While open liquor consumption at Vancouver’s parks and beaches currently carries a fine of $230, one Vancouver Park Board candidate in next month’s municipal election is hoping to change that.
“We believe that responsible residents who want to enjoy a glass of wine by the water should be able to,” said Dave Demers, a Vancouver Green Party candidate for the park board.
As part of his push, Demers noted that “more and more people do not have a balcony or garden where they can enjoy the outdoors and have a drink with friends.”
The issue, he said, “is a matter of recognizing a strong desire from a large segment of the population, especially among the younger, condo-bound generations.”
The Vancouver Green Party also noted that public drinking is legal in several countries like Japan, Germany, and the United Kingdom. However, as it currently stands in Vancouver, drinking is only permitted in Vancouver parks and beaches with a special occasion licence from the province.
“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,” Demers said.
The Green Party said the initiative will be developed with park staff to identify which areas and under what circumstances the city will allow limited alcohol consumption. Current laws that prohibit public intoxication and litter will be maintained and enforced.