LES AMIS DE LA MONTAGNE POSITION STATEMENT: Montreal Wish Lantern Festival

2016-02-16

Montreal, February 16 2016 - Les amis de la montagne, an NGO dedicated to the protection and enhancement of Mount Royal, strongly opposes the Montreal Wish Lantern Festival which is scheduled to take place on the mountain next June 20.

If held, the event would be in breach of several municipal bylaws (RCG10-016/P-5.1). The City of Montréal has confirmed that no permit had been issued, nor will be delivered for this event.

It is important to note the devastating consequences that have resulted from similar fire-lit flying lantern events in a number of cities around the world, notably animal deaths, cases of severe burns (attendees and firemen), significant damages to neighbouring natural habitats, as well as forest and building fires.

To date, 29 American states have outlawed illuminated lanterns and the National Association of State Fire Marshals recommends banning them throughout the United States. The use of flying lanterns is prohibited in several Canadian provinces and cities. Their manufacture and sale are illegal in many countries across Europe and the globe.

The Montreal Wish Lantern Festival, if it were to be held on or within proximity of Mount Royal, presents a number of risks and hazards for the mountain, ranging from the accumulation of lantern debris on the ground and in the trees, to harm to the flora and fauna, as well as fires.

As of today, the festival’s Facebook page indicates that over 43,000 people are interested in the event and 9,400 plan to attend. Judging by public interest generated so far, this event would also involve serious security issues for attendees as well as for the overall integrity of the site.

It is proving difficult to identify the organisers of the festival in order to raise with them the concerns that Les amis de la montagne share with many citizens.

Les amis de la montagne encourages the City of Montréal to follow the lead of a number of territories and cities, and to outlaw the use of flying lanterns.