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Drinking in some Port Coquitlam parks could be allowed temporarily

Last Updated Jun 10, 2020 at 6:32 pm PDT

(iStock, Photo)

It might be okay to have a drink in seven of Port Coquitlam's park by the end of the month

It will be decided on June 23 if a pilot project will go forward until Oct. 31

Mayor Brad West says it's about treating 'treating adults like adults'

PORT COQUITLAM (NEWS 1130) — If approved later this month, it will be okay to have a beer or glass of wine at seven parks in Port Coquitlam.

The city’s mayor is trusting everyone to behave like adults if drinking alcohol in some parks is allowed temporarily.

“We see increased use in our parks right now as people are looking to outdoor spaces as opportunities to gather with family and friends and many folks don’t have backyards or they have very modest backyards,” Brad West says.

He says if approved by council on June 23, the program will start the following day and run until Oct. 31.

“This is about treating adults like adults and there are many, many cities all over the world where this happens and people don’t give it a second thought, but it’s a little more revolutionary in Canada,” West adds.

For those 19 or older, drinking will be allowed at Castle, Settlers, Gates, Lions, Aggie, Evergreen, and Cedar Drive parks since are all regularly inspected and they all have washrooms, tables, and shelters.

West says he’s not expecting this to strain police resources because many people are already bringing alcohol to a picnic.

“Quite often, there’s a cooler there and 99.9 per cent of the time it doesn’t cause any issues,” he says. “If we allow the point-one per cent doomsday scenario to dictate everything that we do? We would never do anything.”

Meanwhile, North Vancouver has already given the green light for drinking in some public places.

Vancouver, on the other hand, initially voted down the motion to allow drinking in public spaces last week. But there’s still hope since Coun. Lisa Dominato has since changed her mind on the matter and wants to give a pilot project a chance.

In a tweet, she suggested a four-to six-month pilot with continuous public feedback from the public and the Vancouver Police Department.