As a fire chief and local assistant to the Fire Commissioner in Pitt Meadows for 25 years, I was a strong contributor and supporter of our current fireworks bylaw.
Fires and injuries were becoming frequent and public safety demanded better controls. Unfortunately increased local sale of fireworks in Pitt Meadows and other nearby community locations has made a barely manageable situation impossible to enforce. The fire department, bylaw enforcement and RCMP used to do community drive bys and complaint responses on Halloween.
Now, without enforcement, our bylaw is no longer an real law – legal or illegal.
This year was, without question, the worst year for the ignition of fireworks in the 50 years we have lived here. It would appear that our local government and public safety agencies no longer have the capability nor the desire to enforce our current bylaw.
Posting public safety announcements on social media and the newspapers obviously has no effect. It is just a matter of time before property will be lost or people will die or be injured.
It is time we put some “teeth” behind our bylaws with action – the involvement, visibility and fines from our local governments and public safety agencies is sorely needed.
It is time to lobby for an actual ban on the sale of fireworks by any group or individuals in or adjacent to our communities.
Dave Douglas, Pitt Meadows
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