RESPONSIBLE DRINKING PILOT BEGINS AT SEVEN CITY PARKS
Port Coquitlam, BC, June 26, 2020. . . Adults can enjoy a cold brew – legally and responsibly – at seven Port Coquitlam parks.
At a special meeting yesterday, Council finalized the regulatory changes to permit a four-month pilot project allowing responsible liquor consumption by adults at Castle, a portion of Settlers, Gates, Lions, Aggie, Evergreen and Cedar Drive parks until Oct. 31.
Port Coquitlam is among the first cities in Metro Vancouver to permit drinking in parks as a way of encouraging people to spend more time outdoors.
“This change will give our residents that are gathering with friends and families for a picnic or celebrating a special occasion the opportunity to enjoy a beverage outdoors safely and responsibly,” Mayor Brad West said. “We’re happy to take a common sense approach here as it’s something our residents have been asking for and already happens around the world. As the pandemic continues, we’re going to keep actively looking for creative ways and ideas to support our residents, families and businesses through these challenging times.”
Under B.C.’s Liquor Control and Licensing Regulation, municipalities may pass bylaws specifying where and when liquor can be consumed in public. Council gave the necessary bylaws the first three readings Tuesday and adopted them today.
Signage about the pilot is being posted at the seven parks, which were selected by meeting the criteria of having washrooms, picnic tables or shelters, and being inspected at least weekly or biweekly.
Responsible drinking will be permitted in the parks during regular park hours, dawn to dusk. The RCMP, parks staff and Bylaw Officers will monitor the sites as part of their regular surveillance, and will respond to complaints about irresponsible behaviour or underage drinking, as usual.
“We’re providing this opportunity with the expectation that park users enjoying a drink will do so responsibly,” said Cllr. Steve Darling, Council’s designate for recreation and public safety matters. “Our parks are for everyone and it’s important that people of all ages continue to feel safe in them. As it’s a pilot project, we’ll be monitoring and listening to the feedback and make changes as needed.”
Feedback will be collected throughout the pilot at www.portcoquitlam.ca/alcoholpilot.
After the pilot ends on Oct. 31, staff will report back to Council with a recommendation on whether to continue the initiative in the existing locations, expand it to other parks, or cancel it altogether.
Many city services continue to be available by phone, email and online. For information, visit www.portcoquitlam.ca/covid19 or follow the City of Port Coquitlam on social media.
For all health-related concerns, the public is advised to call 811, the Government of Canada novel coronavirus telephone information line a: 1-833-784-4397, or to contact their health-care provider or local public health office.
For recommendations on protecting yourself and your community from COVID-19, and to use the online self-assessment tool, visit BC Centre for Disease Control at www.bccdc.ca.
For more information and updates please contact the following resources:
- Fraser Health Authority – www.fraserhealth.ca
- Public Health Agency of Canada – www.canada.ca/publichealth
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Manager of Communications & Admin Services
City of Port Coquitlam
Tel 604.927.5335 Cel 604.218.0533