An Edmonton city councillor plans to introduce a motion Monday that explores the possibility of relaxing alcohol consumption laws in public parks.
“We’re still going to be impacted by COVID this summer and I think it would be appropriate to start exploring some select sites where we could have alcohol consumption,” Ward 3 Coun. Jon Dziadyk said Saturday.
“There would be a limited quantity of alcohol each person would be allowed to consume — one or two drinks, with food.”
Currently, Alberta law gives some leeway for municipalities to allow public drinking in city-owned parks as long as it’s in a designated site and during set hours.
Dziadyk noted, the bylaws around public drunkenness, noise and litter will still be in effect.
“If enforcement is going to be an issue, then it would make more sense to do this in a channeled pilot project-type fashion,” he explained.
“Maybe only at Hawrelak Park for the first summer and really see what type of resources we need, but I think public education and awareness of this change would go a long way.”
Dziadyk said he wants people to enjoy the parks safely and this is one way to socialize while having the space to be physically distant.
“What I’m trying to do right now is start the conversation, so we could implement this by the summer. Obviously a lot of engagement is going to be required and not everyone is comfortable with this idea,” he said.
“Ultimately it would be up to Edmontonians.”
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