Public alcohol consumption could soon be allowed at select parks in Burnaby.
Mayor Mike Hurley says that city staff are working on a report that will be brought to city council, as well as the Parks, Recreation, and Culture Commission.
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“Our staff are working on bringing a report to our Parks and Rec and then to the council,” he tells Daily Hive in an interview. “And then we will be looking to see if they make a recommendation and what that recommendation is.”
Hurley says that idea was first mentioned several weeks ago but is still in “very early stages.”
“It seems to have been successful in some of the other municipalities, so it’s likely worth having a look at.”
Currently, there’s no timeline for turning this report into a reality. Hurley also says he believes that staff are mainly looking at parks. He was optimistic, however, that if done properly, it could benefit the many Burnaby residents who have been visiting public spaces over the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think done the right way it could be beneficial. We just want to be sure that we get it right, I don’t think it belongs just anywhere. But with certain circumstances it could be appropriate and something that residents enjoy.”
“There’s always the concern that it gets carried away and used more broadly than it would be designed to,” the Mayor added. “But at the same time this is something that our residents would enjoy and get out into parks, which by the way have been overrun with residents during the pandemic — people have just been flooding to the parks, and we have many beautiful parks.”
Over the past two years, a number of municipalities in Metro Vancouver have introduced bylaws to allow for public alcohol consumption in specific parks and public spaces. North Vancouver was the first, followed by Coquitlam and, most recently, New Westminster.