Eskasoni restricts fireworks use after noise complaints

Fireworks are a popular sight in the Cape Breton skies, especially during the holidays.

But while many people enjoy their hiss, boom, and shimmer, others are bothered by the unpredictable noise.

“It’s a fun and fun thing for the kids and the family, and we don’t want to discourage that, but we ask them to be considerate,” Eskasoni chief Leroy Denny said.

He said pyrotechnics should be reserved for special occasions, not “almost every night”. Over the past few weeks, Denny said he has heard many complaints about fireworks in his community.

Cause a disturbance

Aside from the possible danger of handling fireworks, Denny said problems arise when people set them off late at night or early in the morning.

He said it can impact community members who are most vulnerable, including the elderly, children with autism, newborns and pets.

Chief Leroy Denny said fireworks will not be banned in Eskasoni, but residents are urged to stop lighting them after 9 p.m., except on holidays. (Tom Ayers / CBC)

“We just want to ask people to be considerate and to really think about these people,” he said.

Eskasoni Band Council is now asking residents to stop using fireworks after 9 p.m., with a few exceptions for community events and holidays.

Restricted by regulation in CBRM

In the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, consumer fireworks are banned under a noise bylaw.

But CBRM’s building, planning, and licensing laws official Paul Burt said that hasn’t stopped people from using them.

Over the years, Burt has heard a few complaints about the noise and dust from fireworks.

It is up to the local police to enforce the municipal by-law. And that can be a challenge, said Burt.

“The sale of fireworks is not prohibited,” he said. “[People] buy some of these fireworks. They turn them on in 10, 20 minutes and everything is done before, you know, the police can respond to a complaint. “

Burt said CBRM encourages neighbors to discuss fireworks when noise is an issue. If there are other concerns about the fireworks, owners can contact the police.

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Ethel Nester

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