Vancouver finally admits that fireworks on Halloween never should have been a thing
Those of you that love Vancouver's Halloween fireworks tradition are going to want to take advantage next October, because it'll be your last year to do so.
After a Halloween night filled with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damages and terrified pets, the city has voted to ban consumer fireworks by Halloween 2021.
🎆 Vancouver votes to ban fireworks 🎆— Justin McElroy (@j_mcelroy) November 6, 2019
Vote is 7-3, with Mayor @kennedystewart and councillors @MelissaDeGenova @councillorwiebe opposed.
Staff will now draft up the specific bylaw changes for a final vote, with a targeted date of 2021 for the ban.
Residents of the city have a longstanding tradition of lighting fireworks on the night of October 31, and many are angry that it will be no more.
According to City News, Vancouver’s fire department openly supported the proposed fireworks ban after one night ended with $360,000 worth of damages and two young people injured.
Vancouver's proposed #Fireworks ban is getting support from @VanFireRescue. This after a busier than normal #Halloween19 for crews: 20 fires linked to fireworks, resulting in ~$360,000 in damages. Two young people also wound up hurt. City council will vote on the ban tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/T9KqC8bbou— Kurtis Doering (@KDnewsguy) November 4, 2019
Yesterday, Vancouver's city council officially passed the ban with a vote of seven to three.
Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart voted against the ban, saying when he thinks of fireworks he thinks of fun.
Is Vancouver's mayor @kennedystewart simply not aware of the distress of animals and PTSD sufferers caused by fireworks or does he simply not care? Not to mention the environmental impact ... people enjoy Halloween all across the country with NO FIREWORKS, why can't Vancouver? https://t.co/DEYRFuqjp7— Kathryn (@Finnsspace) November 6, 2019
Many are speaking out in favour of the ban, saying a fun tradition isn't worth the damages it causes.
Vancouver Fire Rescue has reported over $300,000 in damages as a result of consumer fireworks this Halloween. The ban makes sense.— ilikefoodyum604 (@ilikefoodyum604) November 6, 2019
Alternatively, if you want to have private firework fun, maybe offer to pay additional taxes on fireworks to pay for the damages.
And many are also saying it's a move that rightfully protects pets, wildlife and the environment.
This poor pup. It's time to ban fireworks on Halloween! It's so stressful for pets & wildlife. #vancouver #vanpoli #northvancouver https://t.co/zgDUVvApMX— Emily Pickett (@EmmPickett) November 4, 2019
But others aren't quite so pleased.
Sad to see fireworks at Halloween banned in Vancouver. Our neighbourhood has put on a show for more than 20 years and the kids love it. I get the counter arguments, but as a native BCer, they've been part of my celebrations for many decades. https://t.co/B3uq375a1p— Kim Bolan (@kbolan) November 6, 2019
Many are saying the ban further contributes to Vancouver's "no fun" reputation.
No wonder Vancouver has the nickname of "no fun city". The Halloween private firework shows are one of the few "events" that does not involve busing an hour & cramming into downtown to participate if one is not privileged enough to live nearby.— Will Tsang (@WillTsang13) November 6, 2019
And some residents think it's unfair to try and suppress one of the city's oldest traditions.
I’m in my 40s but what you’ve described is totally familiar to my east Vancouver experience growing up. I have a very hard time imagining Halloween without fireworks. I’m generally of the “things change we need to adapt” attitude but this ban makes me sad & wistful & nostalgic.— Maria Dobrinskaya (@mdobrinskaya) November 6, 2019
Some are even saying the ban won't work, and that residents will continue with the tradition regardless.
Vancouver will never stop the use of Halloween fireworks. You can't interrupt tradition. Life... finds a way. We can't even stop rioting and that only happens once a decade.— Justin Morissette 👊🏻 (@JustinMoris) November 6, 2019
But either way, Halloween 2020 will be the last year to legally light up the sky in Vancouver.
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