Fireworks launched in public parks in Ajax on Canada Day

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Published July 7, 2023 at 11:48 am

The mess left after illegal fireworks displays in an Ajax park. via the Town of Ajax

The Town of Ajax is reiterating its “zero tolerance” policy on fireworks bylaw infractions after finding numerous explosives were fired in public parks and piles of litter were left behind.

Bylaw officers were on patrol in Ajax’s parks from June 30 to July 2 to look for illegal fireworks displays. Over the course of the weekend, they warned several people before they could light their fireworks and issued 14 charges to people caught in the act.

One person was also charged with the criminal offence of obstructing police when they refused to show a Durham Regional Police officer their ID.

Ajax Fire and Emergency services had to be dispatched to two incidents. In the first, fireworks set a garbage can aflame. In the second, fireworks caused damage to private property, though the town did not specify what kind of damage occurred.

Clean-up of the incidents took more than 14 hours of staff time and the burnt garbage receptacle cost the town $1,200 to replace.

Under the Town’s new fireworks bylaw, they are only permitted the day before, the day of the holiday and the day after. The only holidays when fireworks are allowed are; Victoria Day, Canada Day, Lunar New Year, Eid al-Fitr and Diwali. Previously only Victoria Day and Canada Day were allowed, but the 2022 update added the others.

Under the bylaw, residents can only launch fireworks from land they are the registered owner of, or with written permission from the property owner. Fireworks cannot be launched from Ajax’s roadway, parks or green spaces. Anyone who breaches these provisions can be fined for each offence.

“We’ve taken a stern and educational approach to enforcement to date. Unfortunately, some are not getting the message. The amount of reports of those not following our Fireworks By-law this past weekend and other designated holidays is troublesome,” said Mayor Shaun Collier. “I ask residents to do your part and be a good neighbour by respecting our by-laws. If you are looking for firework events, annually the Town hosts Canada Day activities, including a professional fireworks finale – these activities are safe and enjoyable for the entire family.”

Ajax hosts an annual Canada Day professional fireworks show at the Ajax Downs and encourages residents to head there instead of launching their own.

 

 

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