nanaimo RCMP

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials says it will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 12

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

50 km/hr speed limit sign.
POLL: What do you think the speed limit should be on residential streets without a centre line?

Traffic on side streets around Greater Victoria could soon be travelling at… Continue reading

Most Read