Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Family Fireworks Restrictions Could Take Bang out of Celebrations: Industry

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Family Fireworks Restrictions Could Take Bang out of Celebrations: Industry

Article excerpt

Alberta lights family fireworks industry's fuse


EDMONTON - The fireworks industry says an Alberta proposal to regulate family fireworks would take the bang and sparkle out of celebrating events such as Canada Day.

The province is considering changes to its fire code that would force municipalities to pass bylaws to either ban fireworks such as Roman candles and bottle rockets or strictly regulate their sale and use.

The concern is that consumer fireworks can injure people and cause fires.

The Canadian National Fireworks Association said Alberta's proposal would effectively ban these types of fireworks in many communities. It maintains the products are safe if they are used properly.

"The CFNA is concerned that if Alberta bans legal fireworks it will drive the sale and purchase of the products underground," association executive director Dominique Allen said Friday.

"If a consumer wants to use fireworks they will figure out a way to buy them."

The Alberta Fire Chiefs Association has been asking the provincial government for an outright ban.

The government decided to conduct a survey that suggested about half of the communities in the province want to make their own decision about fireworks.

Alberta Municipal Affairs spokesman Jerry Ward said the government proposal being considered would leave the decision to municipalities.

"We are going to update the Alberta fire code and it will spell out that municipalities have the ability to either allow or ban the sale and use of family fireworks," Ward said.

If a community decides to allow fireworks, it would have to pass a bylaw that would require retailers and people to buy a permit to sell, purchase or use them.

Ward said the Alberta government will consider the new policy this fall.

Allen said such a bylaw would be costly for municipalities to administer and enforce.

The fire code changes would not affect professional fireworks displays at events such as municipal Canada Day celebrations, the Calgary Stampede or Edmonton's K-Days. …

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