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Waterloo cracks down on fireworks usage around certain holidays

Residents in the City of Waterloo can now only set off fireworks a day before and after Canada Day, Victoria Day, Lunar New Year and Diwali until 11:00 p.m.
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It's become quite the nuissance, especially in recent years.

And now Waterloo city council said enough is enough with fireworks being set off well beyond holiday periods.

Council voted to amend its fireworks bylaw Monday afternoon, with tighter timelines on when residents can set them off.

The rules permit usage one day before and after Canada Day, Victoria Day, the Lunar New Year and Diwali, and a time limit on those days of 11:00 p.m.

This comes after numerous complaints to bylaw and police officers, which have been escalating as of late.

Council made a request to review the bylaw on May 31, following a Victoria Day long weekend where this behaviour continued, a bylaw that hasn't been updated since 2006.

The Director of municipal enforcement in Waterloo Nicole Papke said there's hope these recommendations and changes will help the situation.

It remains to be seen if this change will help, as much of the issue centres around workforce demands with bylaw officers.

Joan Roblin spoke as a delegate at the Monday meeting, on behalf of her and neighbours that have properties backing onto a school park on Cedarbrae Avenue.

She said it's difficult to get a hold of bylaw, and due to demands on the workforce, bylaw officers aren't able to attend until after people disperse.

"We are now experiencing 35 to 50 people minimum, and more, on May the 24th and July 1st weekends, and that's happened for the last two years," she said.

"This year, it's been very much out of control, with people bringing crates of fireworks to the diamonds and holding organized fireworks displays."

Roblin said the displays would sometimes run in the middle of the night, at 2:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m., adding some fireworks were thrown into the backyards of neighbouring properties and her own dog has been traumatized by the events.

Waterloo bylaw said separate to the amendment, they plan to communicate the changes in the bylaw so residents know ahead of the next holiday.


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