City of Mississauga allows Diwali fireworks
Mississauga city council has passed a resolution giving temporary exemption to Diwali fireworks in the city. The approved exemption also applies to Chinese New Year for a period of one year starting on November 1.
According to a city press release, the council has also requested to Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services (MFES) to put together a report to look at the feasibility and impact of allowing residents to use fireworks on Diwali and Chinese New Year.
“Although fireworks account for less than one per cent of the fires in Mississauga, we want to ensure that there is minimal impact to the safety of residents,” said Fire Chief Tim Beckett. “The one-year exception will be in place until November 2016. Over the next few months, staff will meet with the City’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee (DIAC) to ensure the celebrations of our diverse community are recognized yet maintain public fire safety as a priority.”
On September 16, a request was made at Council to amend all by-laws associated with the setting off of fireworks displays to make an exception for both Diwali and Chinese New Year celebrations. Prior to the exception, relevant by-laws only allowed fireworks to be set off during Victoria Day and Canada Day unless a permit had been issued by the City’s Fire Chief.
According to the city release, there are some restrictions that residents have to follow regarding fireworks. The residents were reminded that fireworks cannot be set off on a public street or roadway; fireworks can only be set off in a park if a permit is obtained from the Fire Chief; and fireworks should only be purchased from a licensed retailer permitted to sell fireworks to the general public within the City of Mississauga.
Mississauga East-Cooksville MPP Dipika Damerla has appreciated the council decision and said that the decision is reflective of inclusiveness and understanding of the city’s diversity. According a press release from Dipika Damerla’s office, it was on her request that the city council took up the issue.