This Halloween will be the last opportunity for Vancouver residents to legally purchase and make use of retail fireworks.
Starting November 1, 2020, a ban will take effect that prohibits the commercial sale and use of the product. Vancouver City Council approved a motion last November to ban the sale of fireworks, which will be implemented through a two-pronged approach.
The motion was introduced by Councillor Pete Fry, who said that the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) faces escalating calls for fireworks-related issues in the days leading up to Halloween. He also noted that the cost of damages from consumer fireworks has averaged at $379,000 over the past 12 years.
For this coming Halloween, the sale and use of fireworks will remain legal. Any vendors that sell fireworks, however, will be required to close their businesses by October 31 at 6 pm as opposed to midnight.
According to a previous staff report from the City of Vancouver, an earlier closing time ensures that consumers have “sufficient time to handle and set up their fireworks properly and safely.”
The fine for violating rules surrounding fireworks is also being doubled this October, from $500 to $1,000.
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The second and final step of the fireworks ban will take place after Halloween. The City of Vancouver will eliminate the permit system and process that allows for consumer-grade fireworks to be purchased by the public.
The upcoming ban won’t apply to large-scale city events or holidays that have certified fireworks technicians, such as New Year’s Eve, Canada Day, Diwali, Chinese New Year, and the Celebration of Lights.
The proposed by-law amendments would only apply to the sale of fireworks in Vancouver; however, it can’t be enforced in other municipalities.
Vancouver is one of the remaining cities in the region that, prior to the ban, allowed for the sale and use of consumer fireworks. North Vancouver, Coquitlam, Richmond, and Surrey are just a few of the cities that have banned fireworks, although they still get their fair share of consumer use.