City of Edmonton approves alcohol consumption in select parks

EDMONTON — By a vote of eight to three, the city approved a pilot project to permit alcohol consumption at 47 designated picnic sites, in select parks in the river valley.

Specific signage will be allocated to seven parks included in the pilot, and enforcement teams will monitor those sites. Safe and responsible consumption will be allowed from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

The pilot will also include bookable and first come, first served sites.

“It’ll be curated, it’ll be specific to certain sites and that will really give us a sense of is this as straightforward as people think it is in Europe? Or will the worst fears that we’ve heard come to pass… And I suspect the answer will be somewhere in between,” Mayor Don Iveson, said.

The pilot will run from May 28 to Oct. 11. But, if there are significant issues, the city says the pilot could be suspended.

“I think realistically this is already happening,” Iveson added.

“I think putting some rules around it, and having some measurement around it and having some accountability and public communications around it and some monitoring I think will be a good thing without kicking the doors wide open.”

A full report will be provided to council at the end of the year.

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