Central Saanich may allow drinking in its entire park system

Central Saanich may allow drinking in its entire park system
Central Saanich council will vote on a motion allowing public drinking in its entire park system on July 13.

People could soon be allowed to consume alcohol in parks throughout the District of Central Saanich.

Central Saanich councillors will vote on whether or not to allow people to consume alcohol in public parks at their upcoming meeting on July 13.

If approved, drinking would be allowed throughout the district’s entire park system between the hours of 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. until Sept. 30.

With more than a dozen parks in Central Saanich, there would be plenty of options for residents, should the motion pass.

Other Vancouver Island communities have debated the idea of allowing drinking at public parks in recent weeks, including the District of Saanich, which voted against the idea back in June.

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Brought forward by councillors Chris Graham and Niall Paltiel, the motion suggests that by allowing people to drink while visiting district parks will encourage more people to use the parks.

“There is value to allowing people to consume alcohol responsibly in our park system to encourage the use of our parks,” the motion reads.

It states that allowing people to drink at all district’s parks helps avoid the “clustering” of people, and would limit noise and nuisance complaints because no neighbourhood would feel like they are being targetted by the rule change.

The motion also suggests other countries around the world allow drinking in public “without issues.” It also says allowing drinking in all public parks reduces the risk of drinking and driving because most parks will be within walking distance.

“The intent is both to enhance mental health, and to encourage people to reduce travel, decreasing the risks associated with travel,” the motion said.

A number of countries around the world, including Germany and Japan, allow drinking in public places such as parks.

Nicholas PescodNicholas Pescod

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