VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — A push to allow public drinking in certain spots in Vancouver didn’t get enough traction Tuesday night at city council.
The motion put forward by Coun. Pete Fry would have allowed people to drink responsibly in public spaces operated by the city, such as the Vancouver Art Gallery plaza.
But the motion was shut down.
Coun. Melissa De Genova tweeted about it failing that night, saying: “Designating public spaces for alcohol consumption is not something Vancouver City Council can approach with an ‘Act now…Ask Questions Later’ attitude.”
Designating public space for alcohol consumption is not something #Vancouver City Council can approach with an “Act now… Ask Questions Later” attitude. Need to consider #publicsafety #health & #budget . Each of the Four Pillars Drug Strategy is important.Motion failed. #VanPoli
— Melissa De City of North Vancouver to allow drinking in public parksGenova (@MelissaDeGenova) June 3, 2020
She argues public safety, health and the city’s budget need to be considered.
A day earlier, North Vancouver approved public drinking in certain locations.
Watch: City of North Vancouver to allow drinking in public parks
Pilot project goes ahead
In Vancouver, similar motion put forward by Coun. Christine Boyle to allow for public drinking in parks and beaches was also discussed and passed over to the hands of the Vancouver Park Board, which actually has jurisdiction on the decision, not council.
It was decided to back a pilot project on drinking at Vancouver parks and beaches, which the Park Board to discuss Monday night.
Boyle tweeted that “After a couple of hours of (sometimes interesting, sometimes tedious) debate, the motion was passed by council” and she will work with the board’s commissioner.
After a couple of hours of (sometimes interesting, sometimes tedious) debate, this motion passed at Council.
— Christine Boyle (@christineeboyle) June 3, 2020
Boyle notes many Vancouverites rent and live in small spaces, limiting their options to socialize outdoors while also physically distancing.
“Getting outside is valuable for your mental health, particularly those of us who live in small spaces. I think that’s why we’ve heard such broad support,” she explains.
If approved by the park board, this trial could take place over the summer.
-With files from Bailey Nicholson and Jonathan Szekeres