BRAMPTON – A new by-law in the city of Brampton says residents must apply for and receive a permit before they can light fireworks at their homes.
The by-law includes a requirement that properties have at least a 60-foot frontage.
“It excludes an awful lot of people, probably the majority of properties in the City of Brampton,” said deputy fire chief of the Brampton Fire and Emergency Services, Brian Maltby. “But it does include a fair number of properties.”
The regulations will apply to anyone wanting to light fireworks for any of the legally allowed holidays.
In Brampton, those holidays are:
Residents can access applications online, at Brampton City Hall, or by calling 3-1-1.
For Canada Day, applications must be submitted by June 29. If the application is accepted, the city will issue a permit within 48 hours.
Brampton resident and COO of the Etobicoke based Phat Boy Fireworks Sherman Heer calls the permit restrictive, and said he suggested something to regulators in Brampton more in line with what Vancouver does.
In Vancouver, there is a quiz based on safety regulations that people can fill out in store. Heer said with Brampton’s by-law, stores will have to “drive people away.”
Besides, he suggested: “This is just for the rich… the majority of people who live in Brampton do not have a 60-foot frontage.”
Brampton Fire and Emergency services says the permit idea was sparked after a growing number of complaints about fireworks in the city, not because of safety concerns.
In 2011, Brampton received 210 calls and complaints from residents about fireworks, but the nature of the complaints were not disclosed. Of all four holidays that fireworks are allowed in Brampton, the most complaints (at 116), were called in during Diwali.
“Everybody knows that fireworks are blown up for Victoria Day, they know they’re blown up for Canada Day, they know they’re blown up for New Year’s,” said Heer.
“Not everybody knows they’re blown up for Diwali.”
As a provincial offence, fines for using fireworks without a permit in the City of Brampton could be up to $5,000.
© Shaw Media, 2014