Tory open to conversation about allowing people to drink wine or beer in parks
John Tory is shown speaking with reporters in Etobicoke on Friday morning.
Chris Fox, CP24.com
Published Friday, September 28, 2018 8:37AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, September 28, 2018 12:32PM EDT
John Tory says that it may be time to reconsider a bylaw that prohibits people from consuming alcohol in parks, especially in light of provincial legislation that will make it legal to smoke marijuana in some public places.
Legislation that was passed by the previously Liberal government would have made it illegal to consume cannabis in public but new legislation tabled by Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative government on Thursday will instead place the same restrictions on cannabis-users as tobacco and e-cigarette users.
That means that residents who chose to smoke marijuana once it is legalized on Oct. 17 will be able do so wherever they want, so long as it is not in an enclosed public place, a workplace or a vehicle or boat.
Speaking with reporters while putting up campaign signs in Etobicoke on Thursday morning, Tory said that the legislation governing the use of marijuana may mean that it is time to at least “take a look at” bylaws preventing people from having a glass of wine or beer in public parks.
“If the provincial government has decided that people can smoke marijuana on the sidewalk then I think it does raise the question of people who are quite frankly already having a glass of wine or a beer in parks,” he said. “We have to be honest about this. A lot of people are doing it and they are hiding it with paper bags or something like that. And we should just talk about whether responsible people, which most people are, could be allowed to have a glass of wine or a beer in the park. We can take a look at the laws and make it subject to certain kinds of reasonable restrictions but you know just take a look at it.”
Last September the city’s parks and environment committee did vote in favour of a motion asking staff to study Philadelphia's Parks on Tap program, in which a mobile beer truck travels around the city and turns select parks into temporary beer gardens.
While Tory did not say whether he would personally support allowing the consumption of alcohol in parks he did suggest that it may at least be time to have the conversation, noting that it could be part of “modernizing things regardless of what we do with marijuana.”
Speaking with reporters at an unrelated press conference on Friday morning, Premier Doug Ford said that is a conversation he would be willing to have with municipal leaders, though he said that he does not personally support allowing alcohol in parks.
“I hear John Tory is all for drinking in the parks now so I am going to have to sit down with John and a couple of other municipal leaders and consult about it,” he said. “I don’t know guys. I don’t like people walking around drunk or smoking weed or any of that in the public part of a park but I want to consult with our entire cabinet but especially our attorney general and our finance minister.”