Chelmsford woman petitions federal government to end balloon releases

A Chelmsford woman is petitioning the federal government to prohibit the release of balloons or Japanese lanterns.

Sydney Morgan, who works for the Ministry of Natural Resources, is a forestry and wildlife graduate at College Boreal.

Morgan said the materials are both bad for the environment and deadly to wildlife.

"Wildlife can eat them -- they've been found in the stomachs of birds and stuff, which is super sad," she said. "They're known to cause power outages, we need helium for other stuff."

More than 1,500 people have so far signed her petition and she's already received support from across the city and from as far away as Nunavut.

"I've had a lot of positive reaction to it," Morgan said. "I thought a lot of people would be naysayers, but it's been really good. I know a lot of people have also been supportive of it because they've gone out and they've found some."

Morgan said she's also gotten some support from the MP who approved the petition, Laurel Collins of British Columbia.

Balloons and Japanese lanterns have already been banned in several municipalities and the state of Illinois.

The City of Greater Sudbury has already banned the use of Japanese lanterns.

The petition will close for signatures on July 17 and then afterwards be presented to the House of Commons.