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Meaford council has given initial approval to the updating of a bylaw that dates back to 1951, and was last revised in 1959.

Implementing a new Fireworks and Firearms By-law is outlined as one of the objectives of the Meaford and District Fire Department for 2014,” wrote Meaford Fire Chief Mike Molloy in his report to council. “The current Fireworks by-law dates back to 1951. The applicable federal and provincial regulations and legislation must be complied with to ensure public safety and enforcement. Due to these concerns, as well as the age of the current fireworks and firearms by-laws, it is deemed prudent that the by-laws be reviewed and updated.”

The Explosive Regulatory Division of the Ministry of Natural Resources of Canada authorizes local Fire Departments, who are designated as having the authority and jurisdiction to ensure these safety concerns are addressed and the related laws and regulations are complied with.

Molloy told council that the purpose of a fireworks and firearms bylaw is to raise awareness of legal and safety aspects relating to discharging firearms and fireworks in the community.

The bylaw regulates fireworks and prohibits firecrackers by adopting the requirements included in the Federal Explosives Act, and it also regulates the use of firearms within the municipality. It will also assist in identifying the permitted dates and times for the selling and/or the discharging of consumer fireworks, including a permit application process for a display of fireworks.

Highlights of the updated bylaw:

  • No person shall discharge, fire, set off, or cause to be set off, any fireworks when a fire ban is in effect.

  • No person shall discharge, fire, set off, or cause to be set off, any fireworks on public property, including public parks, without the approval of and having received a permit from the Chief Fire Official, through the application process determined by the Chief Fire Official.

  • The person or persons, as the case may be, to whom a permit is issued shall, as part of the permit process, provide proof of insurance in the name of the Municipality of Meaford in an amount not less than $2,000,000.00 with respect to public liability and property damage.

  • No person or persons shall discharge, fire, set off, or cause to be set off any fireworks within 150 meters of a nursing home, public hospital, home for the aged or within 150 meters of a church or a public, separate, elementary, secondary or other school, without a permit, and the consent of the owner of such church or school, or an agent or representative of such owner is obtained.

  • No persons shall discharge, fire, set off or cause to be set off any firecrackers within the Municipality of Meaford.

  • No person shall allow to discharge, or cause the discharge of, any firearm or any class or type thereof as defined under this by-law within the designated boundaries of the Rural Settlement Areas and the Urban and Institutional Areas of the Municipality of Meaford, as defined in the Official Plan, for the use of hunting, as regulated by Ministry of Natural Resources.

The following persons may discharge any firearm or any class or type thereof as defined under this by-law, within the Municipality of Meaford:

  • Farmers, members of the farmer’s family, or the farmer’s nominee, within the confines of the farmer’s property, classified as farm land and being used for farming as regulated.

  • Hunters, during hunting season, as long as persons hunting abide by the regulations provided by the Ministry of Natural Resources.

  • Peace Officers, Conservation Officers, Animal Control Officer or Police Officers discharging a firearm in the course of carrying out their lawful duties.

  • Participants in a shooting competition or display, provided Council has, by resolution, given its consent to the holding of such competition or display.

Council will have a final vote on the bylaw at their May 26 meeting.