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Alcohol consumption to be allowed at Tsawwassen's Centennial Beach

A pair parks sites operated by the regional district are eyed for the pilot project
Metro Vancouver staff will report back to ensure that the regional district’s bylaws provide the necessary legal authorization for the board of directors to permit alcohol consumption under the terms of the pilot project. Sandor Gyarmati photo

You will be able to crack open a cold one and enjoy your suds out in the open at Tsawwassen’s Centennial Beach next summer.

This past summer, Metro Vancouver’s Regional Parks Committee passed a motion requesting that staff report back on the feasibility of a pilot project that would allow for the consumption of alcohol in specified areas of select regional parks in 2024.

Delta Coun. Dylan Kruger, a committee member, recently told the Optimist that Centennial Beach, part of Boundary Bay Regional Park, is one of the few ideal areas that the regional district could allow alcoholic consumption.

It would also be a great extension of the City of Delta’s successful program which allows responsible drinking at select parks in select areas and times of day, he said.

“Since it’s come in, we’ve has zero serious incidents, and Delta is not in isolation. Vancouver, North Vancouver, Coquitlam and many other cities across the region are doing this,” he said.

Council earlier this year gave the thumbs-up to expanding the number of city parks that can have designated areas for public consumption of alcohol to 21 sites.

The program was also expanded from summer to year-round with drinking allowed between the hours of 11 a.m. to dusk.

“So far, Metro has not had this, but, in fairness to them, most of Metro Vancouver’s parks assets are more natural forested ecosystems where it wouldn’t be appropriate, but, there are a few key spots that would make sense - Centennial Beach in Tsawwassen and Derby Reach Regional Park in Langley. People are probably doing it anyway, but it’s much safer if you actually allow for responsible consumption,” Kruger added.

Metro staff recently completed research to understand how other jurisdictions are addressing the trend and also determined that the current Regional Parks Regulation Bylaw would require amending to allow for general public alcohol consumption.

Staff will report back early in 2024 with details of a recommended pilot project for a seasonal approach to allowing consumption next spring/summer in specific areas of select regional parks.