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EDITORIAL – City’s decision to take fireworks out of Canada Day is hasty

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

I’M NOT BUYING the City’s reasons for cancelling the fireworks display at this year’s Canada Day celebrations.

Certainly, it’s great news that the event is making a return after the COVID-19 pause. Even without the fireworks, it will be a great opportunity for residents to get together again to celebrate our country.

But cancelling the fireworks at this point is jumping the gun. The rationale provided by the City is that they might present a fire hazard. With a month to go before the big day, that’s showing an abundance of caution.

Although it could happen, there’s no indication yet that this summer is going to be a repeat of last year or other disastrous years in our forests.

Nevertheless, some people will be pleased with the decision, either because they, too, worry about the weather, or because they see fireworks displays as generally a dangerous hazard.

A few months ago, I wrote about the latter, noting that fireworks on New Year’s Eve and Hallowe’en result in property damage, environmental damage and injuries, and are hell on animals.

Dogs and horses panic at the noise and bright light and many tragically die as a result. It’s also true that fires have been caused.

But the problem is with private fireworks displays, the kind in which mom and dad go to one of those pop-up fireworks sales places, load up with pinwheels, Roman candles and the like, and set them off in the back yard.

Private fireworks are already restricted in Kamloops, and have been banned altogether in some places. Consumer fireworks need to be prohibited nationwide. In other words, stop selling them on the open market.

In the hands of professionals, and scheduled with plenty of public notice, community fireworks can be safe. Canada Day is one such major event at which they’re appropriate.

If weather conditions suddenly become a major concern, they can be cancelled, but doing so now is an over-reaction.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at mrothenburger@armchairmayor.ca.

About Mel Rothenburger (8956 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

2 Comments on EDITORIAL – City’s decision to take fireworks out of Canada Day is hasty

  1. Rod Totten // May 31, 2022 at 3:29 PM // Reply

    This council is just forcing their views upon the city as they had fireworks when the fires were raging before, they figure that they will save some money so that said money could go towards the lunches that we pay for.

  2. Is there a forest nearby Riverside park that could catch fire? Or is it a budgetary issue? Or more internal squabbling? Personally I like peace and quiet but it would be interesting to find out the real motivation.

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