This week, Edmonton City Council voted 11-1 to explore opportunities to allow public alcohol consumption in designated picnic sites.
The motion was put forth by Ward 3 Councillor Jon Dziadyk in a city council meeting held on Monday, January 25.
The one vote against the motion came from Councillor Tony Caterina.
“No bylaw change is required for public consumption in picnic areas within a city park,” said Councillor Dziadyk. “What is needed is the appropriate signage, hours of operations, [and] designated areas,” he added.
Dziadyk also stated these picnic sites shouldn’t propose an issue from a criminal enforcement standpoint because these parks are already being policed.
“Limit it to one or two drinks per adult, be required to have food with it, the hours of operation, and of course, public drunkenness and noise and littering, per other bylaws, will always remain in effect,” said Dzaidyk.
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It will still take time to determine if this is something the people of Edmonton want for their city. This could be another way to safely socialize with friends during the struggles of COVID-19.
The council will make its final decision after listening to public input, through public engagement cycles, citizen panels, and other channels.