diwali fireworks mississauga

People want fireworks banned after Diwali celebrations in Mississauga and Brampton

This week saw the celebration of Diwali around the world, and parts of the Greater Toronto Area were not too happy to with the sounds that came with it.

Fireworks are one of the biggest parts of Diwali celebrations (it is the celebration of lights after all) and while cities like Brampton and Mississauga allow fireworks to be fired on the holiday, many were quick to complain.

Police responded to a very large group of celebrators in Mississauga's Malton neighbourhood, deemed a "street brawl." Neighbours around that area complained of late nights, smoke and garbage left behind by the group.

Residents were also busy jamming up 9-1-1 with similar complaints, so much so that Peel Police publicly asked them to stop and instead call bylaw representatives.

Of course, bylaw was very busy with the multiple complainers and some people said their calls went unanswered.

After everything was said and done, a very large outcry from the communities saw people asking the city to outright ban fireworks all together.

A petition in Brampton calling for a firework mandate to "put a cap on firework days and times or a complete firework ban" has garnered more than half of the signature goal of 5,000 people.

"Fireworks are used to celebrate events and joyous occasions. However, in the past few years the use of fireworks have caused more issues of concern. The aftermath of fireworks on certain events leaves parks and public areas full of trash and packaging."

For comparison, Diwali short-range fireworks in Toronto need a permit, but not in Mississauga or Brampton.

Take a look on Twitter and you'll see hoards of people complaining about the free light show, including photos of scared pets or rants about sleeping children.

Mayor of Brampton Patrick Brown said on Twitter he's heard a lot of complaints about the fireworks and said "our by-law team can't possibly keep up with number of infractions that happen on Diwali night."

He suggested a "common place" approach for the holiday, having a large, public celebration in a park where everybody can enjoy the show and potentially limit the number of fireworks being shot off.

"If we put on a great fireworks show it would remove the need to do so in backyards and driveways."

It's important to note that the general outcry for a fireworks ban is not just specific to Diwali, it's for every holiday, including Victoria or Canada Day.

Of course not everybody is on board, with some saying it's not a good look and has an air of racism.

This was largely the same sentiment after Environment Canada issued an air quality advisory stating Diwali fireworks and current fall weather conditions could result in more air pollution for the GTA. 

Many were quick to point out no such statements were issued for other holidays and Environment Canada quickly walked back their statement.

"The alert on October 24 was not meant to reflect negatively on those who are celebrating Diwali and we regret the impact that it has had on these communities. ECCC acknowledges that the alert should have been more culturally sensitive, and should not have referred to the specific event," said the ministry in response to blogTO. 

With Diwali 2022 done, we'll just have to wait and see if this type of outrage occurs (or if a ban is introduced) for New Year's Even in two months.

Lead photo by

Madhukar Kumar via UnSplash

 


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