Enjoying a cold alcoholic beverage in Vancouver parks is now one step closer to becoming a reality.
Earlier this week, the Vancouver Park Board enacted a bylaw that will allow staff to launch its Alcohol in Parks pilot program. The idea of allowing alcohol in Vancouver parks has been in development for more than two years, starting with feasibility studies in late 2018.
The pilot will allow for the consumption of alcohol at 22 parks in the city. Each park will have designated areas for consumption, which will be permitted between the hours of 11 am and 9 pm. The pilot will run until October 11, 2021.
There is, however, one last thing that needs to happen before the pilot can launch — the provincial government will need to pass a bill that amends the Liquor Control and Licensing Act (LCLA).
While a bylaw that can enact the Park Board’s pilot project has been approved, it won’t launch until the amendment is officially made.
This evening, the Park Board enacted the by-law to allow staff to launch Alcohol in Parks Pilot as soon as Province amends the Liquor Control and Licensing Act. Remember, drinking alcohol in parks is not permitted until the pilot launches, but keep checking back here for updates! pic.twitter.com/xLq0g2bAv3
— Vancouver Park Board (@ParkBoard) June 1, 2021
As it stands, the Liquor Control and Licensing Act (LCLA) allows local government to designate public places under their jurisdiction where liquor can be consumed, such as parks and beaches.
So far, several municipalities such as North Vancouver, Port Coquitlam, and New Westminster have launched pilot projects of their own, allowing for responsible consumption in select areas.
The issue with the City of Vancouver is within the Vancouver Charter. According to the Ministry of Public Safety, while the LCLA applies to Vancouver, the Charter grants “exclusive jurisdiction and control over all public parks” in the city to the Park Board.
But since the Park Board isn’t a municipality or regional district, it lacks the authority under the LCLA to pass the needed by-law. This means that neither Vancouver’s City Council nor the Park Board has the authority to launch an alcohol consumption pilot.
This could change if an amendment is made to the LCLA. In late April, Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth introduced a bill that would “authorize the Vancouver Park Board to designate specific places under its jurisdiction as places where liquor may be consumed.”
A spokesperson from the ministry tells Daily Hive that the “amendment will be brought into force by regulation at a later date.”
Although a specific date hasn’t been made clear, the ministry adds that they’re “aware” of the Park Board’s request that this is implemented for Summer 2021.
For now, fingers crossed that the amendment is made sooner, rather than later. Until then, here are the 22 parks in Vancouver which would allow for a boozy beverage.
Vancouver parks included in the pilot program