New bylaw passed in North Vancouver
By Sonam Kaloti, Arts Editor
Vancouverites can look forward to a big change; the City of North Vancouver passed a bylaw legalizing public drinking in some designated parks. The bylaw was passed on June 1 and has been in effect as of June 22.
As Vancouverites’ social pressure with loneliness and isolation during COVID-19 continues, the news comes as a response to the pandemic as the council aims to make life a little easier in these trying times. “We all want to live in a connected, vibrant, and inclusive community,” said Mayor Linda Buchanan in a press release.
The passing of this bylaw means that the City of North Vancouver is the first municipality in BC to legalize drinking in specified public outdoor areas.
Vancouver has had a reputation for being a “No Fun City” for years. Vancouver Councilor Pete Fry had recently pushed a motion to legalize public drinking to no avail. The Council vote ended in a 5 to 5 tie; however, the motion required a majority vote to move forward. This, once again, opened wide discussion on the ethics and safety issues concerning liquor and public drinking, while also reinstating the “no fun” reputation of the city.
“I don’t see Vancouver being a no fun city. I believe that there is so much one can do in the city especially in the downtown Vancouver area, ” Douglas College student Jozae Martinez said. “I think it’s fine with the new law because I’ve seen cops waste so much time giving out tickets for people drinking in public when they can do better things.”
On the issues concerning irresponsible drinking, Martinez said, “I wouldn’t trust college students or teenagers, but I feel like the older adults can be trusted more. Usually when I see people get tickets for drinking in public it’s always the younger groups of adults. I am for the new law of public drinking only because my friends and I can finally have a few cold ones on the beach, but then at the same time I’m not because all I can think about is all the rowdy teens and young adults acting out in public.”
The new bylaw is in effect from June 22 through October 15 as a pilot program. The bylaw allows public drinking from 11 am through 9 pm on all seven days of the week at the following locations:
- Waterfront Park (north and south of the train tracks, excluding the playground)
- Victoria Park (west)
- Mahon Park (behind Fen Burdett bleachers)
- Civic Plaza
- Grand Boulevard (13th St. to 19th St.)
- Ray Perrault Park (north west corner)
- Kings Mill Walk Park (Harbourside Pl. to Fell Ave.)
- Shipbuilders Square at The Shipyards
- Cates Deck at The Shipyards