Oshawa launching public review of fireworks in the city

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Published April 4, 2023 at 4:05 pm

Oshawa Council has rubber-stamped a committee decision to launch a public consultation process on fireworks in the city.

Several residents had approached council members earlier this year asking for a ban on consumer fireworks in Oshawa, similar to a prohibition approved in Brampton.

There was little appetite at either Council or the Safety and Facilities Services Committee for an outright ban so a motion was instead approved that would see staff initiate a review which would include consultation from the public.

Safety and Facilities Services Committee Chair Brian Nicholson said at Monday’s full Council meeting the review gives residents a chance to give staff and elected officials their point of view, “rather than a top-down process.”

The Fireworks By-law in Oshawa currently restricts the sale of consumer fireworks to the seven days prior to and on two statutory holidays – Victoria Day and Canada Day – and the celebration known as Diwali Day.

The consultation process would involve industry consultation, direct engagement with businesses that have previously been issued permits and with various advisory committees, as well as discussions with Durham Police and the Durham Region Municipal Insurance Pool.

The public consultation will be a four-week process and involve a feedback form available online at Connect Oshawa and on paper at Service Oshawa.

The staff report is expected back in the final quarter of 2023.

Clarington also underwent a review of its fireworks by-laws recently but the only change was the elimination of the insurance requirement for consumers, with staff noting the fees were considered “onerous” on families wishing to set off some fireworks in their backyard and that there wasn’t the staff to police who hadn’t purchased the insurance.

Staff at Clarington have also agreed to “continue to monitor the municipal sector for any emerging trends” in fireworks prohibitions.

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