Fines for illegally setting off fireworks in Mississauga have just skyrocketed by tens of thousands of dollars.
At a city council meeting last week, officials voted to support a motion that would impose a maximum fine of $100,000 onto individuals convicted of improperly setting off fireworks on public property or property that is not their own.
“I think the $100,000 fine is really something that that just shows people who are breaking the rules, that we’re not going to stand for it any longer,” Councillor Matt Mahoney told his colleagues at an Oct. 25 city council meeting.
The fines for illegally setting off fireworks were previously $5,000. The change will go into effect on Dec. 1.
The maximum penalty could only be handed out by a justice of the peace following a court proceeding. It is up to the justice of the peace to ultimately decide how much the fine would be.
One councillor abstained from voting on the motion because she was concerned about the timing being so close to Diwali, one of four holidays in which fireworks are legal in Mississauga as long as they are set off on private property.
“I think timing matters and it’s unfortunate that this council doesn’t recognize that, but that would be the only reason that I would be voting against it,” Councillor Dipika Damerla said.
Mahoney told council the motion is not meant to target those celebrating Diwali, adding that the change is scheduled to go into effect after the holiday.
He also said that this motion is the first of many he hopes to make regarding noise and nuisance violations in the city.
“This is really just my first step,” he said. “I think that we do need more teeth and more strength in our bylaws to be able to fine individuals who are essentially breaking our bylaws and creating havoc and creating problems.”
Fireworks are allowed in Mississauga only on Canada Day, Victoria Day, Lunar New Year, and Diwali—at least until midnight.
Residents can launch fireworks on those days from their own private property. They cannot go to a public area such as a park or other private property without consent, such as a plaza or parking lot.
Source : CP24