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Vancouver could green-light booze in selected parks, Monday

The Vancouver Park Board will vote Monday on a pilot project that would allow the responsible consumption of alcohol in designated parts of 10 parks.
The Vancouver Park Board will vote Monday on a pilot project that would allow the responsible consumption of alcohol in designated parts of 10 parks. Getty Images/File Photo

The Vancouver Park Board will vote Monday on pilot project that would allow adults to drink alcohol in designated areas of 10 parks.

The vote comes after several neighbouring municipalities, including North Vancouver and Port Coquitlam, initiated similar pilots.

Read more: Port Coquitlam, B.C., eyes pilot project to allow drinking in public parks

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A. Vancouver Park Board

It also comes in the context of COVID-19, with health officials recommending people spend more time outside to help with physical distancing.

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“As restrictions in B.C. begin to ease and people seek opportunities to resume socializing while still practicing safe social distancing, there has been rising public pressure on local governments to allow for the responsible consumption of alcohol in outdoor spaces, particularly in parks and beaches,” states the park board general manager’s office in a report to commissioners.

If approved, the pilot would let people drink their own alcoholic beverages in marked areas of the selected parks.

READ MORE: North Vancouver to allow public drinking under COVID-19, but not Vancouver

The report estimates that the initiative could be in place by mid-July, and would run until Thanksgiving weekend.

According to the report, the 10 sites were chosen based on a list of criteria, including emergency vehicle access and safety, geographic distribution, access to washrooms, views, transit access and parking and distance from schools and playgrounds.

The proposed list would see alcohol consumption allowed in specific areas of:

  •  John Hendry Park (Trout Lake)
  •  Harbour Green Park
  •  Locarno Beach Park
  •  Memorial South Park
  •  New Brighton Park
  •  Queen Elizabeth Park
  •  Quilchena Park
  •  Stanley Park
  •  Vanier Park
  •  Fraser River Park

In June, Vancouver city council voted to allow drinking in some designated public places such as plazas and unlicenced food establishments, but the move did not include parks or beaches.

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