Alcohol in parks letter

posted on 18 May 2022 | HamOnt

Text of an email I sent to council today, after they discovered we don't have an "alcohol in parks bylaw" and Ward 8 councilor JP Danko motioned looking into responsible ways to allow it.

Councilor Wilson, Councilor Danko, Mr Mayor,

I'm writing to voice my support for opening up Hamilton city parks to drinking, and to thank councilor Danko for opening this subject up for study. I think we should be collectively ashamed that we didn't properly move on this in 2020 when COVID shutdown orders effectively declared that anybody who didn't have access to a private yard was effectively banned from socializing over drinks.

Ontario's puritanical attitude towards drinking only seems normal to people who don't travel enough to see other places where enjoying a drink out in public is normal and fine. It's time to begin relaxing these rules and allowing responsible consumption. The Quebec approach (with a meal, daytime-only) seems perfectly reasonable, for example.

And to those who worry about garbage: picnics also cause garbage. Sports events cause garbage. Use causes garbage. Too many people see the city's parks as extensions of their private gardens, meant only to be observed. Parks were meant to be enjoyed, and this program would offer a new way to do so.

Thanks for your time,

Martin Zarate

Ward 1 resident

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