Cape Breton council votes to ban nighttime Santa Claus parades, citing safety

santa-in-parade

Cape Breton Regional Municipality has voted to ban nighttime parades on its territory, including popular Santa Claus parades.

In a controversial decision Wednesday, council voted 7-4 in favour of banning night parades following two incidents in the municipality in the past two years that saw children narrowly avoid injury.

The mayor and three councillors voted against the measure, arguing that banning the events was detrimental to long-standing community traditions and more consultation was needed.

In addition to moving parades to daylight hours, councillors passed a number of other safety-related measures including limiting parade routes to four kilometres and banning the throwing of candy from floats.

The measures come after the death of a four-year-old girl in Yarmouth, N.S., last November, who fell underneath a moving parade float while running alongside it during an evening procession.

Another controversial proposal to reduce the number of parades in the region to just two, a Pride parade in the summer and a single Christmas parade in the winter, was deferred for discussion by council.