Cancer Care Ontario latest to join the debate
TORONTO, April 23, 2014 /CNW/ - The list of community safety and public health groups opposed to expanding alcohol sales in Ontario continues to grow and highlights the negative consequences of selling alcohol in convenience stores, said Anne Leonard, Executive Director of arrive alive DRIVE SOBER.
"The lobbyists who are pushing for alcohol in corner stores and gas stations want you to believe that the public is on their side, but there's a silent majority that are against this unsafe plan," said Leonard. "People concerned about community safety, about road safety, and about crime are starting to band together to fight on this issue. We're concerned about our communities."
Leonard cited the fact that a number of community groups have come out publicly against the scheme in recent weeks, including yesterday's announcement by Cancer Care Ontario requesting that the Wynne government put the brakes on the government's plan to put new LCBO kiosks in grocery stores. "We didn't call for a rolling back of current access, but what we're saying is, let's limit hours of sale and distribution points where alcohol is sold. There's good evidence that with a higher density of alcohol outlets, there's a clear association with the harms of excessive alcohol." [Dr. Linda Rabeneck, VP of Prevention and Cancer Control (Cancer Care Ontario); Ottawa Citizen, April 22, 2014]
Many community groups are opposed to this plan including two of Ontario's largest and oldest: arrive alive DRIVE SOBER® and Ontario Students Against Impaired Driving (OSAID).
Leonard also cited a recent independent poll done on the issue that showed the Ontario public is split: 48 per cent in favour but 44 per cent opposed. [link below] "The more facts that people learn, the more they support the safe position. We need to ask the right question: what are we willing to lose or risk for convenience? Simply put: Alcohol sales simply should not be expanded to corner stores and gas stations," said Leonard.
SOURCE: arrive alive DRIVE SOBER
For further information: Anne Leonard - firstname.lastname@example.org; 416-485-4411; or via Twitter: @drivesober