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Petition to allow alcohol in Collingwood parks

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With summer around the corner, Collingwood resident Jonathan Hillis wants to loosen alcohol restrictions in local parks.

"Seeing that Toronto had a successful pilot and are now looking to make it a permanent fixture in their parks, it made me think, why can't we do it here in Collingwood," says Hillis.

Hillis started a petition to get the town to consider allowing open alcohol in its public parks, and so far, it's received over 320 signatures.

"I think it's going to also allow us to get out and be more active as well. Getting friends together and go to a Park, have some fun, play some volleyball or soccer and then maybe sit down and have a drink," he says.

Hillis recommends that the pilot take place at the town's major parks, including Sunset Point Park, Millennium Park and Fisher Fields.

Mayor Yvonne Hamlin says it would be a big decision for the community but is open to discussion.

"If there's interest in moving it forward, we would have to and want to get input from two main sources for us. One is our staff and also our community," says Hamlin.

While the mayor says she understands why it would be a fun initiative, she must consider the pros and cons.

"I guess I'm always looking at what are the problems that could come and how do we prevent them and I'm so thinking about safety," she adds.

Still, Hillis believes that Collingwood could set an excellent example for other municipalities considering the same thing.

"We just have some responsible folks that will know how to really show the youth what responsible drinking looks like and just really be able to come together as a community out at these parks, support one another and have some fun," he says.

Hillis notes that once he gets a few more signatures on the petition, his next step is to meet with council members. He will either submit a written proposal in May or attend an in-person deputation in June.

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