Protest tries to convince Vancouver to allow booze on beaches
A beer advocacy group took to English Bay Beach Sunday with cans of craft brew as part of a "picnic protest" to convince the city to change its liquor laws to allow drinking on the city's beaches.
The Campaign for Real Ale Society of B.C. thinks cracking a beer on the beach should be legal.
"The mayor [is] always saying he wants Vancouver to be a world class city. Well guess what, South America, Europe, Australia, Asia, all these places have policies that allow you to have a beer," said David Perry of CAMRA BC.
Right now, B.C. laws state that people may not consume alcohol anywhere besides a private residence or licensed bar or restaurant. Public spaces may be designated as liquor friendly by a municipal bylaw if a city so chooses.
But CAMRA members don't see B.C. cities taking leadership to enact that legislation.
"[Why don't we] get ahead of it by saying yeah, do it. Do it responsibly," Perry said. "I'll be honest. Sorry city, sorry Park Board, all of you people… but everyone's drinking anyway."
Other people CTV Vancouver spoke to at the beach seemed on board with the idea.
"I feel like as adults we should be trusted enough to have a beer or two at the beach and not have it be a big thing or get fined for it," said Robyn.
The city says it recently finished a liquor policy review that made recommendations including allowing grocery stores, art galleries and museums to sell alcohol. They also wanted to enhance "patio culture" with more opportunity for outdoor seating at bars and restaurants.
There was nothing in the review about public drinking, however.
"The only thing we want to see is a change in open container policies," said Perry. "It seems ridiculous and redundant."
With a report from CTV Vancouver's Alex Turner.