Coun. Pete Fry wants to ban retail fireworks sales in Vancouver

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      This might be the second-to-last last Halloween in Vancouver in which residents can legally shop for Roman candles, smoke bombs, and ground spinners.

      That's because Green councillor Pete Fry has a motion on notice seeking to prohibit the retail sale of fireworks in 2021. 

      It's on the Tuesday (October 22) council agenda, but given the level of public interest, it's likely to be referred to a council committee for public input.

      One of Fry's objectives is to give the city's animal population a break on Halloween from noisy pyrotechnical displays.

      "Research studies show that the noise from fireworks causes a great amount of fear, stress and anxiety in wild animals," the notice of motion states. "Other documented effects include nesting birds and other small mammal parents abandoning their nests leaving their defenseless babies behind. The panic can sometimes cause so much disorientation that wildlife parents cannot locate their nests and babies die."

      Moreover, Fry states in the notice of motion, the disorientation from the noise can cause birds to fly into windows and buildings or out to sea to escape the aural bombardment.

      Then there are the effects on emergency-services personnel. According to Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services, there's an average fire loss per year of $379,000 due to the use of fireworks.

      Coun. Pete Fry thinks a fireworks ban would lessen the likelihood of injuries and offer relief to wild and domestic animals from Halloween noise.

      In addition, Fry notes that fireworks killed eight people in the United States in 2017 and left another 12,000 with injuries requiring medical treatment, half of whom where under the age of 20.

      His notice of motion recommends that any bylaw banning retail fireworks sales would include exemptions for large public events, such as the Honda Celebration of Light, and for cultural or religious events, such as Diwali.