City of Edmonton allows drinking in select parks following two years of pilots – Edmonton

The City of Edmonton will continue to allow alcohol at certain picnic sites within designated parks following two pilot projects.

The decision was made at a meeting of the Community and Public Service Commission. Rep. Andrew Knack, Rep. Aaron Puckett and Mayor Amarjeet Sohi voted in favor, while Rep. Karen Principe and Jennifer Rice opposed.

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City officials submitted a report to the city council Monday on the results of the second year of the pilot project and public efforts to allow alcohol at selected picnic sites in 18 of the city’s parks.

80% of those surveyed supported the city allowing alcohol consumption in designated areas within certain parks.

About half of the respondents said they believed allowing drinking led to more disorderly behavior, but during the course of the pilot, only two warnings were given to people at the pilot site.

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Ward Dean Coun. Aaron Puckett shared that many Edmontese were initially concerned about allowing alcohol in the park.

“A lot of the concerns that have been expressed are actually concerns that haven’t materialized in two years,” Paquette said.

“Based on evidence and facts, I have changed my stance.”

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Respondents who opposed the project were more likely to come from equity-seeking groups, including women, blacks, Indigenous peoples, people of color, and newcomers, although a large proportion of these groups still pursue the program. was supporting.

Ward Ipiihkoohkanipiaohtsi councilor Rice said he did not endorse the program because the engagement did not show enough support from the people of Edmont.

“More than half of Edmontans are concerned about their cultural sensitivities,” she said.

“If we already have existing spaces for consuming alcohol, why should we…use our green spaces? Family gathering spaces, people enjoying exercise and relaxing. is.”

City officials say the current locations meet strict standards and there are no better locations in the city, so the number of places where drinking is allowed will probably not be expanded.

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