North Cowichan fireworks bylaw changes allow for public events

North Cowichan has changed its regulations to allow registered organizations to get permits to put on public fireworks shows.

Councillors approved the re-working of the fireworks bylaw at the Sept. 17 council meeting. The bylaw simply prohibits fireworks to sold, kept or discharged with this one exemption.

"That’s the most significant change," North Cowichan’s corporate services director, Mark Ruttan, told councillors, explaining the idea was to ensure "safe public events" could be scheduled.

The organization may apply for a one-day permit but must provide a fire safety plan and pay a fee.

Any violations could net the offender a fine of "not less than $100," according to the bylaw. The idea is to get the new rules in place by Halloween.

Coun. John Koury said, "the idea was: ‘Let’s test it.’ This was seen at committee as a good first step to control the socially unacceptable behaviour in our neighbourhoods around fireworks."