MADD Canada

MADD Canada

May 19, 2011 12:30 ET

MADD Canada Supports Amendments Proposed by the Province for MLCC

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - May 19, 2011) - MADD Canada supports today's proposed amendments to the Manitoba Liquor Control Act as an appropriate and effective balance between meeting consumers' needs and ensuring effective regulations to protect the public.

"The amendments introduced today illustrate the importance of having a government-run model of alcohol sales and marketing," said MADD Canada Chief Executive Officer Andrew Murie. "Provincial liquor control bodies, such as the Manitoba Liquor Control Commission offer the public great selection and service while maintaining the appropriate controls to manage the problems associated with alcohol."

Some of the proposed amendments, including the mandatory training of staff and commitment to social responsibility programs, build upon existing measures designed to protect against alcohol-related harms, such as overservice and service to minors. Others, such as the addition of specialty boutique stores and standardization of bar closing hours, provide added selection and access for customers without increasing the risks for alcohol-related problems.

"Many of the changes that have been proposed are in place in other provinces with government-controlled models of alcohol sales and distribution, and they have had no negative impact in terms of alcohol-related harms," Mr. Murie said. "We do not believe these changes will increase the risk of impaired driving. In fact, it's the opposite. The amendment to make it an offence for adults to provide minors with fake identification, for example, should help to reduce impaired driving among young people."

Naturally, MADD Canada has an interest in any changes to alcohol policies that might increase the risk of alcohol-related harms, such as impaired driving, Mr. Murie explained. Alcohol is no ordinary commodity. Its sale and marketing needs to be more carefully controlled than other products. As outlined in MADD Canada's paper "Provincial Liquor Boards: Meeting the Best Interests of Canadians", MADD Canada strongly supports provincial liquor corporations, such as the Manitoba Liquor Control Commission, as the best means of regulating the sale and marketing of alcohol. (To see MADD Canada's "Provincial Liquor Boards: Meeting the Best Interest of Canadians", visit: http://www.madd.ca/english/research/Privatization_PolicyPaper_Update_May_2011.pdf.)

The relationship between increased access to alcohol, increased consumption and increased alcohol-related harms in society is well established. Government-controlled liquor corporations are internationally recognized as the best means of balancing consumers' access, selection and service with the need to manage alcohol consumption and minimize alcohol-related harms and costs to society.

Mr. Murie points to the strong social responsibility programs and comprehensive training programs for staff as two key benefits of provincially-run liquor boards.

"In the provincial liquor corporations, there is great emphasis placed on training and on the responsibility of staff to ensure alcohol is not sold to minors or to individuals who are intoxicated. The proposed amendment to make it an offence for adults to provide a minor with fake identification adds a level of protection.

About MADD Canada

MADD Canada (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) is a national, charitable organization that is committed to stopping impaired driving and supporting the victims of this violent crime. With volunteer-driven groups in more than 100 communities across Canada, MADD Canada aims to offer support services to victims, heighten awareness of the dangers of impaired driving and save lives and prevent injuries on our roads.

Contact Information

  • MADD Canada
    Andrew Murie
    Chief Executive Officer
    1-800-665-6233, ext. 224 or 416-720-7642