Beer garden money is free to flow

Motion to dictate use of revenue from fundraisers shot down by majority of Township council

Revenue generated from beer gardens in the Township of Langley won’t have to go to charities or organizations that support the municipality directly.

Councillor Kim Richter introduced a motion at council Monday aimed at ensuring revenue generated from beer gardens goes directly to supporting the Township.

“If my tax dollars are going to building playing fields that these beer gardens are on . . . then I would like to see the monies raised out of these things to stay in the community,” she told council.

“I think preference should always be given, first and foremost, to community groups who are raising money for community initiatives.”

The motion was defeated after Councillor David Davis was the only member of council other than Richter to support the effort.

Councillor Michelle Sparrow said organizations that raise money for charities through beer gardens still benefit the community even if they are not directly affiliated with Langley.

“Our residents go to the burn centre at (Vancouver’s) Children’s Hospital and they are just as supported going there when money goes to that charity,” she told council, adding it’s not feasible for the Township to have its own pediatric burn centre.

Councillor Grant Ward told council he was reluctant to put restrictions on any charity. He also said he didn’t know how they could control where beer garden revenue goes.

“There should be no constraint on a good organization,” he added.

Councillor Bob Long told council it’s also important to remember that beer gardens don’t generate much revenue in the first place due to the high cost of alcohol.

“It’s not about money, it’s about the intent,” he said, adding council should continue with its present beer garden policy.