Vancouver approves public alcohol consumption in 4 places, mostly downtown

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VANCOUVER – City councilors have approved a temporary pilot project that will allow people to drink alcohol in four public places in Vancouver. The program is designed to give people more ways to socialize outdoors and to support restaurants when they are forced to operate with reduced capacity.

The four locations on the esplanade were chosen based on their proximity to “primary food businesses” and access to public transport and toilets. They are:

  • The North Square of the Vancouver Art Gallery

  • The plaza on Hornby and Hastings streets, near the Vancouver Convention Center

  • The converted “sidewalk to plaza” in Bute and Robson streets

  • The temporary plaza on rue Cambie and 17th avenue

The pilot project is scheduled to start August 10 and run through the second week of October.

Concerns have been raised by police and health officials, largely around the “risks of inadvertently allowing drinking in public, of creating public safety concerns by allowing public intoxication and of supporting public gatherings. during the COVID pandemic, ”according to a staff report on the proposal.

Staff said they are working to mitigate these risks in their plan, but will monitor the program and make adjustments as needed.

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