Fireworks sales will now be allowed in Morinville
by Colin Smith
Morinville residents will now be able to purchase fireworks in the community following Town Council approval of Fire Services Bylaw amendments.
Under the bylaw, given second and third reading without further discussion at council’s regular meeting Tuesday, no permit will be required for the purchase of low-hazard consumer fireworks from retailers.
That is one of the several changes made to the bylaw since it came before council and received its first reading on January 11.
In the initial version of the bylaw, residents needed a permit issued by the Town of Morinville for the purchase and storage of fireworks. Fireworks wholesalers and distributors needed written permission from the fire chief or a designate to provide fireworks to retail vendors.
Fireworks sales would have been allowed on only 50 days of the year. Those were the 10 days up to and including Victoria Day, up to and including the Sunday following the Canada Day holiday, the Heritage Day holiday, the Labour Day Holiday and New Year’s Day.
At its February 8 meeting council heard presentations suggesting that the provisions of this bylaw would provide difficulties for local businesses wishing to sell fireworks.
Council members had many questions, particularly about the efficacy of the bylaw amendments, and whether the permitting process would lead Morinville residents to buy fireworks where there is less restriction rather than from local retailers.
The matter was referred to the February 15 committee of the whole meeting, where further discussion took place.
The above provisions were dropped in the new version of the bylaw brought to council, which now permits any Morinville resident 18 and over to freely buy and store low-hazard consumer fireworks at any time of the year, except during fire bans.
Low-hazard consumer fireworks are defined as “fireworks that are designed for recreational use and are classified as low-hazard fireworks within the Explosives Act,” a definition that replaces a possibly confusing list of products, and specifically excluding sparklers.
Setting off fireworks continues to be banned in Morinville, except for town-sanctioned displays put on by certified professionals.
Retail vendors who wish to sell fireworks will need to obtain a permit from the town.
The bylaw states that fireworks permit holders and consumers must comply with relevant legislation including the 2019 Alberta Fire and Building Codes, Safety Codes Act, Explosives Act and Natural Resources Canada and Transport Canada regulations.
Included in the bylaw is a requirement that Council reviews the measure in a year.