2016 Liquor Bans

2016 Jurisdictional Scan: Liquor Bans
Does your jurisdiction impose a liquor ban or other controls measures in your campgrounds to curtail rowdyism? If so, do you only implement at a particular time of year and/or in select campgrounds? When were any such bans / measures put into place?
B.C PARKSNoBob AustadStuart Walsh
COMMENTS: Hi Bruce:BC Provincial Parks doesn’t impose a liquor ban for any of our parks. We enforce the liquor act and take issue with any rowdiness/disturbance. In specific park locations and especially for long weekends our staff use compliance action plans for those parks we known have a higher percentage of non-compliance. Those plans will usually include police, Conservation Officers and Natural Resource Officer for field support, to effectively change the pattern of users over a period of time. We have also found the reservation service has greatly reduced liquor offence occurrences, as those who wish to party and drink in public and create a disturbance it appears don’t very often use the reservation service. As a result, these individuals end up more in our Recreation Sites, what we term “Forestry campsites”, managed by another Ministry and not part of the BC Parks system of parks and protected areas. Many of these sites are often unsupervised or only have a attendants in the larger sites where fees are collected.Note, we still have problems with liquor offences, but it has it seems gotten better in the last decade.If you have further questions, please feel free to contact Stuart Walsh, our Compliance Enforcement and Safety Officer, who is copied on this email.
COMMENTS: Hi Bruce, here are the key documents we use annually to enact a liquor ban for select sites for the May Long weekend only. I would be happy to talk with you to give you our background, once you receive this information.Liquor Ban 2016 (AB)
COMMENTS:Alcohol-related incidents in provincial parks campgrounds during the May long-weekends in 2005 & 2006 produced strong media and public interests and a growing call for change in how the parks were managed on this long- weekend. In 2005, RCMP formally requested implementation of an alcohol ban on the May long weekend to reduce vandalism and public/officer safety concerns. Saskatchewan Parks implemented a May long-weekend alcohol ban in place beginning 2006 and has continued with the ban every year since. The ban covers all provincial park and recreation site campgrounds as well as select regional park campgrounds. It does not include rental cabins, hotel rooms, private cottages or commercial businesses serving liquor in licensed establishments.The ban is implemented through an annual Minister’s Order (by the Minister of Parks, Culture and Sport) under the authority of The Parks Act (Saskatchewan), The Regional Parks Act, 2013 and The Alcohol and Gaming Regulation Act (Saskatchewan, s. 107.1).
Records show a marked decrease in vandalism incidents and costs. Parks have also reported a change in camper composition over the May long- weekend from groups of youth to predominantly family groups.
Please feel free to contact me if you would like any additional information. As a former Manitoba resident, and continuing Mb park visitor, I share your interest!
MANITOBA PARKSInquiring JurisdictionBruce Mineault
COMMENTS: Hi Dawn,Mike Gilbertson suggested I contact you directly to see about obtaining some information from provincial parks in the other provinces. It is my understanding that you are the conduit for inter-jurisdictional information sharing.I am conducting a liquor ban review and would like to know what the other province’s policies are related to liquor bans in their campgrounds.The specific questions are:1. Do you impose a liquor ban or other controls measures in your campgrounds to curtail rowdyism? If so, do you only implement at a particular time of year and/or in select campgrounds?2. When were any such bans / measures put into place? I appreciate any help you can provide in obtaining this information.Thanks
1.)Yes It is in effect from May long weekend (opening of camping season) until a few days after Canada Day weekend.2.)They have been in place for at least 10 years. The last five years has been all parks, upuntil then it has just been our “problem” parks.
COMMENTS: To answer your question broadly, visitors to our parks are allowed to bring and consume alcohol at their campsites with the expectation of responsible behaviour.Alcohol is not permitted in public / common areas of our parks. These policies are in effect all year round at all campgrounds. If this does not occur, the below policies are in place.Under the New Brunswick Liquor Control Act , The Minister may, for the purpose of enforcing sections 132, 133 and 134 and subsections 136(1), (1.2) and (2) and 137(1) and (4) in national parks established under the National Parks Act (Canada), designate any park warden as defined in the National Parks Act (Canada) to be a peace officer and to have the powers of a peace officer under this Act and the Provincial Offences Procedure Act
(See full response in resources below)
P.E.I PARKSNoShane Arbing
COMMENTS: PEI Provincial Parks does not impose liquor bans in our campgrounds. We do have authority under our Act/Regs to ban individuals who cause us problems. We haven’t banned anyone this year but it has happened in the past….mostly locals. Hope this helps.
COMMENTS:At this time we do not have any liquor bans in place.

Response Rate: 7/13 for 54%

Key Findings:

  • Most parks only have partial liquor bans for long weekends and peak season 
  • Some parks agencies simply use their provincial alcohol legislation within their parks 

Future Questions to Ask:

  • What kinds of liquor bans are the most effective? 
  • What can be done to educate park users on responsible alcohol use in parks?

Links to Resources: