Vancouver councillor wants booze legal in parks, beaches by summer
Christine Boyle envisions small groups of friends keeping their distance and enjoying a beer or glass of wine on the beach – but legally. The Vancouver city councillor plans to present a motion to make it law on May 26.
“During this crisis we’ve been encouraged to go outside,” said Boyle. “I think our residents can be responsible and enjoy a local drink.”
She argued restaurants have been forced to close but can offer beer and wine to go, so why not allow Vancouverites to take the food and drink to the park.
Soon after she tweeted her intention to present the motion, Vancouver Park Board commissioner John Coupar tweeted back.
“Perhaps read the Vancouver Charter first,” Coupar wrote to Boyle, pointing out the board has jurisdiction over parks and beaches, not city council. He also predicted the motion would be ruled out of order.
“Certainly we work a lot with the city,” he told CTV News. “But in this case the park is already moving forward.”
He means the board is in favour of allowing alcohol, and has been studying the feasibility since 2018. The original plans involved selling drinks at concession stands and giving people designated areas where they could consume them.
“If the city’s role is just to advocate and encourage the park board do it quickly, then great, I’m happy to be playing that role,” said Boyle, who would like booze flowing in time for summer.
Coupar didn’t sound optimistic it could be done that quickly. Concession stands aren’t open and much of the board’s staff has yet to be hired.
“I suspect not,” he said. “I mean I’m one of seven commissioners. I know that our park board senior staff have an awful lot on their plate right now.”