Every year in BC alcohol causes more than 20,000 hospital visits. The Centre of Addictions Research in BC estimates that over 2,000 deaths are alcohol related. In addition to the cost to our communities, the financial burden caused by alcohol related harm is estimated to be over $2 billion per year. Studies estimate that enforcement and health care costs exceed the revenue generated.
Local governments (Municipalities, Regional Districts and First Nations) that own or manage venues where liquor is served have a number of legal responsibilities including:
- Preventing under-age drinking;
- Preventing the over-consumption of liquor;
- Preventing overcrowding or unsafe conditions in licensed premises;
- Minimizing illegal activities in and around liquor establishments; and
- Minimizing the potentially negative impact of sales on neighborhoods and communities.
A Municipal Alcohol Policy (MAP) is a useful tool to reduce the health and financial costs caused by alcohol. A MAP provides clear guidelines for alcohol use in local government owned and managed facilities.
Over 20 local governments including municipalities, regional districts and First Nations have engaged in the MAP process. Some have chosen to work with neighboring local governments and community organizations to develop a coordinated regional MAP.
What support is there for developing a MAP?
BC Healthy Communities, in partnership with the BC Ministry of Health, is offering up to $7,000 in a grant to assist local governments to develop a Municipal Alcohol Policy. As part of the grant, you will also receive:
- Workshop and facilitation support,
- Workbook and toolkit,
- Monthly telephone support,
- Access to example MAPs,
- Overview of legal issues.
- Find out if a MAP is right for your community by reading the Local Government Guide to Creating a MAP and contacting BC Healthy Communities.
- Talk to elected members and stakeholder organizations to find out if they would support the development of a MAP.
- Apply for up to $7,000 to help fund the development of the MAP by completing the MAP application form (UPDATED).
- Program Manager, BC Healthy Communities