RESPONSIBLE DRINKING TO BE TESTED AT SEVEN PORT COQUITLAM PARKS
Port Coquitlam, BC, June 10, 2020. . . Residents may soon be able to enjoy an adult beverage at Port Coquitlam parks, after the city took steps last night towards permitting responsible liquor consumption at seven parks.
To support physical distancing and encourage people to spend time outdoors, the city is preparing to launch a pilot project to allow responsible liquor consumption by adults of legal drinking age at Castle, Settlers, Gates, Lions, Aggie, Evergreen and Cedar Drive parks until Oct. 31 of this year. The seven parks met the selection criteria by having washrooms, picnic tables and shelters, and being inspected at least weekly or biweekly.
“We’ve been encouraging more park use as a way to help people stay connected with their community – especially our large population of apartment and townhouse dwellers who may have limited space to gather outdoors with friends and family at this time,” Mayor Brad West said. “This is part of our continued commonsense approach and I’m pleased to see this going forward. We’ll be joining the many cities around the world that already allow adults to consume alcohol responsibly at parks.”
B.C.’s Liquor Control and Licensing Regulation permits municipalities to pass a bylaw specifying where and when liquor consumption in public is permitted.
Bylaws to enable Port Coquitlam’s pilot project will come to the June 23 Council meeting for Council’s consideration, which means responsible drinking of beer, wine or spirits could be permitted at the seven parks as soon as June 24.
Just like at all times, RCMP, parks staff and Bylaw Officers will monitor the parks as part of their regular surveillance and will respond to complaints about irresponsible behavior.
“While this adds to the experience at some of our parks, it is a pilot and we’ll be watching to make sure the parks are comfortable for everyone,” noted Cllr. Steve Darling, Council’s designate for recreation and public safety matters. “We expect people to monitor their alcohol consumption as they already do at restaurants or gatherings, be respectful of others and to plan for a safe way home.”
After the pilot ends on Oct. 31, staff will report back to Council with a recommendation on whether to continue the initiative – expand it to other parks or cancel it.
The City will be seeking feedback on the pilot project and will share further information about how input can be provided once the bylaw changes are adopted.
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 at: 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:
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Manager of Communications & Admin Services
City of Port Coquitlam
Tel 604.927.5335 Cel 604.218.0533