Vancouver Might Make It Legal To Drink At Parks & On Beaches Before Summer

A motion will be presented to council this month.
Public Drinking In Vancouver Might Be Legal At Parks & On Beaches Before Summer

Drinking in public without risking a hefty fine might be on the horizon for Vancouverites. A city council member is advocating for public drinking in Vancouver's parks and beaches to be legal. A motion will be presented to city councillors on May 26 and if it gets passed, she hopes for it to be implemented right away. 

Getting outside and into the sunshine is a must. But having a good time at the beach with a drink for two can come at a cost. 

In a tweet released by the Vancouver Police Department, they explain that drinking alcohol in public comes with a big old fine of $230. 

Though your spiked AriZona Iced Tea may be delicious and refreshing, it doesn’t seem worth the risk. 

But a Vancouver councillor is hoping to change things very soon. 

According to a tweet posted by councillor Christie Boyle, she is presenting a motion to the city on Tuesday, May 26. 

This motion is calling for the City of Vancouver to legalize responsible alcohol consumption in the city's parks and beaches. 

Boyle has been advocating for this concept since 2017 with little success. 

During a time where more and more people may be headed to the beaches because of layoffs and the pandemic, it seems like a good time to bring it forward once again. After all, bars and restaurants won't be able to accommodate the large capacities that they used to. 

Attached to Boyle’s tweet is a link to a petition. So far, there are 2,183 signatures out of a required 2,500.  

“Call us radical, but we don't think it should be illegal to bring a growler of beer or a bottle of wine to the park or beach,” reads the opening line of the petition. 

The page explains that in response to COVID-19, pubs and restaurants have had to restrict their dine-in service which has prompted more take out options. 

This includes the take-out of alcohol. 

While referencing Dr. Bonnie Henry, Boyle writes that COVID-19 is less likely to be transmitted outdoors which has encouraged everyone to be outside more while still keeping safe distances. 

Despite a few people not following the rules, a majority of people have been enjoying the outdoors while still abiding by health and safety measures. 

This is why Boyle believes that people should be able to enjoy a beer or glass of wine while sitting at a park or beach. 

“Drinking fines negatively impact racialized and lower-income communities the most -- both in their application and their enforcement,” says the petition. 

“They also disadvantage renters and those living in smaller, multi-family dwellings without access to backyards or other private outdoor space. Our City's bylaw enforcement resources could be better directed elsewhere.”

During the council meeting on Tuesday, May 26, Boyle will bring her motion to her fellow council members in hopes of legalizing her long advocated for policy. 

If passed, she would want it put into action “as quickly as possible.”