Word on the street is Toronto could be in for an even more summer fun than ever before! Not sure what we’re talking about? Let us enlighten you. One city councillor is currently in the process of pushing for the legalization of drinking in Toronto parks and beaches. The motion hasn’t passed quite yet, but it could be the beginning of a whole ton of fun.
So all of this is being put forward by midtown city councillor Josh Matlow. He has written a letter to the city’s Infrastructure & Environment Committee outlining why he thinks the move would be a good one. Within the letter, he highlights the importance of social interaction after a year in isolation.
He talks about how many Torontonians do not have the luxury of a backyard or balcony, so parks are one of the only safe options for safely connecting with friends.
“What about Torontonians that can’t afford a drink in a bar or don’t have an outdoor space in their homes?” he writes. “These residents should not be left with unsafe options such as gathering indoors or, like many over the past year, choosing to drink illegally in parks.”
Motion: Enjoying a Drink Outdoors: Providing Safe, Responsible and Equitable Options for All Torontonians https://t.co/toijJEPP0z
— Josh Matlow (@JoshMatlow) April 12, 2021
He also writes about the racial discrepancies seen when it comes to preventing illegal drinking in parks and beaches.
“While Toronto does not keep race-based statistics on the issuance of tickets for drinking in parks, the example from New York City is troubling. In 2020, the New York Police Department issued 1,250 criminal summonses issued for drinking in public. Out of that number 48% went to Black individuals, 43% to Hispanics, and only 7% went to white people.”
Matlow’s motion is set to be considered at a Toronto Infrastructure & Environment Committee meeting on Wednesday, April 28th.
If Matlow’s recommendations pass, Toronto could be seeing legalization of drinking in parks from Friday, May 21st to Sunday, October 31st between 11 AM and 9 PM.
To read Josh Matlow’s full proposal, just head online here.
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