MADD Canada

MADD Canada

February 24, 2005 09:50 ET

Ontarians Concerned with Beer and Wine Sold at Corner Stores

Public sees rise in drinking and driving, and increased sales to underage and intoxicated Attention: News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor MISSISSAUGA--(CCNMatthews - Feb. 24, 2005) - The general public is fearful of a rise in drinking and driving incidents as well as increased sales of beer and wine to underage and intoxicated persons should the Ontario Government introduce new laws that would permit the sale of beer and wine at corner stores.

A SES Research survey found, should beer and wine be introduced at corner stores, 53 % of Ontarians believe the incidents of drinking and driving will increase; 70 % believe sales to underage will increase; and, 64 % believe the sale of alcohol to intoxicated persons will increase.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD Canada) states that making beer and wine more available will come at a societal cost. MADD Canada's CEO Andrew Murie says, "There is empirical evidence demonstrating that public health and safety costs will be paid by putting beer and wine in corner stores. The Government must weigh these costs should it move forward making alcohol more available."

"Health and safety concerns need to be a priority with this review of alcohol policies because the Government serves as the best safeguard of the public interest. That is why, for example," Mr. Murie adds, "we recommend the Government maintains the LCBO because of its essential role in responsibly distributing and selling alcohol. By easing up on the Government control of alcohol retail, you open a Pandora's Box of societal challenges."

The SES Research poll asked: "Will the following likely increase, likely decrease or not change if the Provincial Government allows the sale of beer and wine at local corner stores?"

(Likely increase / Likely decrease / Stay the same / Unsure / No answer)

Incidents of:

Drinking and
Driving -- 53.0 / 3.6 / 40.8 / 2.2 / 0.4

Sales to
underage -- 70.4 / 2.4 / 23.8 / 2.6 / 0.8

Sales to
intoxicated -- 63.6 / 2.6 / 27.6 / 5.4 / 0.8

Tomorrow MADD Canada is appearing before Ontario's Beverage Alcohol System Review Panel. It is working with a broad-based public health coalition that includes: Addictions Ontario, Association of Local Public Health Agencies, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Ontario Drug Awareness Partnership, Ontario Public Health Association, Parent Action on Drugs and Toronto Public Health.

The SES Research random telephone survey was conducted with 500 Ontarians, voter-age, between January 21 and 27, 2005. It is accurate to within 4.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The poll was commissioned by MADD Canada.

Visit www.madd.ca for latest statements. For more information:
Andrew Murie, MADD Canada 1-800-665-6233, ext. 224
Nikita Nanos, SES Research (613) 234-4666

/For further information: http://www.madd.ca/ IN: HEALTH, POLITICS

Contact Information

  • Andrew Murie, Chief Executive Officer
    Primary Phone: 800-665-6233 ext. 224