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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C – The City is hoping an additional community fireworks display will prevent residents from setting off their own display.

During a Jan. 25 council meeting, Mayor Lori Ackerman asked staff to bring back a report detailing fireworks’ possibility on New Year’s Eve.

Staff was also asked to find a way to raise awareness surrounding the liability when residents set off their own display.

“The goal here is to add a day to the community fireworks and to inform people who are doing them in an unpermitted fashion that they are held liable,” says Ackerman.

Council members mentioned the noise complaints they receive about the illegal displays.

Councillor Trevor Bolin mentioned Grand Prairie’s fireworks display on both Canada Day and New Year’s Eve.

“Because they have them on Dec. 31 it’s a very small amount of people that actually set them up on their own because the events done. I guess I would rather see us have one event that everybody can partake in than to have 35 different people setting off fireworks in their neighbourhoods, which we can’t police anyways.”

“We’ll do it, we’ll do it right, and we’ll do it safe, or the potential of, in order for others to not have to cause those issues,” he adds.

As staff looks into the issue, Councillor Gord Klassen notes other communities use alternative displays such as lights and lasers. This is for different reasons, including the noise issue, to reduce pollution or for economic purposes.

“I was gonna just throw out there the idea that perhaps staff can look at what options that are being used worldwide, not just Canada, but some of them are doing different things now that seems to be catching on.”

According to the fire prevention bylaw, fireworks can’t be sold, given, or set off in the City. A $100 fine could be handed out to those who don’t abide by the bylaw.

With a fireworks supplier permit, the fire department is allowed to set off fireworks for events.

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