Fireworks focus of debate

The lack of Canada Day fireworks in Vernon has ignited a difference of opinions.

The lack of Canada Day fireworks in Vernon has ignited a difference of opinions.

Terry Schmauder, former fireworks committee chairperson, says there’s a need to clarify why there won’t be fireworks July 1.

“Last year, by request from the City of Vernon, it was agreed that 2014 would be the final Canada Day evening event that would be organized and presented by the Vernon Canada Day Fireworks Committee with me stepping out of the role,” he said.

“A new society was to be formed with volunteers along with representation from the City of Vernon in order to avoid liability exposure on the part of the city.  This society has not yet been created.  As a result, no planning has gone into the 2015 Canada Day evening events. “

While he had withdrawn from activities, Schmauder applied in January for a federal grant for 2015 Canada Day fireworks.

“The City of Vernon has decided not to go forward with the evening events including fireworks for 2015,” he said.

However, city officials insist they have always had a limited role with the fireworks display.

“I don’t know if the city is cancelling it because the city has never been the head of Canada Day fireworks. The city was never running it,” said Mayor Akbal Mund.

When asked if the city didn’t want the former committee to organize future events, Mund pointed out that he was elected mayor in November.

“Last year, Terry decided that would be his last year. He had been doing it out of the kindness of his heart.”

With it too late to put together fireworks for 2015, Mund isn’t sure if a new society will be formed to organize festivities in 2016.

“Somebody has to and it may be a discussion that comes up with council,” he said.

Schmauder was involved with the fireworks for 12 years and he wants to thank all of the sponsors and committee colleagues.

“In particular, I would like to extend my appreciation to Bill Wacey and all of the BX-Swan Lake Fire Department pyro-technicians, as well as Lawrie Skolrood.”