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WHEREAS the storage, sale and discharge of low hazard fireworks listed in Class 7, Division 2, Subdivision 1 of the Explosives Act (Canada) and regulations under that Act are regulated in Alberta by the Alberta Fire Code 1997; andWHEREAS the current regulations in Alberta make it very cumbersome for Municipalities to regulate their storage, possession, sale and discharge; andWHEREAS members of the Alberta Fire Chiefs Association have noticed an increasing trend for abuse of the privilege of possession and discharge of these fireworks resulting in fires, both unintentional and intentional, as well as personal injury to Albertans; andWHEREAS the Alberta Fire Code 1997 is currently being updated for release in 2007; andWHEREAS the Alberta Fire Chiefs Association approved a resolution prohibiting low hazard fireworks and the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts & Counties is opposed to that;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts & Counties write the Minister of Municipal Affairs requesting that storage, possession, sale and discharge of low hazard fireworks listed in Class 7, Division 2, Subdivision 1 of the Explosives Act (Canada) and regulations under that Act continue to be allowed by the Alberta Fire Code when it is updated in 2007.
In a letter (August 29, 2006) to Reeve Myler Savill of the Municipal District of Big Lakes, Rob Renner, Minister of Municipal Affairs writes in part:-” Please be assured that no major decisions regarding the province’s policies on fireworks would be made without consultation with stakeholder groups and all municipalities and counties.A number of complex issues are involved, including many around the administration of the Alberta Fire Code and the roles and responsibilities of municipalities. For now, the next edition of the Alberta Fire Code will go forward as scheduled for completion by the end of 2006. Under this new edition of the code, the use of low-hazard fireworks would continue to be legal as long as it is permitted by municipal bylaws and a permit is obtained by the user from the local fire department. I will consider the AFCA’s proposal for the future, however, and have had my department staff begin research on the matter. An initial survey of other regulatory frameworks indicates that, in addition to questions about the safety and appropriate use of fireworks, there are also competing visions for where the responsibility resides for managing fireworks between government and municipalities.”
The AAMDC has no resolutions currently in effect with respect to this issue.
The Alberta Fire Code 2006 came into effect in September 2007. The Code continues to allow the use of low hazard fireworks as long as it is permitted by municipal bylaws and a permit is obtained by the user from the local fire department. The Government has noted that any changes to the regulation of fireworks would only occur in conjunction with stakeholder consultation.Subsequently, the Alberta Fire Chiefs’ Association asked Municipal Affairs for a province-wide ban on family recreational fireworks. In January 2009, Municipal Affairs released the results of a Statistics and Investigations review. Based on the findings, it is felt that municipalities should continue to have the choice to permit or to ban the use of low-hazard or family recreational fireworks in their jurisdictions.