- The Saskatchewan government has proposed legislation that would allow people of legal drinking age to consume alcohol in public locations outside of their homes.
- When speaking to reporters on Monday afternoon, the opposition highlighted concerns about the notion.
In Saskatchewan’s municipalities and parks, drinking alcohol in public spaces could soon be permitted.
On Monday, the Saskatchewan government introduced legislation that would allow municipalities and park authorities to allow individuals of legal drinking age to consume alcohol in outdoor public spaces.
The proposed revisions would allow officials to designate outdoor public locations where individuals can consume alcohol on their terms.
According to the government’s announcement on Monday, municipalities and park authorities would also be able to balance local interests with public safety concerns.
“Through these revisions, municipalities will be able to allow the use of alcohol in their parks, ensuring that residents may enjoy their parks safely and responsibly,” said Jim Reiter, Minister responsible for the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA).
While Reiter recognizes safety concerns, he believes the law will assist those with limited recreational space access.
“Some residents who live in apartments or condos don’t have easy access to their own green space,” he explained.
“Those who have a garden and want to enjoy a BBQ with some beer and a glass of wine are certainly welcome to do so, but not everyone does.”
People still need to obtain a permit from the SLGA for private events, such as weddings, when alcohol is served or sold.
Reiter stated that his government’s goal was to pass the law before the summer recess.
With only three days left in the spring session, the government will require unanimous chamber approval to bypass debate and committee review and pass the law before the session ends on Thursday.
On Monday afternoon, the opposition expressed reservations about the concept when speaking to reporters.
While the opposition isn’t completely opposed to the idea, Deputy Leader Nicole Sarauer believes that a bill like this should go through the normal legislative process to allow time for the opposing party to consult with local municipalities, other jurisdictions that may have applied a similar amendment or legislation, and also ask questions of the bill.
“The government understands how legislation and the legislative process in this building work. “They could’ve proposed it any time sooner than the last week of the session if they wanted it passed for this summer,” she said.
“Consent without consultation is not something we support.”
Source: Global News