City avoids call for alcohol price reform

By Christine Rumleskie

An initiative to adjust alcohol prices is gaining momentum across the Province.

But it doesn’t have the support from Fort St. John City Council.

The B.C. Coalition for Action on Alcohol Reform is trying to convince the Provincial Government to adjust alcohol prices according to alcohol levels.

The Coalition submitted a letter to Council on Monday, asking for the City’s support in the endeavor.

But Councilor Trevor Bolin says he feels it’s not his decision to dictate alcohol prices.

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Councilor Don Irwin disagrees. He wants the City to get behind the initiative by sending a letter of support.

The Coalition calls for a three per cent reduction in price for low strength alcohol products, and a three per cent price increase for high strength alcohol products. The report also recommends that Canadian beers with five per cent alcohol content and BC wines with 10 to 12 per cent alcohol remain the same price. The Coalition claims it’s an effort to reduce the harmful effects of low-priced beverages that have high contents of alcohol.

But Mayor Bruce Lantz says even if the changes were implemented, people will still purchase beverages with high alcohol contents.

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So far, the Coalition has the support from a number of organizations, including the B.C. Alliance on Mental Health, Illness and Addictions.

Victoria and Chetwynd are also sending letters of support.

With the exception of Councilor Irwin, Fort St. John Councilors decided the City will not back the Coalition’s initiative.

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