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Drinking alcohol in Vancouver parks back up for vote, again

Last Updated Jul 27, 2020 at 8:02 am PST

(iStock Photo)

Vancouver Park Board set to vote on alcohol consumption in city's greenspaces

Staff have identified 22 parks around Vancouver where alcohol consumption would be legal

If approved, the plan would allow drinking alcohol in the select parks until Oct. 12

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – You could finally get the green light to legally enjoy an alcoholic drink in some parks in Vancouver.

The Park Board is set to vote on a pilot project Monday night that would allow people to have an adult beverage or two at any of 22 greenspaces around the city, including David Lam Park along False Creek, Queen Elizabeth Park, and two sections of Stanley Park.

Twenty-two parks have been identified by Park Board staff as places to allow Vancouverites to consume alcohol outdoors. (Courtesy Vancouver Park Board)

While people have been drinking alcohol in parks and at beaches regardless of whether it’s legal or not, the debate has been ongoing. A push to legalize was emphasized amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with options to go out limited.

“In recognition of the evolving needs of Vancouverites, particularly as a growing segment of the population has no access to a private yard and thus relies on parks and beaches for gatherings of friends and family, the Board directed staff to conduct a feasibility study for a pilot project that would allow the public to consume their own alcoholic beverages in select park and beach sites,” a Park Board report released on July 24 reads.

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The plan was up for a vote in early July, however, at the time, staff had only identified 10 parks where consumption would be allowed. It was sent back for review to include more options for Vancouverites.

“The Board referred the recommendations back to staff to expand the pilot to include parks in each neighborhood and to ensure all sites are large enough to support current physical distancing requirements,” the Park Board report reads.

Other municipalities, including the City of North Vancouver and Port Coquitlam, have already moved to make drinking in public spaces legal.

If the plan is approved in Vancouver on Monday, it would run until Oct. 12.