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Let’s reduce the burden of alcohol in Ontario

November 4, 2015

Earlier this fall, three young children, all under 10 years old, and their grandfather lost their lives when their minivan was hit by a suspected drunk driver. In the wake of this tragedy, politicians asked whether Ontario needed stricter regulations around drinking and driving.

cross-provincial comparison shows Ontario to be among the top ranking provinces when it comes to setting drinking and driving policies, but more can be done to make the roads safer. A 2013 alcohol report card by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) outlines what is currently in place and makes recommendations for improvement.

About one week before the tragedy, CAMH, along with other leading health organizations, called on the provincial government to develop a comprehensive alcohol strategy to reduce alcohol-related harm. The most effective approaches the organizations called attention to include: socially responsibly pricing of alcohol, limiting the number of retail outlets and hours of operation, and restrictions on alcohol marketing and advertising.

Beyond drinking and driving laws and regulations, let’s look at what else can be done to minimize alcohol related harm in our communities.  We need to have more informed conversation about available policy options that can influence overall drinking levels and patterns, and reduce the burden of alcohol in Ontario.  

Submitted by the Alcohol Prevention Workgroup