News and Events - Jan Damery for Mayor

Drinking in Parks: Let's Keep it Simple

May 11, 2021

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Jan will make it easier to pop a cork in the park without having to jump through hoops.

We need a new approach to beer and wine in our public parks. When able to do so, we want to spend time with our friends and family in a safe environment, and this often means spending time together outside. The time has come to remove the prohibition on the consumption of alcohol in parks.

City Council has passed a pilot — but it is unnecessarily complicated. Right now, you can only enjoy a glass of wine at one of 30 designated picnic tables across the city. 30 tables in a city of 1.5 million. If you want to book a table, you must do so 5 days in advance. Chances are your favourite park doesn’t even have a designated table - there are no tables where drinking is allowed in either Bowness Park or Nose Hill. In some parks there are multiple picnic tables, but alcohol is only permitted at one. This is yet another example of the City imposing red-tape, regulations and complexity. 

We can safely and straightforwardly allow for the consumption of alcohol in our public parks, and remain compliant with provincial legislation. Jan has a plan and a fresh perspective.

We will designate open areas with good sightlines in public parks as picnic areas, allowing the consumption of alcohol within certain hours. With a practical approach and adequate funding for signs and enforcement, we can safely and sensibly enjoy a glass of wine with our picnics while spending time with friends and family in one of Calgary’s many public parks and give some stimulus to local business in these areas.

Jan’s plan has been lauded by local business owners. 

“We completely support the initiative to open up more designated park spaces and keep the access simple without sign-up hurdles. It makes sense to give people more reasonable options to relax and enjoy an outdoor picnic safely with family and friends especially at this critical time. It can’t happen soon enough” – Sal Howell, owner of the River Cafe and Deane House 

Jan knows the value of bringing people together, particularly after the year and a half that we've had. This is part of Jan's plan to ensure Calgary is a top global destination to live, work, learn and play.

Learn more here