Fireworks touch-off petition

A petition has been launched to get BC Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton to ban the sale of fireworks to private individuals

Tempers are flaring over the irresponsible use of fireworks during Halloween, and Ladysmith resident Kathy O’Toole has launched a petition to get BC Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton to ban the sale of fireworks to private individuals.

“We support the public display of fireworks – New Years Eve, Canada Day, and Halloween – but would like the provincial government to ban the sales of fireworks to the general public,” states O’Toole’s Change.Org public plea.

O’Toole posted her petition Friday, Nov. 6; as of 2:34 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 8, 753 had signed up online in support. To go to the petition visit Change.Org and type “Stop the private use of fireworks in British Columbia” into the site’s search function.

Without a province-wide ban, fireworks incidents will continue to occur in B.C., O’Toole said, because local governments can’t put a damper on them. “Municipal by-laws restricting sales are ineffective and difficult to enforce when people can go elsewhere to purchase fireworks,” she said.

Noting that domestic animals and wildlife are often terrified by fireworks, and sometimes sustain injuries because they are panicked and run away to escape the noise, she said enough!

“We have a responsibility to care for animals, both urban and wild; our desire to be entertained in our backyard should not supersede their right to a safe and fear-free environment,” O’Toole said.

There were several incidents in Ladysmith.

Fire & Rescue was called out after fireworks were set off at Ladysmith Secondary School.

Ladysmith resident Gabbi Knoop reported on Facebook that her family’s pet cat had been struck by what their veterinarian believed was a firework.

“At 6 a.m… my small grey and white cat was clawing and meowing to get inside,” Knoop reported. “Once inside we found a gaping hole in his back, all fur and skin was gone in and around the hole.”