Town to again allow booze at some community events in local parks

You’ll be able to crack open a cold one at some community events held in Fort Erie parks this summer.

Alcohol consumption at events held by boards and committees insured by the municipality will be allowed this year, after the town extended a practice they’ve held for a number of years.

A report to council at the March 4 meeting recommended once waiving an alcohol prohibition for such circumstances. Only a small amendment was made, removing the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council from the eligible committees.

After taking over the responsibility of approving community events in 2021, the Town of Fort Erie’s Economic Development and Tourism Services (EDTS) department proposed the waiver in 2022 as community events began returning following the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

That policy continued last year, and staff proposed keeping it going for 2024.

“EDTS staff is proposing council consider the same for community events in 2024 and beyond, with the understanding that future staff recommendations to update the existing policy will be forthcoming to reflect the current nature of community events,” the report said.

Such events are approved in accordance with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario’s licencing system and the Town’s own community event process, under which departments such as infrastructure, bylaw, building, and fire must give their approval.

The 2019 provincial budget included updates to the province’s liquor laws, including allowing drinking in public parks. However, municipalities were given the ability to opt in or out.

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