Burnaby to consider adopting a drinking in parks program

May 5 2023, 10:40 pm

Vancouver has already adopted an extensive public drinking program – including in parks, public plazas, and on beaches – and now one Metro Vancouver city is looking to follow suit.

According to a City of Burnaby Council Report for the forthcoming meeting set for Monday, May 8, the City is seeking council direction on a potential “responsible alcohol consumption in Burnaby parks” program.

According to the report, which is readily available to the public, the council received “correspondence regarding the feasibility” of such a program initially in April of 2021; in an April council meeting of this year, Councillor Calendino again inquired about the possibility of such a program.

The COVID-19 pandemic amplified the importance of parks as highly valued outdoor
spaces that support recreation and community connectedness. They provide important
opportunities for participation in outdoor recreation, physical activity, relaxation and social
connection,” the report states.

The council report notes that Vancouver, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Delta, and Port Coquitlam all adopted similar bylaws as a result of the pandemic and that in the following two years since these programs were passed, all municipalities have had generally positive experiences.

Before this pilot program could be passed, the council would need to ensure that the chosen parks would need to meet layout and size requirements so that the designated areas for alcohol consumption would not interfere with other park activities, such as playgrounds or dog parks.

They would also need to select parks based on their proximity to public transit, whether or not they offer public restrooms, and offer safe environs for such activities.

If the drinking in public parks pilot program is passed in Burnaby, it will also be restricted to only specific parks during certain hours of the day.

If the program is adopted, it could be introduced to the city as early as June.

You can read the report in full online.

Daryn WrightDaryn Wright

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