Booze A-OK with city

McCluskey's effort to ban big beer and alcohol sponsorship at city events is dead in the water

Dartmouth councillor Gloria McCluskey's effort to ban booze at city events is dead in the water. McCluskey, who has long objected to beer companies setting up tents at Natal Day and Canada Day celebrations, asked the HRM council to disassociate alcohol vendors from city-sponsored events.

The council rejected that request at its Tuesday meeting, on an unrecorded 14 to eight voice vote. Actual opposition to the proposal may have been higher still---councillors often vote in favour of another councillor's request for a staff report, either out of simply courtesy or because they'd like to see the information spelled out, and then vote against the actual proposal.

In practical terms, McCluskey's proposal would have done away with the beer tents, which provide the financing for fireworks displays. Had the ban been adopted, the city would have had to increase funding for the events to keep the fireworks.

It's unclear if McCluskey intended to ban beer tents at events like the Atlantic Jazz Festival, which is produced by a non-profit organization but also receives city money and permits. If so, the ban would have made it fiscally impossible for such events to continue operating.

"We've got too many drinkers on council," McCluskey said after the vote.

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