Would you support legalized public drinking in Vancouver?

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Would you imbibe a glass of wine during a picnic if it was legal? What if Granville Street became a designated entertainment district where boozing in the streets was totally allowed?

Kinsmen Carnival beer parlour, June 1944 (Vancouver Archives)

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Well, the government is seeking municipal consultation on just that. With current liquor laws, there’s a little-known provision that allows municipalities to designate public areas where drinking is allowed – no municipality has ever used it, though.

Legalized public drinking could look one of two ways:

  • A designated beach or park where you can bring booze with you on a picnic (legally, anyway – no more paper bag PBRs for you), or
  • A street or square that’s designated as a public drinking area. Think Granville Street, but with drinking on the street, if that idea doesn’t send chills down your spine.

Other cities have introduced these designated public drinking areas in the United States such as Savannah, Georgia, Key West, Las Vegas, and New Orleans. While here in Canada both Alberta and Quebec permit drinking while picnicking.

Premier Christy Clark revealed in a news conference last week that the province has been talking with cities and police forces to gather information on a potential change in the legislation. But what do you think about the prospect of public drinking in B.C.?

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Lauren Sundstrom Lauren is a Staff Writer and Projects Assistant at Vancity Buzz. She is a graduate of BCIT's Broadcast and Online Journalism program. She loves reporting on breaking news and lifestyle content. If you feel like you have a story that needs to be told, fire her a tweet.
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