Diwali fireworks allowed in Canadian city

Toronto: The Indian-Canadian community in the city of Mississauga on the outskirts of Toronto will be able to celebrate Diwali with fireworks this year.

Mississauga, the sixth largest city in Canada and the second largest in Ontario province, has a huge Indian-origin population.

Till now, city by-laws allowed fireworks only on Canada Day, New Year’s Day and Victoria Day.

But with the efforts of Ontario’s first Indian-origin Minister Dipika Damerla, the Indian-Canadians will have a colourful Diwali this year.

Damerla had written to Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, requesting a change in the current fireworks by-law and allowing use of fireworks on Diwali similar to the permission granted on Victoria Day and Canada Day holidays.

Though Diwali fireworks have been granted on a temporary basis for this year only, Damerla is hopeful that Diwali will be permanently included with Canada Day and Victoria Day for fireworks.

“Since Diwali is such an important festival for the Indo-Canadian community which now is an integral part of the city’s diversity, the mayor and her city council have done the right thing by giving permission for fireworks,” said Damerla, who is Ontario’s associate minister for long-term care.

The Indian-Canadian communities in other big cities such as Brampton in Ontario and Surrey are already allowed Diwali fireworks with permission.