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Letter: North Van fireworks ban sparks opposing views

District of North Vancouver advanced a motion calling for a fireworks ban last month
Fireworks GettyImages
The District of North Vancouver is considering a ban on consumer fireworks.

Dear Editor:

As a longtime resident (over 60 years!), we have always enjoyed Halloween - perhaps even more than Christmas - and part of that time-honoured tradition is to have fireworks after all the trick-or-treating. Family and friends gather and have a wonderful time.

Now, Coun. Megan Curren has put forth a motion to cancel all that. Is it the squeaky wheel gets all of the attention?

Thousands of people all over the North Shore go out and celebrate every year, and of course there are always the grumpies that complain the next day but all in all it is a mostly safe and fun tradition.   

I implore the rest of council not to say “Oh well, I guess that’s the way it has to be,” and stand up for the thousands of us who have a wonderful time once a year.  

I and hopefully many others will be watching how this council votes, and remember next time we go to the voting booth.

Peter Lovegrove
Lynn Valley

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Dear Editor:

I would like to acknowledge while it would be a “loss of a tradition,” it is time. Maybe we need to re-examine the history here on the North Shore and in the Vancouver area. I have heard that it is because of the historical British influence and Guy Fawkes Day on Nov. 5?

I would like to share that having grown up in Toronto, where fireworks were lit off on the May 24 long weekend, when I moved here, they seemed foreign. They also seemed dangerous, and something that children didn’t need after their trick-or-treating. Therefore, when my children (now adults) asked why they didn’t have fireworks, I simply shared that our traditions (their father grew up in Manitoba) did not include fireworks at Halloween. They embraced it, and occasionally enjoyed fireworks at a neighbour’s place.

Here’s to a fireworks ban across the Lower Mainland before Halloween 2022.

Jean Lawrence
West Vancouver

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Dear Editor:

It's time to change our ways. What worked until now clearly doesn't work anymore, and it is our duty to respect our community and the environment.

My mom is a veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder. Two years ago, a sudden range of fireworks blasted close to us. My mom wasn't prepared and on the spot she got a severe anxiety attack. My son saw it all. He now gets anxiety attacks from fireworks.

I don't see the benefit of the crowd while things like this happen. And honestly, with the fires becoming frequent year over year, it's time to reduce those toxins emitted to the air, at any way possible, including banning fireworks.
Bruce Cy
West Vancouver

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Dear Editor:

I'm a veteran who served in the air force but has major PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] from my time in service. My task was dealing with explosives of a volatile nature from the second and first world wars, with varying sizes from anti-personnel and grenades or butterfly bombs to the biggest bombs dropped from the Lancaster, with such names as tallboy, grand slams, and cookies.

From folk who know me, one question I get asked from time to time is: Do fireworks bother me and my PTSD or PTSS?

The answer is yes and no. Not as much as thunderstorms or misappropriated use of fireworks on days like Canada Day or the Fourth of July, Halloween, New Year's Day or (when in the U.K.) Guy Fawkes Night.

Why? Because I guess I can take steps to counter these days' firework festivities or even enjoy them, on occasions.

The only caveat to this is the use outside these days. Then it can be an issue because, like thunderstorms, the flash bangs are unexpected.

My PTSD/PTSS came from explosions that took the lives of my fellow unit members, but I for one would not like to see them stopped on the sanctioned days as listed, only outside that or leading up to them. 

The use of fireworks are a way to mark tradition. The use outside [these holidays], for parties, I do not welcome at all.

Fines should be substantial so that those who could brush off a fine for having deep pockets would still find it painful, as it is for us who have PTSD/PTSS.

Andy Catton

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