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Motion to allow booze on Vancouver beaches, in parks withdrawn

FILE - Kits Beach. (Photo by Dustin Godfrey for NEWS 1130)
Summary

The Vancouver Park Board withdrew a motion to allow alcohol consumption in parks and on beaches

Liquor consumption is provincial jurisdiction and approval is needed to move forward

One park board commissioner is hopeful a pilot project can still be in place by summer

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — The effort to make alcohol consumption legal in some of Vancouver’s parks and beaches this summer has hit a snag, but it’s not yet dead.

A motion to that effect was withdrawn during the Vancouver Park Board meeting Tuesday after it was pointed out that liquor is under the province’s jurisdiction and approval is needed to move forward.

Park board commissioner Dave Demers is hopeful the province will move fast, and a pilot project can be in place by summer.

“It’s proven that they can react quickly over the past few months, with this pandemic, and some legislation that was changed to adapt to this situation, make life easier for citizens, so I’m hoping we can be just as quick with this one,” he said.

While Demers suggests alcohol is likely already being consumed in parks and on beaches, he said it doesn’t make sense to have a bylaw which is only subjectively enforced.

Park board commissioner John Coupar wrote recently on Twitter that the board has been studying the proposed changes since 2018.

Vancouver Coun. Christine Boyle previously said she supports allowing people to drink alcohol in city parks and beaches, adding the measure is an issue of equality.

A motion to allow drinking in public places, put forward by Coun. Pete Fry, was defeated by Vancouver council last week.

Meanwhile, the City of North Vancouver passed a bylaw last week allowing drinking alcohol in public places.