Fireworks permits are distributed differently across Greater Victoria. (File photo)

Saanich leads the way with fireworks permits

Greater Victoria municipalities have varied approaches to fireworks as Halloween approaches

On the darkest and spookiest night of the year there’s also certain to be a lot of light and noise.

Fireworks are almost synonymous with Halloween, but separate municipalities have very different viewpoints on them, despite their close borders.

Victoria, Esquimalt and Oak Bay have outright banned fireworks unless they are for large cultural celebrations, but right across the street Saanich regularly distributes fireworks permits to residents.

ALSO READ: Discover Victoria’s haunted past with Halloween-themed walking tours

“We usually have a rush of permits later this week and early next, said Cpt. Jerry Tomljenvic at the Sannich Fire Department. “At this point we have issued 32 permits, but I expect that number to double.”

In previous years, Saanich has seen an average of 75-100 permits issued. Each applicant must take a mandatory fireworks safety course within three years of the application. The one hour course covers basic safety measures, and the permit can be attained immediately afterwards for $10. The next course will be Sunday, Oct 28.

In Langford a similar process is in place where a safety course must be completed within three years. So far, the City of Langford has issued six permits for family fireworks displays, though more are expected simply based on eligibility.

ALSO READ: Spooky season settles in Victoria

“I notice there are a significant number of people who could attend at City Hall in the coming days to make an application should they wish to do so,” said Lorne Fletcher, manager of community safety and municipal enforcement. “I anticipate we will certainly see additional applications being made.”

Fletcher noted that there’s been a steady decline in permit applications over the years since Westshore has been holding family-oriented events at each of the three fire halls (Colwood, Langford and View Royal), which will include hot dogs, candy and hot chocolate. There will also be a professionally-organized fireworks show at the Bear Mountain Resort on Oct. 31, beginning at dusk.

ALSO READ: The Fernwood Halloween Bonfire is back

In Sooke, there have only been three permits issued so far, with an average of about a dozen granted per year. Sooke does not require applicants to take a safety course, and permits are $10.

In the Highlands only one permit is issued every year, usually to the same person on Halloween.

Despite the varied enthusiasm for fireworks across the district, none of the municipalities permit the sale of fireworks. This includes the Westshore communities where firework sales have been banned since 2006.

This begs the question of where the fireworks are coming from. Fletcher suggested that most people are getting theirs online, and staff at the Saanich Fire Department confirmed that most people purchase fireworks on the internet, including through Costco.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

Just Posted

Province launches lawsuit over Esquimalt sailing incident that killed teen with disabilities

Gabriel Pollard, 16, died from injuries after being dropped from marine lift in 2018

Colwood tops Grumpy Taxpayer$ 2019 Candy Cane Awards

Yearly awards for improved governance go to Colwood, Oak Bay, Victoria

Byelection to replace Victoria councillor set to cost more than $140,000

Staff recommend a smaller election process for March 14

North Saanich Fire Department wins national Movember challenge

Team raises more than urban Edmonton, Toronto firefighters

VIDEO: Kenney lays out key demands for meeting with Trudeau

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney aims for clear signs of federal action on two-day Ottawa trip

First Nations want Big Bar landslide cleared ASAP to allow fish passage

Leadership calling for urgent action and resources to remove obstruction on the Fraser

Assessed value of Lower Mainland homes expected to decrease in 2020

Other areas of province may see modest increases over last year’s values

Chilliwack family’s therapy dog injured in hit and run

Miniature pit bull Fifty’s owner is a single mother facing close to $10,000 in vet bills

Cougar destroyed in Penticton area after mauling dog, killing cat

This is the first reported incident with a cougar this year in the Penticton area

Feds not enforcing standards on Hungarian duck imports, B.C. farmer says

‘You have no way of knowing what’s in the bag’

No reports yet of Canadians affected by New Zealand volcano eruption, feds say

Missing and injured included tourists from the U.S., China, Australia, Britain and Malaysia

Vancouver Island blues musician’s mother’s home burglarized and ransacked

David Gogo’s 71-year-old mother has jewelry and artwork stolen in break-in

Dance cancelled after Alberta teacher’s climate lesson prompts online threats

School district near Red Deer cancelled annual family dance due to Facebook comments

Most Read