Council passes Fire Services Bylaw

by Colin Smith

Morinville residents no longer need a permit to possess fireworks but don’t expect an explosive free-for-all.

The change is incorporated in a new Fire Services Bylaw approved by Town Council at its June 14 regular meeting.

Previously, possession of fireworks without a permit could result in a $100 fine. The permit to possess them is no longer needed, but there is now a $100 fine for storing fireworks in an unsafe manner.

In addition, it is still prohibited to sell, purchase or discharge fireworks for anyone who doesn’t have a fireworks permit issued by the Town of Morinville. The fine for discharging fireworks without a permit is $250, for selling them it’s $500.

The cost of a fireworks permit is $75 for an event not sponsored by the Town, but they’re not likely to be issued often.

“We’re not changing so that you can discharge now in the Town of Morinville,” said Fire Chief Brad Boddez.

Boddez said that while possession is now allowed the actual sales and discharge of fireworks should remain prohibited.

“Unfortunately, I have seen the devastation and trauma that fireworks use can bring,” he said. “However I am unfortunate that I have not seen that often in the last 32 years in the department, because we did have the bylaw and we didn’t have probability of increasing injuries.”

Boddez noted that he researched the fireworks regulations of 11 local communities and found them to be similar, based on the Alberta Fire Code. Fireworks are also regulated by the National Fire Code and the federal Explosives Act.

The new Fire Services Bylaw also includes minor text edits, and the fees and charges listed the previous bylaw have been moved to the Fees and Charges Bylaw.

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