Port Coquitlam poised to allow drinking at 7 parks as part of pilot project
VANCOUVER -- The City of Port Coquitlam says it's preparing to launch a pilot project that would allow drinking at seven of its parks.
The city is set to review its bylaws around the issue at a council meeting on June 23, and if the project is approved, park patrons could be allowed to drink at the seven designated parks by June 24.
Adults 19 and older would be permitted to drink at Castle, Settlers, Gates, Lions, Aggie, Evergreen and Cedar Drive parks until Oct. 31. The city says the initiative is part of its efforts to encourage people to spend time outside and support physical distancing.
"This is part of our continued common-sense approach and I'm pleased to see this going forward," Mayor Brad West said in a statement Wednesday. "We'll be joining the many cities around the world that already allow adults to consume alcohol responsibly at parks."
The parks that were selected to be part of the project have washrooms, picnic tables and shelters, and are being inspected at least once a week or every two weeks.
The city says staff will report back to council when the project ends in the fall with a recommendation on whether it should continue, be expanded to other parks or be cancelled.
Mounties, park staff and bylaw officers will be monitoring the parks and will respond to any complaints about "irresponsible behaviour," according to the city.
The City of North Vancouver has already approved a similar plan to allow drinking in certain public places, including several parks.
But a similar motion put forward at Monday night's Vancouver Park Board meeting was withdrawn by the commissioner who put it forward. The board is now seeking clarification from the provincial government on whether it has the appropriate power to allow drinking on the land it governs. Vancouver's council had already voted down a motion last week that would have allowed for public alcohol consumption.