EDITORIAL: Fireworks add to community spirit

It’s unfortunate that a debate over fireworks pollution has sparked comments about the event itself

It’s unfortunate that a debate over fireworks-related pollution has sparked comments about how North Okanagan residents celebrate the country’s birthday and other occasions.

As the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee discussed debris left on Kalamalka Lake after Canada Day fireworks, director Mike Macnabb veered off in a completely different direction.

“Fireworks are an antiquated approach to celebrating. I’m not sure we want to encourage them,” he said.

“Are there other ways to celebrate Canada Day?”

Now pulsating colours of light may not be Macnabb’s cup of tea, but remember that there was a tremendous uproar when Canada Day 2015 came and went without fireworks. This year, a team of volunteers put on a spectacular show in Greater Vernon that drew thousands of people. Rave reviews have been heard ever since.

And it should also be pointed out that  in Macnabb’s own constituency, a long-time tradition is the Halloween fireworks show hosted by the BX-Swan Lake Fire Department. It is one of the few opportunities for the BX community to come together.

One has to wonder if Macnabb is opposed to all fireworks or just those that occur over water, meaning the land-based BX show is OK?

In the end, we must all realize that there are few chances to bring together residents in large numbers and fireworks capture the imagination. Yes they create challenges, like debris in the lake, but those issues can be addressed through advanced planning.

Let’s hope Macnabb’s views don’t spread among his colleagues in the region.