Manitoba

Let Winnipeggers 'responsibly enjoy liquor' at select city parks, mayoral candidate proposes

Some Winnipeg parks could resemble pubs next summer if a mayoral candidate gets voted in this October.

Rick Shone says he would work with the province to amend the law

Winnipeg mayoral candidate Rick Shone says he would like to see a pilot project that would allow residents to drink alcohol in five public parks in 2023. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Some Winnipeg parks could resemble pubs next summer if one mayoral candidate gets voted in this October.

Rick Shone wants to create a pilot project where Winnipeggers could "responsibly consume alcohol" in five public parks during the summer.

"This plan recognizes that not all Winnipeggers have backyards or an outdoor space at home," Shone said in a release. "All Winnipeggers should have the same opportunity to get outside."

Shone would have to work with the Manitoba government to amend the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Control Act, which states Manitobans cannot drink alcohol or even have open liquor in public places.

Other cities have tried pilot projects, allowing residents to drink liquor in public.

The project would set up designated drinking areas in Assiniboine, Kildonan, Harbourview, St. Vital and Whittier Parks between 11 a.m. and 10 p.m during summer 2023 — pending a change in provincial legislation.

There is no mention of how the pilot project would be monitored for people drinking outside the areas or for over-consumption.

Shone says his plan 'recognizes that not all Winnipeggers have backyards or an outdoor space at home.' (Sam Samson/CBC)

Shone says Winnipeggers already drink in parks during events including barbecues and sports.

"This pilot project is a response to both the public demand for more conscientious alcohol laws, and an acknowledgement that drinking already happens in our parks, with or without a clear set of guidelines," he said.

"I honestly can't see an issue of enjoying a beer or a glass of wine with some friends."

Philanthropist endorses Murray

Gail Asper is throwing her support behind Glen Murray in Winnipeg's mayoral race.

In a news release, the prominent Winnipeg lawyer and philanthropist says the city is "falling apart at the seams" due to random violence at The Forks, and bus shelters that "are now permanent homeless shelters." 

Asper believes Murray can turn things around because, with his experience as Winnipeg's mayor between 1998 and 2004, he will be able to hit the ground running.

There are now 14 people running for mayor in Winnipeg's civic election on Oct. 26.

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