At the August 4, 2020 MV Council in Committee Meeting, By-Law Enforcement Officer Corwin Quade reported that he had received a large number of complaints about the use of fireworks during 2020 and he was looking for direction from Council. His November 17, 2020 recommendation was to restrict the use of fireworks to Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Canada Day between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. for a maximum of 30 minutes. Council directed staff to present them with a draft Fireworks By-Law, and suggested amendments to existing By-Laws relating to Noise and Burning. Click HERE for a report of that meeting. Above fireworks reflected in lake. photo kawarthanow
Earlier, the July 7, 2020 Council meeting included an email from a resident who came to the cottage to celebrate Canada Day and “enjoy quiet time in the beautiful Madawaska Valley.” I’ll leave out the part about the noise and chemicals, but her concluding plea was “please act quickly to save this unique environment from destruction.”
Economic growth and environment are related say developers
At the October 6 Council in Committee meeting, a note from Kristin Marchand, who is evidently selling some lots in the area, stated that she “would like to market the area with the iconic sights and the sounds of the loons” and that she would appreciate some restrictions on the use of fireworks.
Or, how about Mark Snider’s promotional message for lots he is selling in Algonquin Heights on Trout Lake: “private building sites immersed in nature … located in arguably one of the most beautiful corners of Ontario, among rolling hills and lakes.” Nine lots sold at last check.
Developers are telling us why they believe people come to the Madawaska Valley and buyers are confirming that IT’S ABOUT THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT and if we continue to ignore its importance, we do so at our peril. It’s great to know that people can come to Barry’s Bay to have a good time reconnecting with nature. There is a positive correlation between economic expansion and environmental preservation.
Many residents report that fireworks have adverse effects on people suffering from PTSD, adverse effects on pets and wildlife and the rest of the ecosystem. Did I mention the effect on residents who get up early in the morning to go to work or infants needing their sleep?
Consider Hastings Highlands (i.e. south basin of Kamaniskeg Lake). Their regulations say that fireworks may be set off from June 20 to Thanksgiving on Fridays and Saturdays from dusk to 11 p.m. and including Victoria Day, Canada Day, Labour Day and New Year’s Eve.
Or, Highlands East By-Law which allows fireworks on Victoria Day, Canada Day, Civic Holiday, Labour Day weekends (from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.) and New Year’s Eve.
MV postpones by-law in favour of education
The latest on the Madawaska Valley Fireworks By-Law (based on the March 2 Council in Committee meeting) is that it will be postponed for 2021 and an educational campaign will be developed to encourage the responsible use of fireworks. An effective educational campaign has the potential to explain the harmful effects of fireworks and most people will self-regulate. Some may not, and time will tell.
The way things stand after the March 2 meeting, people may set off fireworks in MV seven days per week from dusk to 11 p.m. That totals about 160 evenings from the May long weekend through Thanksgiving. It is my sincere hope that a quality educational campaign will encourage people to be responsible with the use of fireworks. Otherwise, what will we do when the loons are gone?