Nova Scotia

Eskasoni restricts use of fireworks after noise complaints

Chief Leroy Denny says he's received multiple complaints about fireworks going off at all hours.

Chief Leroy Denny says fireworks can be fun, but people need to be considerate of their neighbours

Fireworks are seen in this file photo. Eskasoni is restricting the use of fireworks after a series of complaints in the Cape Breton community. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

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

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

"They're a fun thing and fun for children and family, and we don't want to discourage that, but we do ask them to be considerate," said Eskasoni Chief Leroy Denny. 

He said pyrotechnics should be for special occasions, not "almost every night." Over the last few weeks, Denny said he's heard numerous complaints of fireworks going off in his community. 

Causing a disturbance

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

He said that can have an impact on members of the community who are the most vulnerable, including elders, children with autism, newborns and pets.

Chief Leroy Denny says fireworks won't be banned in Eskasoni, but residents are asked to stop lighting them after 9 p.m., with the exceptions of holidays. (Tom Ayers/CBC)

"We just want to ask people to be considerate and really think of those people," he said.

Eskasoni band council is now asking residents to stop using fireworks past 9 p.m., with a few exceptions for community events and holidays.

Restricted under bylaw in CBRM

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

But CBRM's manager of building, planning and licensing laws, 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 of fireworks.

It's up to the local police to enforce the municipal bylaw. And that can be a challenge, said Burt.

"The sale of fireworks is not banned," he said. "[People] purchase some of these fireworks. They light them off in 10, 20 minutes and everything is done before, you know, the police can respond to a complaint."

Burt said CBRM encourages neighbours to have discussions about fireworks when noise is an issue. If there are other concerns regarding fireworks, homeowners can contact police. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Erin Pottie

Reporter

Erin Pottie is a CBC reporter based in Sydney. She has been covering local news in Cape Breton for 15 years. Story ideas welcome at erin.pottie@cbc.ca.

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