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

A pinniped was attacked by an unseen predator off the shores of Dallas Road Monday night. (Courtesy of Steffani Cameron)
VIDEO: Seal hunting, not being hunted in video shot off Dallas Road

Victoria woman captures footage of pinniped activity off Dallas Road

In January, six flights with cases of COVID-19 onboard have landed at the Victoria International Airport so far. (Black Press Media file photo)
Two new COVID-19 exposures reported on flights to Victoria

A Jan. 10 flight from Toronto and Jan. 11 flight from Calgary were affected

December and January, so far, have seen their share of rain. (Black Press Media file photo)
Potential for snow in Greater Victoria after unusually wet December, January

Winter is on the way, says Environment and Climate Change Canada

Firefighters respond to a fire on Heatherly Road in Colwood Jan. 19. (Photo courtesy of View Royal Fire Rescue)
Two people escape injury in Colwood house fire

Heatherly Road fire started on a covered porch

B.C. Representative for Children and Youth Jennifer Charlesworth (Black Press files)
B.C. watchdog says mentally ill children and youth retraumatized in hospital

The number of children held under the Mental Health Act has increased an alarming 162 per cent in past decade

A new video from NCCIH and BC Northern Health titled ‘Healing in Pandemic Times: Indigenous Peoples, Stigma and COVID-19’ was animated by Joanne Gervais. (Photo Provided By: NCCIH Archives)
VIDEO: Stigma against Indigenous people is a ‘social sickness’

A new short animated video is aiming to educate the public on the stigmatization

Nanaimo RCMP are investigating after a threat was made at Woodgrove Centre on Tuesday, Jan. 19. (News Bulletin file photo)
Threat directed at Nanaimo mall, RCMP investigating

Police have searched areas of Woodgrove Centre accessible to shoppers and have deemed it safe

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau vows to keep up the fight to sway U.S. on merits of Keystone XL pipeline

Canada’s pitch to the Biden team has framed Keystone XL as a more environmentally friendly project than original

The British Columbia Hotel Association (BCHA) sent out a sharply worded release late last week, in which it noted that the Tourism Industry Association of BC recently obtained a ‘legal opinion’ on the matter (Alex Passini photo)
Hotel associations push back against any potential ban on inter-provincial, non-essential travel restrictions

B.C. Premier John Horgan is seeking legal advice on banning non-essential travel

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
COVID rapid tests in long-term care key during vaccine rollout: B.C. care providers

‘Getting kits into the hands of care providers should be a top priority,’ says former Health Minister

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. turns to second doses of COVID-19 vaccine as supplies slow

Pfizer shipments down until February, to be made up in March

B.C.’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training announced funding to train community mental health workers at four B.C. post-secondary institutions. (Stock photo)
B.C. funding training of mental health workers at four post-secondary institutions

Provincial government says pandemic has intensified need for mental health supports

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
No Pfizer vaccines arriving in Canada next week; feds still expect 4M doses by end of March

More cases of U.K. variant, South African variant found in Canada

Most Read