No go on selling booze at rec facilities

By Jeff Labine
May 17, 2017 - 12:00pm
Ward 6 Coun. Blake Edwards wanted administration to look at the possibility of selling alcohol at recreational facilities. The idea was defeated by the majority of council.
Ward 6 Coun. Blake Edwards wanted administration to look at the possibility of selling alcohol at recreational facilities. The idea was defeated by the majority of council. Jeff Labine/paNOW Staff

The idea of selling alcohol at city operated recreational facilities didn’t go down smoothly.

Ward 6 Coun. Blake Edwards wanted support from council for administration to look at the possibility of selling alcoholic beverages at city facilities. Edwards believed the move could help to generate more funds for the city.

“I believe we are leaving some money on the table,” he told council on Monday. “I believe alcohol sells. Beer makes money and we’re not doing this. I’m not saying we have to do this at all events. I’m hoping administration comes forward with the plan to perhaps look at the Alfred Jenkins Centre and selling during the volleyball season.”

He pointed out other cities have adopted this idea including Saskatoon, which he said offers beer at the soccer centre.

Edwards said since the city’s facilities lose money, there needs to be an opportunity to generate funds and selling alcohol could be the way to go. But those who denied the motion suggested the availability of alcohol at more city events could affect those with addictions.

“I don’t see any concerns,” Edwards said. “I don’t see people really struggling with alcohol that are perhaps living on the street coming up and buying a $5, $6, $7, $8 beer. That’s not going to happen. I don’t believe we should be concerned with that aspect of things.”

Despite some support from councillors Evert Botha and Terra Lennox-Zepp, who argued other facilities sell alcohol like the theatre, the idea was voted down by the majority of council.

Ward 8 Ted Zurakowski said he doesn’t mind being left behind on the issue saying Prince Albert doesn’t have a handle on its alcohol problem.

“A lot of those, us, who suffer from (alcoholism) live in big glass houses,” he said. “It’s not just the ones we see walking around. It’s the ones in our neighbourhoods who have families.”

He pointed out a lot of supports for people to turn to have been cut and mentioned there’s no designated liquor inspector in P.A. Zurakowski said until the city does better with handling addictions, selling booze shouldn’t be looked at.

 

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