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Ontario Developing Policy to Support Responsible Alcohol Use

Archived News Release

Ontario Developing Policy to Support Responsible Alcohol Use

Stay Safe this Holiday Season and Drink Responsibly

Office of the Premier

As part of its commitment to supporting the safe and responsible consumption of alcohol, the Government of Ontario is developing a comprehensive, provincewide Alcohol Policy. Input from key stakeholders, including health stakeholders, addictions treatment service providers, industry and law enforcement, will be gathered and will help inform the policy's development.

Premier Kathleen Wynne made the announcement today in Toronto at an event with Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada. The draft policy's four main pillars will focus on promotion and prevention, social responsibility, harm reduction and treatment. Once it is implemented, Ontario will join the ranks of other provinces, such as Alberta and Nova Scotia, that have alcohol policies in place.

This significant step will build on Ontario's ongoing efforts to encourage healthy, informed choices and raise awareness of the risks associated with alcohol consumption. The province already supports a variety of harm-reduction initiatives, including a free and confidential Drug and Alcohol Helpline, addictions treatment services and programs to prevent impaired driving.

The government maintains a strong commitment to social responsibility and encourages Ontarians to understand the risks associated with drinking and responsible consumption, so everyone can have a safe and happy holiday season.

Quick Facts

  • In its 2015 Budget released in April, Ontario committed to continuing to develop initiatives to support the safe and responsible consumption of alcohol.
  • Starting this month, the province introduced beer to select grocery stores while ensuring it is sold in a socially responsible way. Retailers will be required to follow strict rules including designated sales areas, restricted hours, limits to package sizes and rigorous training for staff.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“This policy will be the next step in our government’s vital work to support the safe sale and responsible consumption of alcohol, and I look forward to hearing from our partners on its design. As we gather with friends and family during this special time of year, I encourage people to drink responsibly so we can all stay safe, enjoy the holidays and have a healthy and happy start to the New Year.”

Kathleen Wynne

Premier of Ontario

“I encourage all Ontarians to put safety first by drinking responsibly and making informed decisions about alcohol consumption. The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care will continue to work with our partners and stakeholders to ensure we keep social responsibility at the forefront of our work to support safe consumption and distribution of alcohol.”

Dipika Damerla

Associate Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“Ontario is committed to the safe and socially responsible sale of beverage alcohol. Strong controls are being implemented in the expansion of beer distribution to grocery stores. We also value LCBO’s engagement in maintaining Ontario's high level of social responsibility and their support to promote responsible consumption across Ontario.”

Charles Sousa

Minister of Finance

“Working with our government partners, MADD Canada has made incredible progress changing attitudes in Ontario and stopping drivers from getting behind the wheel after drinking. A comprehensive and provincewide Alcohol Policy is going to help us further coordinate our efforts with the government and other partners so that we can continue to save lives and stop impaired driving altogether. We look forward to actively participating in these consultations and want to thank Premier Wynne for making the safe and responsible sale and consumption of alcohol a priority of her plan to build Ontario up.”

Eva Ratnakumar

President, MADD Toronto

“Alcohol is one of the leading risk factors for death and disability in Canada. Reducing alcohol related harm requires careful balancing of consumer access and socially responsible sales and distribution. CAMH welcomes an alcohol strategy that will preserve that balance and promote the health of Ontarians.”

Dr. Catherine Zahn

President and CEO, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health



Government Health and Wellness Law and Safety