EDITORIAL: Let's cheers to enjoying a drink in our parks

For the first time this summer, people will be able to legally enjoy a glass of B.C. pinot or can of local IPA in some designated sections of City of North Vancouver’s parks. We say skoal, prost and gan bei to that.

In practice, not many folks shy away from sneaking a can of pilsner into their picnic basket, but it will be nice to drop the charade and stop looking over the shoulder. We will be the first jurisdiction in Canada outside Quebec to allow it, but it will bring us in line with most places in the world.

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Already, we have received some response along the lines of “won’t somebody think of the children?”

A reminder: All the anti-social behaviour that sometimes is associated with alcohol will still be illegal. But the way we see it, the city now has a responsibility to deploy more RCMP and bylaw officers as needed to ensure cases of noise infractions, public intoxication, impaired driving, littering, urination and underage drinking are enforced. A few stiff fines could be a sobering experience for someone who’s had a few stiff drinks. Similarly, we’d also suggest council spring for some public washrooms.

This is, in part, a bid to rescue our restaurants, pubs and breweries who are under threat because of the strict but necessary new public health rules, so buy local whenever possible.

But it could also be a permanent boost to our quality of life. With only 20 per cent of city residents having a backyard of their own, we want our parks to feel like an extension of our homes.

Whether we can keep our sips in the sunshine or not will depend entirely on how people conduct themselves over the next few months.

Let’s hold ourselves to a standard that ensures there’s no hangover for the city to deal with.

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