A Green Party of Vancouver candidate is proposing a pilot project to allow limited alcohol consumption on certain beaches and in certain parks. Dave Demers is promising that if he is elected to park board that he would work to change the rules.
Currently consuming liquor in public comes with a $230 fine. Drinking is only legally allowed in Vancouver parks and beaches with a special occasion licence from the province.
“We believe that responsible residents who want to enjoy a glass of wine by the water should be able to,” Demers said in a release. “More and more people do not have a balcony or garden where they can enjoy the outdoors and have a drink with friends. This is a matter of recognizing a strong desire from a large segment of the population, especially among the younger, condo-bound generations.”
NPA city councillor George Affleck, who is not running for re-election, has been advocating for the park board to change the existing rules.
Earlier this year Affleck called on municipal parties to help get rid of Vancouver’s “No Fun City” moniker by pledging to look at allowing drinking on public beaches and parks. As part of the challenge to get civic politicians to look at this issue, Affleck explained it was time for us to be “grown-ups on the beach.”
“It’s great to finally see some civic politicians take me up on my challenge. What took so long? Cheers!” wrote Affleck in response to the Greens’ policy proposal.
The Green Party release mentions that public drinking is legal in several countries like Japan, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
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The pilot project would be developed with park staff to identify which parks and beaches would be included, and under what circumstances the city will allow limited alcohol consumption. The Green Party release said current laws that prohibit public intoxication and litter would be maintained and enforced.
“This is an opportunity to explore finding the right balance between allowing responsible drinkers and others to use our parks recreationally while recognizing that the law puts reasonable restrictions on excess drinking to protect the public and our parks,” said Demers.