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Quispamsis to study issue of consumer fireworks

By Brad Perry Aug 17, 2023 | 1:40 PM

The Town of Quispamsis will create a committee to study the issue of consumer fireworks.

It is the second time in less than two years that the matter has come back before council.

After several discussions in early 2022, the conversation appeared to have fizzled out.

But two residents appeared before council this week asking to have fireworks banned outright.

Robert Hunt said while people might enjoy fireworks, they may not consider the negative impacts.

“At its core, this issue comes down to weighing our desire to be entertained against the impact on the environment, wildlife, domestic animals, pets, and the well-being of combat veterans,” said Hunt.

Rothesay council voted in July to ban the sale and use of consumer fireworks in the that community.

Council voted 4-3 to direct staff to come back with a draft bylaw and said it would “encourage” Quispamsis to do the same.

But one Quispamsis retailer that sells consumer fireworks does not agree with the need to ban them.

Jean-Marc Poirier, the president of Great Canadian Dollar Store, said he believes more education is needed about the town’s existing bylaws.

“We feel that the current bylaws are reasonable if they are followed by the residents, however, it would appear there is a lack of awareness and education with some of our residents given some of the complaints raised,” said Poirier.

Currently, Quispamsis residents are able to shoot off fireworks year-round between dusk and 11 p.m. every night.

Poirier said they believe most firework users are responsible, adding the town will never be able to please everyone on this issue.

The president said he is also concerned about what could happen if council were to ban the sale of fireworks in the town.

“The sale of items such as fireworks attracts customers well beyond our town limits. This brings consumers into our community who also purchase from other local businesses,” said Poirier.

Coun. Kerrie Luck put forward the motion to create a committee to study the issue. A similar motion she made in 2022 had been defeated.

Luck said it would be difficult for council to make a decision on this without taking a closer look at it.

“I hear the concerns and I think that we can do better,” said Luck.

Coun. Kirk Miller said he believes fireworks should be limited to a handful of nights each year around special occasions.

“The challenge of banning the sale here is people will just go to Kingston, you can get them online,” said Miller. “If we can’t ban it, at least put it down to four or five days.”

Coun. Noah Donovan said he is not in favour of an outright ban, but he does support having a committee study the issue.

Donovan said there appears to be a “fairly even split down the middle” of those who want them banned and those who want them to stay.

“Whenever there’s an opportunity to find a way forward that satisfies both sides or, at the very least, produces a more acceptable outcome than before, I believe it’s important to take that opportunity and run with it,” he said.

People who are interested in serving on the committee are encouraged to reach out to the town.

The nominating committee will make a recommendation to council at its Sept. 5 meeting.


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