By Chad Ingram
Algonquin Highlands council passed a new fireworks bylaw for the township during a Sept. 3 meeting, that bylaw relegating the use of fireworks to certain holidays, banning the sale and use of flying lanterns, and imposing fines of $300 to $500 for violation of the bylaw.
The bylaw relegates the setting off of fireworks to New Year’s Eve, the Victoria Day weekend, Canada Day, as well as the weekend either preceding or following Canada Day, depending on where during the week Canada Day falls; the Civic Holiday weekend and the Labour Day long weekend. With the exception of New Year’s Eve, the permissible time for the setting off of fireworks is between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. On New Year’s Eve, fireworks may be set off between 8 p.m. and 1 a.m.
The bylaw is similar to ones in place in other townships in the county.
The use or sale of flying lanterns comes with a $500 fine. Setting off fireworks outside specified days or times will come with a $300 fine. The fine for setting off fireworks during a fire ban is $500, and the fine for having display fireworks set off without a permit is $500.
Residents will be able to apply to the township for a permit to set off fireworks displays on special occasions.
The fine for a vendor refusing to post notice of the regulations is also $500.
“We’ll need to make sure that the local businesses that sell fireworks are aware of our decision,” said Mayor Carol Moffatt.