Atlantic News | Local Breaking | CTV News Atlantic
Cape Breton residents challenge decision to ban nighttime parades
HALIFAX -- A recent council vote to ban nighttime parades in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality was a move quickly met with public outcry; however, it may not be finalized. Council made the decision out of safety concerns following the death of a child at a parade in Yarmouth, but it’s receiving a second look.
Councillor, Amanda McDougall, hosted a public meeting on Thursday night in Albert Bridge, N.S., where residents expressed their opinions on the ban – noting a lack of public consultation preceding the vote, As of Friday McDougall had a petition with over 800 signatures – which she's already acting on.
"There was an immediate and overwhelming outpouring from the communities in my district, Glace Bay, and Louisbourg specifically," says McDougall. “I have put in an agenda request, and that agenda request is a motion asking specifically that we rescind the decision to ban nighttime parades.”
The request is scheduled to go before council on November 4. The initial vote to do away with nighttime parades was passed 7-4 – with McDougall and Mayor Cecil Clarke voting against it.
North Sydney Fire Chief, Lloyd MacIntosh, whose department organizes the Christmas parade in North Sydney, was one of the first people to criticize the nighttime parade ban.
"People I've talked to on the street and in the coffee shops around town are disappointed,” says MacIntosh. “They want a nighttime parade; they're in favour of a nighttime parade. They're not in favour of a central parade – they want to come to their own area."
MacIntosh notes most, if not all, safety regulations being suggested following the parade tragedy in Yarmouth are already in place at his community's event. McIntosh says he’s crossing his fingers there will be a nighttime parade in North Sydney come December – and hopes council will reconsider.
"If they give some deep thought and talk to the people that are involved,” says MacIntosh. “I think they will, and should, reverse that decision."
Meanwhile, another motion that would allow for only two parades each year – a pride parade and a Christmas parade – will be decided on in November.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Ryan MacDonald