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Drinking in Victoria Park? Kitchener council considering pilot project

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The City of Kitchener is considering a pilot project that would allow alcoholic beverages in Victoria Park this summer.

At Monday night’s meeting councillors voted in favour of having staff investigate and develop criteria for the pilot.

It's being proposed to run from June 1 to Labour Day weekend.

Jason Deneault, the councillor behind the motion, said it could be a driver for more economic activity in the city.

He also explained that with increased housing density in the downtown core, residents have less access to backyards and space for recreation.

Deneault said it would give people the freedom to get together and host small events in the park.

He points to a similar, though larger, program in Toronto.

“You know, the roof didn’t cave in in Toronto,” said Deneault. “I read today they had two complaints in all of the 27 parks that were allowed under their trial pilot project. What I’ve learned is that the sky is not going to fall in. Again, we’re all adults.”

CTV News spoke to people in Victoria Park on Monday to get their reaction to the proposal.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea. I think it’s a family park and there’s kids. I think that sometimes people are not very responsible and it could cause a lot of problems,” said one person.

“We should be allowed to drink in the park,” said another. “When I go to Europe I can drink in the park. It’s never really an issue. And I don’t know why it’s an issue in Canada.”

Staff are set to report back to council with more on the proposed pilot in the new year.

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