During Tuesday night’s Committee of the Whole meeting, Director of Community Services Shannon Baillon shared the unwelcome news with Perth town council that it was time to cancel the planned Canada Day celebrations for 2021, including fireworks.
Mayor Fenik asked if there would be any possible way for the town to still enjoy the fireworks. “Can we still set off fireworks? It would be nice to see some normalcy. We could ask people not to gather.” Director Baillon pointed out that “it’s hard to manage people. Even if you put up barriers, people would gather at barriers.”
Councillor Cameron suggested choosing an isolated launching location, “and block the roads so people couldn’t get there.” Director Baillon regretfully said she did not think this would be possible. People would still be gathering, as they typically “come as close as they can.”
Councillor Bird agreed, pointing out that “whatever perimeter you put up, people will still be attracted to it.”
Mayor Fenik expressed his understanding and disappointment, and Director Baillon added that the budget wasn’t going anywhere. If circumstances suddenly change, “we’ve got it in the back of our mind. The budget is still there, so if things are better and we can come up with something I’ll bring it back. But I think it’s a very challenging thing to do as long as there’s any restrictions at all.”
Councillor Cameron, with a wry chuckle, called the council members “grinches” as they – and she – chose to put public safety first and cancel the celebration. Fingers crossed for a sudden change of circumstances in the next month!