A petition calling for a Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) bylaw to restrict the sale of fireworks has been signed over 2,000 time. The creator of the change.org page gave a presentation to the RDN electoral area services committee to provide context for the call for change.
“In my mind it’s like someone selling guns along the highway. It is a serious thing [and] I hope you take it seriously. I hope we don’t have to wait for something tragic to happen. It’s out of control,” said Lynn Northwood, who created the online petition.
Northwood said about 300 of the 2,155 signatures are from the regional district when asked by director Lehann Wallace.
“We are here now seeking your support for the prohibition of the sale of fireworks to the general public and some adequate penalties for the indiscriminate use of fireworks,” said Liz Yeates, who joined Northwood for the presentation.
The petition page cites environmental concerns, risk to wildlife and domestic animals, risk of fire and human mental health as reasoning for the need to restrict firework sales in the RDN.
Fireworks can have inadvertent effects on people with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), specifically veterans, they said in their request to present to the RDN. Yeates said she works in the geriatric community and fireworks have a negative effect on the people she works with.
“For every small group setting off fireworks anywhere and anytime of the night, there are countless people and animals suffering as a consequence! The answer is simple – get on it – stop the sale and use. There are alternatives available to celebrate!!” reads the petition page.
Northwood and Yeates encouraged the RDN to promote laser and light shows in place of fireworks for celebrations. They hope to have fireworks restricted to certain days of the year only, according to their petition.