Burnaby alcohol-in-parks pilot to be discussed

You could soon be able to legally sip on an adult beverage in Burnaby parks.

City council is set to discuss a change in its bylaws to allow the public consumption of alcohol in its green spaces.

There are still a number of details that need to be worked out, including which parks this change would apply to, and where within those spaces alcohol would be allowed.

The idea was first brought to council in 2021.

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“The COVID-19 pandemic amplified the importance of parks as highly valued outdoor spaces that support recreation and community connectedness. They provide important opportunities for participation in outdoor recreation, physical activity, relaxation, and social connection,” the motion to council dated May 8, 2023, reads.

It notes civic politicians in other Metro Vancouver communities, including Port Coquitlam, Vancouver, and the City of North Vancouver, have already made the move, citing limited issues.

“Over the past 2 years, these municipalities have generally had positive experiences, with few concerns or issues arising during that time. Given this success, the City of Vancouver recently made their program permanent and expanded the number of locations where alcohol consumption is allowed,” the motion continues.

Alcohol in parks considerations

The motion notes several considerations are required to develop an alcohol-in-parks pilot program. In addition to locations, accessibility and proximity to public transportation, amenities like bathrooms, and safety, including lighting and visibility, need to be considered.

The motion also highlights the need to identify hours during which alcohol can be consumed, as well as signage to outline the rules.

“Staff would initiate a public consultation process to also run concurrently during the pilot program. This would allow residents to provide feedback on the program as well as identify any challenges that may arise,” the motion adds.

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