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BIA request must be thought out

(Cartoon by George Longley)

When it comes to a good idea or bad idea, the devil is always in the details.

The Oshawa BIA has asked the city to consider moving Canada Day celebrations up Simcoe Street South from Lakeview Park to the downtown core in 2020.

The driving motivation behind the request is to recognize the 50th anniversary of BIAs in Ontario.

While the idea received some sharp criticism from certain councillors, there is no harm in trying something different.

Many people are resistant to change, and while moving the celebrations for one year has both negative and positive points, essentially it’s not the end of the world.

But there are some aspects to the BIA’s request that need to be addressed.

The fireworks display is a significant element of Canada Day celebrations, and while the BIA has identified four locations where officials believe this could be done safely, this may not be the best course of action.

One stray firework landing on a business or residential home, and both the city and BIA could be in a situation of legal liability.

The logistics of planning the event in the downtown core also raises questions.

While it is often a hassle getting down to Lakeview Park on Canada Day, the surrounding areas are mostly park spaces and unused industrial yards, not busy downtown streets.

Events such as Kars on King and Bikes on Bond have run successfully for years, the sheer amount of people at these events pale in comparison to the attendance figures on Canada Day.

There are also issues surrounding transportation, security, and spaces for children and families to enjoy activities such as soccer and volleyball that are readily available at Lakeview Park.

Once again, there is no harm in trying something new, but a change of this nature has to be well-planned.

This shouldn’t come down to downtown Oshawa trying to take something away from the south end, it should be about providing a memorable day for all citizens of the city.

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