Area director Ian Morrison. (Citizen file)

Area director Ian Morrison. (Citizen file)

Ian Morrison guest column: Fireworks – love them or hate them

I hope to get a better sense of Area F residents’ thoughts

By Ian Morrison

Many of you may have heard about the CVRD board authorizing a last-minute fireworks discharge permit for a Hallmark movie production being filmed in Mesachie Lake in Electoral Area F (Cowichan Lake South/Skutz Falls) in the Cowichan Valley Regional District.

The “update” is that circumstances resulted in the fireworks display not happening as a part of the movie production.

Some folks will celebrate and some folks will be sad, especially given the current state of debate regarding the future of fireworks in the CVRD.

If you weren’t aware, there are some grave and legitimate concerns about the discharge and sale of fireworks in our region. There will be a vote at the CVRD in the months ahead. I understand the many positions and opinions of different folks across Area F, and I’m still undecided as to whether I would support a full ban on discharge, allow community-based displays, support future TV and movie production requests, and private shows on recognized holiday and cultural events.

Many people have fond memories of fireworks displays from their past. This is often raised by some who don’t want to deny current and future generations those same fond memories.

The science seems to come down on the side of banning fireworks outright. Many regard fireworks as light, air, and sound pollution.

The dramatic effects on livestock, pets, and people, are often shared in heartfelt online and newsprint stories. The impacts on wildlife are being better understood, like avoiding nesting periods and when animals are rearing their young. Questions are being asked about the chemical laden papers that wrap the fireworks and are shredded into tiny pieces upon detonation.

It should be noted that effective enforcement of existing and future bylaws and regulations is nearly impossible, regardless of whether it’s CVRD staff or the RCMP.

Elected officials are required by the Local Government Act to keep an open mind, and be open to new information when considering a matter, right up until we raise our hand to vote.

I would ask anyone reading this article, especially Electoral Area F residents, who has a viewpoint you feel I should consider, to email me at ian.morrison@cvrd.bc.ca.

I hope to have a better sense of Area F residents’ thoughts, when this is again considered at a future meeting of committee or the board of the CVRD.

Ian Morrison is the CVRD director for Area F, Cowichan Lake South/Skutz Falls.

Column