Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran addresses media from the front steps of council chambers on March 23. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

Booze on Kelowna beaches? Mayor says ‘not at the moment’

Mayor Colin Basran says alcohol in public spaces is not on council’s radar right now — but that could change

Despite rumblings of alcohol soon being allowed at beaches and some other public spaces in neighbouring Penticton, the City of Kelowna will not be following suit.

“Not at the moment,” at least, according to Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran.

Currently, if you’re caught beer-in-hand at Kelowna beaches and parks, a bylaw officer will hand you a hefty $230 fine.

In Penticton, an item is set to go to council next week that could nix that city’s less hefty, but still discouraging $100 fine for drinking on the beach.

Penticton city staff will present recommendations next week, that if approved by council, would set in motion a five-week pilot project in which multiple parks and beaches across the South Okanagan city could see liquor restrictions removed. If approved, Pentictonites could be enjoying their favourite local beer or wine in public as soon as next Friday (June 5).

“As Penticton is home to 30 wineries, seven breweries and two distilleries, staff are preparing options for council to consider allowing locals and guests to enjoy those products in our beautiful outdoors,” explained Penticton’s director of development services, Blake Laven.

“If council approves the pilot, all rules of the BC Liquor Act, including responsible behaviour, still apply.”

Kelowna, with its similarly sized cohort of alcohol production facilities, will not see such an initiative come before city council any time soon. The mayor said the city wants to see how other initiatives meant to help local businesses pan out, such as the enhanced patio program, before making any further moves.

“It doesn’t mean that couldn’t change,” he said. “But at this moment there are no plans to look at something like that.”

Penticton city staff are expected to present their recommendations to council at its June 2 meeting.

After the five-week pilot, Penticton council will decide to either continue to allow drinking in public places or to end it, depending on the outcome.

“It could be a big disaster, who knows,” Laven said. “I think if there are a few incidents and we’re getting increased RCMP and bylaw calls it’s easy enough to just close it and abandon it.”

-With files from Jesse Day

READ MORE: POLL: Drinks in the park in Vernon?

READ MORE: Penticton may soon allow drinking alcohol in some public places

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@michaelrdrguez
michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

City of Kelowna

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Column: One parenting book certainly doesn’t fit all

Like the fingerprints they are born with – each child is different.… Continue reading

Ryga Arts Festival to include virtual and in-person events

Arts festival in Summerland will run from Aug. 15 to 23

Okanagan and Shuswap MPs want federal funds to help stop invasive species

Concerns raised that spending favours Eastern Canada.

Summerland Ornamental Gardens remain closed

Staff and volunteers continue to weed and maintain plants

Canada’s deficit result of investing in Canadians: Minister of Middle-Class Prosperity

Minister Mona Fortier said the government is working on the next steps as the economy restarts

COVID-19: Homeless to be relocated from temporary Okanagan shelter

Homeless shelters in Vernon have been combined into one site at the curling rink since April

Dozens of fish die at popular lake near Chase

A few natural phenomena are possible causes for their deaths.

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

Most Read