Motion to allow alcohol consumption in Calgary parks to be presented to council

CALGARY — Drinking a beer or sipping on a glass of wine in a park could become a reality for Calgarians of legal age this summer.

Ward 9 Coun., Gian-Carlo Carra will present a motion to council Monday that aims to permit alcohol consumption in city-owned parks.

The pilot project is being proposed as part of the city’s COVID-19 response plan as residents continue to utilize outdoor amenities, including parks, and with social distancing measures in place.

The designation would be temporary and would require residents to obtain a permit similar to the procedure for booking a fire pit during the winter months.

An alcohol in parks pilot project was supposed to launch in the summer of 2019 but was postponed. At the time, the city launched a survey to gather insight on where Calgarians stood on the idea and the results were divided.

More than 15,000 people participated, and the results showed a slight majority for those in favour. However, whether for or against, the city says many Calgarians are worried things could get out of hand and more people might drink and drive.

Consultations with City Parks, bylaw enforcement and a review of the provincial Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Act have already taken place.

If approved, the pilot project would run from June 1 to Sept. 7.

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