Iqaluit councillors fed up with fireworks noise
“It’s certainly become an issue in our community”
Iqaluit city councillors are fed up with fireworks disturbances in Iqaluit during so-called quiet hours when people are trying to sleep.
“It’s certainly become an issue in our community,” Coun. Mat Knicklebein said during a council meeting Aug. 28.
However, there’s not much the RCMP can do about those complaints unless a fireworks-specific bylaw is put in place, Sgt. Kevin Lewis said.
“Legally, federally and territorially there’s nothing in place that makes it illegal,” he said. “Right now it’s a free-for-all.”
There are no restrictions in the territory preventing the purchase and possession of fireworks.
“You need something to deal with the noise aspect of it because it is a nuisance, ten ‘o clock, eleven o’clock at night people are banging off fireworks, that’s something we need to deal with here at a local level,” Lewis said.
That’s why cities have bylaws against fireworks and against noise after a certain hour, Lewis said.
“It’s important to do that at the city level,” he said.
The City of Iqaluit currently has a bylaw to address the noise, but it needs to create a bylaw to deal with fireworks, said councillor Knicklebein, who suggested writing letters to the vendors in town that sell fireworks and ask them not sell them to little kids.
Knicklebein said he has heard a lot of complaints about fireworks and that he’s seen seven and eight-year-olds setting them off in his neighborhood.
“I’m not sure who thinks giving seven-year-olds fireworks is a good idea, whether it be the parent or the store where they purchased them,” he said. “I’m requesting that we approach those two outlets and ask them while we’re waiting and dealing with the issue… if they could be a little bit more selective as to who they sell fireworks to.”
Coun. Jimmy Kilabuk agreed fireworks are an annoyance and he said he wants them taken off store shelves.
“We don’t need them in Iqaluit,” he said.
Fireworks are being set off in the middle of the night, at 3am, Coun. Mary Wilman said.
Iqaluit’s young people need better forms of entertainment, she said. adding that fireworks during special occasions like Christmas holidays are okay.