City of Pembroke revises its fireworks bylaw, stiffens fines for infractions
Gananoque Reporter

At its Nov. 17 meeting Pembroke council approved an updated fireworks bylaw for the city.

Pembroke Fire Chief Dan Herback had brought a proposed revised bylaw that he developed to the city’s finance and administration committee for approval back in October. As part of the new bylaw, fines for violations have been substantially increased going from $10 and $50 to $500 for violations.

Another of the other major points in the new bylaw include that fireworks cannot be sold to or handled by or used by persons under the age of 18. There is also a ban on the sale and use of firecrackers specifically.

Under the new bylaw fireworks can only be set off without a permit on Victoria Day and Canada Day, and the two days immediately preceding and following each of those days, between dusk and 11 p.m.

At the meeting the fire chief told committee that there have been some fireworks related problems recently with residents displaying fireworks not allowed within the existing bylaw and setting them off in a dangerous fashion resulting in fires and property damage.

Herback said two fires this year were caused by using fireworks in an unsafe manner.

Mayor Michael LeMay thanked Herback for bringing a proposed new bylaw forward and pointed out the framework of the existing bylaw previous to the updated one dated from 1975.

“What you’ve done here is tremendous,” LeMay said. “We have to be up to date otherwise we’re not serving the residents properly.”

Herback noted in the existing bylaw there were some dated references to positions that no longer exist such as the chief of the Pembroke Police.

Councillor Christine Reavie said she was glad to see a new and revised bylaw with steeper fines.

“There are times when I believe I live in a war zone, because of firecrackers particularly,” she said.

The new bylaw as initially proposed did feature a point that committee did not agree with and voted it be struck from the bylaw that would be brought before council to enact.

That was limiting the selling of fireworks to only a few weeks around the legal dates when they could be used.

Finance and administration committee chairman Councillor Andrew Plummer said he could not support the proposed bylaw unless amended because he felt council had no place regulating a product that was legal and could be sold.

Most councillors agreed with Plummer and voted to strike the sales ban from the bylaw.

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