Sober Reflections: Commerce, Public Health, and the Evolution of Alcohol Policy in Canada, 1980-2000 9780773559974

Alcohol policies reflect conflicting ideological, social, health, and commercial agendas. Sober Reflections describes th

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Sober Reflections: Commerce, Public Health, and the Evolution of Alcohol Policy in Canada, 1980-2000
 9780773559974

Table of contents :
Contents
Acknowledgments
1 Introduction
2 Alcohol in the Canadian Context
3 Case Studies of Alcohol Policy Formation: Power Politics, Public Opinion, and Research
4 Framework for Analysis: Policy Change, Networks, and Research
5 Introduction to Issues on Regulation of Alcohol across Borders
6 Trade Agreements and Disputes
7 Alcohol Smuggling in the 1990s: Policy Opportunism and Interventions
8 Discussion of Trade and Smuggling Issues
9 Introduction to Retail Privatization of Alcohol in Quebec, Alberta, and Ontario
10 The Proposed Privatization of the Quebec Liquor Corporation: The Never-Ending Story
11 The Alberta Experience with Privatization: An Exemplary Model or Cautionary Tale?
12 Privatization Postponed? Ontario’s Experience with Convergent Interests and Extensive Alcohol Marketing
13 Discussion of Alcohol Retail Privatization Initiatives in Three Provinces
14 Introduction to Regulation of Alcohol Marketing
15 Warning Labels on Alcoholic Beverage Containers: Public Support and Policy Failure?
16 Changes in Federal Regulation of Broadcast Advertisements for Alcoholic Beverages
17 Discussion of Warning Labels and Advertising Issues
18 Self-induced Intoxication as a Defence
19 Alcohol Policies: Is There a Future for Public Health Considerations in a Commerce-oriented Environment?
Appendices
A: Focus and Methods
B: Forms and Documents
Index
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
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Citation preview

sober reflections

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Sober Reflections Commerce, Public Health, and the Evolution of Alcohol Policy in Canada, 1980–2000 Edited by NORMAN GIESBRECHT, ANDRÉE DEMERS, ALAN OGBORNE, ROBIN ROOM, GINA STODUTO, AND EVERT LINDQUIST

McGill-Queen’s University Press Montreal & Kingston London Ithaca G

G

© McGill-Queen’s University Press 2006 isbn 13: 978–0–7735–2864–2 isbn 10: 0–7735–2864–4 (cloth) isbn 13: 978–0–7735–3316–1 isbn 10: 0–7735–3116–5 (paper) Legal deposit first quarter 2006 Bibliothèque nationale du Québec Printed in Canada on acid-free paper that is 100% ancient forest free (100% post-consumer recycled), processed chlorine free This book has been published with the help of grants from the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, through the Aid to Scholarly Publications Programme, using funds provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Faculty of Medicine, McGill University. McGill-Queen’s University Press acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts for our publishing program. We also acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program (bpidp) for our publishing activities. Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication Sober reflections : commerce, public health, and the evolution of alcohol policy in Canada, 1980-2000 / edited by Norman Giesbrecht ... [et al.]. Includes bibliographical references and index. isbn 13: 978–0–7735–2864–2 isbn 10: 0–7735–2864–4 (cloth) isbn 13: 978–0–7735–3316–1 isbn 10: 0–7735–3116–5 (paper) 1. Drinking of alcoholic beverages – Government policy – Canada. 2. Alcoholic beverage industry – Government policy – Canada. I. Giesbrecht, Norman HV5087.C3S69 2006 C2005-905926-5

362.292’6’0971

Typeset by Jay Tee Graphics in 10/12 New Baskerville

Contents

Acknowledgments

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1 Introduction 1 Norman Giesbrecht, Andrée Demers, Alan Ogborne, Robin Room, Gina Stoduto, and Evert Lindquist 2 Alcohol in the Canadian Context 14 Robin Room, Gina Stoduto, Andrée Demers, Alan Ogborne, and Norman Giesbrecht 3 Case Studies of Alcohol Policy Formation: Power Politics, Public Opinion, and Research 43 Alan Ogborne, Norman Giesbrecht, and Robin Room 4 Framework for Analysis: Policy Change, Networks, and Research Evert Lindquist 5 Introduction to Issues on Regulation of Alcohol across Borders 6 Trade Agreements and Disputes 74 Robin Room, Norman Giesbrecht, and Gina Stoduto 7 Alcohol Smuggling in the 1990s: Policy Opportunism and Interventions 97 Norman Giesbrecht, Andrée Demers, and Gina Stoduto 8 Discussion of Trade and Smuggling Issues

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9 Introduction to Retail Privatization of Alcohol in Quebec, Alberta, and Ontario 127 10 The Proposed Privatization of the Quebec Liquor Corporation: The Never-Ending Story 129 Andrée Demers, and Madelyn Fournier 11 The Alberta Experience with Privatization: An Exemplary Model or Cautionary Tale? 150 Bronwyn MacKenzie, and Norman Giesbrecht 12 Privatization Postponed? Ontario’s Experience with Convergent Interests and Extensive Alcohol Marketing 175 Norman Giesbrecht, Gina Stoduto, and Lynn Kavanagh 13 Discussion of Alcohol Retail Privatization Initiatives in Three Provinces 201 14 Introduction to Regulation of Alcohol Marketing

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15 Warning Labels on Alcoholic Beverage Containers: Public Support and Policy Failure? 212 Alan Ogborne, Gina Stoduto, and Lynn Kavanagh 16 Changes in Federal Regulation of Broadcast Advertisements for Alcoholic Beverages 237 Alan Ogborne, and Gina Stoduto 17 Discussion of Warning Labels and Advertising Issues

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18 Self-induced Intoxication as a Defence 265 Gina Stoduto, Susan Bondy, and Robin Room 19 Alcohol Policies: Is There a Future for Public Health Considerations in a Commerce-oriented Environment? 289 Norman Giesbrecht, Robin Room, Andrée Demers, Evert Lindquist, Alan Ogborne, Susan Bondy, and Gina Stoduto Appendices A

Focus and Methods 333

B

Forms and Documents Index

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Acknowledgments

This manuscript is based on the project funded by the National Health Research and Development Program, Health Canada, project number 6606-6499-004. It was entitled: Canadian Alcohol Policy Project – Alcohol Policies in Canada: A Study of National and Provincial Change. This support from nhrdp involved several dimensions: organizing detailed and insightful reviews of the original proposal; providing funds for fieldwork, support staff salaries and other expenses; and the guidance provided by nhrdp staff, Inge Abrams and Joanne Clelford. The undertaking of the research and subsequent preparation of this manuscript would also not have been feasible without the contribution of a number of individuals and organizations. We extend our sincere appreciation to the individuals and organizations noted below. We are pleased to acknowledge the contributions of several consultants who participated in project meetings, reviewed draft material, and offered suggestions on a number of aspects of the project. The project consultants included: Denise De Pape, Public Health, City of Toronto, Ontario; Thomas K. Greenfield, Alcohol Research Group, Public Health Institute, Berkeley, California; and, Edward Sawka and Terry Lind, Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission, Edmonton, Alberta. The project also involved contributions in kind from several organizations, including the following: Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, City of Toronto, Stockholm University, University of Montreal, University of Toronto and University of Victoria. These contributions of support for staff time and other resources made it feasible to undertake an ambitious project.

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A number of individuals, and their organizations, also facilitated our work by participating in key informant interviews or providing access to documents and information on the topics under study. Special thanks are extended to all of the persons who agreed to be interviewed, and gave freely of their time and expertise in the course of this project. We wish to acknowledge the contributions of Wendy Medved and Angela Paglia with regard to data collection, analysis and project development; Lise Anglin for editing and tracking down background documents; Bill Lee and Masood Zangeneh for data collection, coding and data entry; Michelle Dinelle for transcribing key informant interviews; Yvonne Parti for her work on references; and Eileen Campbell for volunteering her time to this project. Paulette West’s and Philip Lange’s contribution to the proposal development are gratefully acknowledged, as are the contributions by Jim Grieshaber-Otto, Elizabeth Kruzel and Paula Neves at various points. We especially wish to acknowledge the contributions of Bronwyn MacKenzie and Naila Daniel in assembling background information, tracking documents, preparing tables and figures and orchestrating the coding of archival material. McGill-Queen’s University Press arranged for two anonymous reviews. The extensive and insightful feedback by the reviewers is gratefully acknowledged, as are the contributions by Jonathan Ckago, Joan McGilvray, Joanne Pisano, Joanne Richardson and John Zucchi of McGill- Queen’s. The index was prepared by Gillian Watts. This project was a collaborative undertaking throughout, and investigators and all team members played an active role in discussions at meetings, in small group work and by assembling and commenting on draft material. While the chapters are individually authored, their preparation reflects input from many members of the team. The project team consisted of the following persons, in alphabetical order: Susan Bondy, Naila Daniel, Andrée Demers, Madelyn Fournier, Norman Giesbrecht, Lynn Kavanagh, Evert Lindquist, Bronwyn MacKenzie, Alan Ogborne, Robin Room, and Gina Stoduto. The views and opinions expressed in this document are those of the authors and editors and do not necessarily represent those of the organizations or individuals acknowledged above.

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1 Introduction NORMAN GIESBRECHT, ANDRÉE DEMERS, ALAN OGBORNE, ROBIN ROOM, GINA STODUTO, AND EVERT LINDQUIST

Most Canadians like to drink and want to be able to purchase alcohol at convenient times and places and at affordable prices. Drinking is increasingly integrated into many aspects of social life, and, for many, alcohol is associated with relaxation, celebration, and “time out” from duties and worries. Thus the promotion, marketing, distribution, and sale of alcohol are oriented to these themes. Major industries have evolved both here and in other countries that encourage citizens to drink; that associate drinking with friends, good times, and good food; and that provide an array of beverage choices and consumption venues. These aspects of the current status of alcohol downplay the individual and social risks associated with consumption. In Canada and elsewhere the consumption of beverage alcohol has always been linked to a wide range of health and social problems that exact a heavy toll in human and economic costs (Seeley 1960; Schmidt 1977; Edwards et al. 1994; Single, Robson, Xie, and Rehm 1996; Smart and Ogborne 1998; Babor et al. 2003; Ramstedt 2003; Skog 2003). These problems are not limited to the minority who regularly drink to excess or who are dependent on alcohol. In the course of a lifetime many persons will occasionally drink too much and cause problems for themselves or risk the health and safety of others. Is alcohol a psychoactive drug or merely an ordinary social and commercial commodity? If the orientation to production, marketing, and distribution of alcohol is “business as usual,” will there be a legitimate place for health promotion, harm reduction, or control measures with regard to the way alcohol is managed? There is a discrepancy between public health interests and public expectations concerning the availability of alcohol. These

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questions signal challenges to the development and implementation of policies that address both public health concerns and commercial interests. “Alcohol policy” is an inclusive concept that includes diverse contexts, institutions, and perspectives. It involves contexts of alcohol distribution, use, and impact, and it involves a wide range of players and institutions. These policies concern ways in which alcohol is manufactured, marketed, distributed, and consumed, and encompass issues such as taxation, types of outlets, hours of sale, advertising, legal drinking age, and sanctions for drunkenness or driving and other dangerous behaviour while under the influence of alcohol. Alcohol policies therefore reflect different perspectives on how best to deal with conflicting ideological, social, health, and commercial agendas. The different ways of framing alcohol problems and alcohol policies involve intensely private perspectives as well as public debates and deliberations. Emphases in policy making facilitate a range of responses, such as blaming the individual, modifying the drinking setting, and changing the environment. In some Nordic countries, alcohol policy is a topic of frequent debate and action (Romanus 1999; Room 1999), and alcohol retailing monopolies have had an active interest in balancing marketing of alcohol with problem reduction strategies. In other jurisdictions there is a virtual absence of any purposive public health agenda in the matter of alcohol policy, which is relegated to government departments that oversee agriculture, trade, tourism, or finance rather than health, welfare, education, employment, or road safety (Edwards et al. 1994, 1–2). In the 1920s and 1930s Canada provided a unique model for a number of North American jurisdictions. The alcohol control systems took a state regulatory approach, or what would now be called a broad population-based or environmental perspective. By the late 1920s alcohol control arrangements were designed to provide reasonable access to alcohol while curtailing personal abuses of drinking and discouraging a strong profit motive and private commercial presence with regard to alcohol distribution. However, the Canadian alcohol control system underwent significant changes in the past century. The community-wide and more global control perspective of the liquor boards and other government systems were gradually eroded about the time that research was emerging that confirmed the benefits of a control and alcohol management system (see Mäkelä et al. 1981; Room 1999). The commercial focus of emerging distribution and retailing arrangements stressed the rights of the individual, even at a time when evidence of the range of problems linked to drinking was growing. Furthermore, signs of risks, for the drinker and others, associated with relatively low levels of consumption have been emerging in recent decades. This has increased the awareness of the importance of how governments act to

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referee the economic and commercial agendas along with public health and safety interests.

the focus of this book The present study is concerned with alcohol policy experiences in Canada, roughly in the period from 1980 to 2000. In the long sweep of history this was not a period of great drama in alcohol policy making, so the study may be said to be concerned with “normal politics” in the alcohol field in the current era. Our method is to examine a number of case studies of policy change or of attempts at policy change. As befits the federal structure of Canada, cases concerning the policy process at both the federal and provincial levels are included. The research presented in Sober Reflections aims to explore differences and similarities in the process of developing selected alcohol-related policies, to gain insight into the nature of policy development, and to highlight the roles and values of key actors. We also consider the influence of policy advocates, research, public opinion, print media, and the relative contribution of various types of information at different stages of policy development. We identify options that would increase the impact of research on policy development and extrapolate implications for alcohol policy development. We also interpret our findings in light of social science research and models of public policy development. Our aim is to illuminate and elucidate the processes of policy formation and change in the alcohol field in Canada, with particular attention to the interplay between research and policy process (see Room 1984). The study also aims to contribute to the more general literature on policy formation in Canada. We expect that the analysis will also have practical implications for those wishing to ensure that new alcohol policies are sensitive to public health and safety concerns.

alcohol policy and general political questions in canada There are several reasons for focusing on alcohol policy development in Canada. There is evidence that alcohol policy can be an effective strategy in the reduction of alcohol-related harms. Research in Canada (Smart and Ogborne 1998) and elsewhere has shown that the relaxation of controls has been associated with increased consumption and alcohol-related problems (Bruun et al. 1975; Moore and Gerstein 1981; Edwards et al. 1994; Holder and Edwards 1995; Babor et al. 2003). The evidence is strongest for policies that either put into effect higher retail prices (Bruun et al. 1975) or have lower density of alcohol retail outlets for off-premise consumption

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(MacDonald and Whitehead 1983). Characteristics of bars are associated with higher levels of intoxication and aggression among patrons (Graham 1985), and a lower drinking age is associated with higher rates of consumption and drinking-driving problems among young people (e.g., Moskowitz 1989; Toomey, Rosenfeld, and Wagenaar 1996). The effects of other alcohol-related policies, including advertising and promotion, are less clear (Martin and Mail 1995; Montonen 1996; Wyllie, Zhang, and Casswell 1998). Canadian alcohol policies are related to larger social agendas and forces that are unique to this country, specifically, issues of federalism and the responsibility of government to regulate and control behaviour of citizens. Jurisdiction over many aspects of alcohol issues is shared between federal and provincial governments. National sovereignty becomes an alcohol policy consideration in the era of trade agreements and disputes. For example, there was a moment in the early 1990s when Canadian media noted that an alcohol agreement between Ottawa and the provinces now effectively had to be signed off in Washington. Given that alcohol policy is largely a provincial issue, the analysis of events shows Ontario and other provinces as primary defenders of sovereign interests, sometimes against the wishes of the federal government. Themes of self-governance and individual freedom versus governance and control by the state (Valverde 1998; Heron 2003), as a contested area, are also major elements in the alcohol policy issues examined here. While the doctrine of consumer sovereignty has triumphed in many areas of life, the continuing existence of government liquor stores and public support for them is evidence that, with respect to alcohol, the doctrine’s hegemony is not complete (Room and Paglia 1999; Anglin et al. 2003). The experiences in the alcohol field bear some parallels with those in other policy sectors that have also had to deal with the issues of globalization, liberalization of access, consumerization, and trade challenges (Pross 1986). While in the alcohol arena these pressures have contributed to an erosion of control measures and a downgrading of public health agendas, there are also contrary noteworthy developments (Room 1984). For example, there have been significant gains in recent decades in efforts to control drinking and driving through random spot checks, stricter laws, and higher public intolerance for drunk driving. There is growing awareness of the range of risks associated with drinking and possibly a gradual public appreciation that it is not only the small minority of heaviest and most dependent drinkers who are at risk of alcohol-related harm. Alcohol policy issues have played an important role in Canadian history: notably, they were the subject of the first national referendum, one that starkly posed the francophone/anglophone split in the early years of Confederation. The original Canadian alcohol control policy model featured

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extensive government control over the availability and promotion of alcohol. The alternative model, underlying such diverse initiatives as privatizing liquor control boards and withdrawing from federal surveillance of alcohol advertisements, emphasized self-governance and consumer freedom. Alcohol issues thus illuminate major fault-lines in Canadian public life concerning sovereignty and governance. In summary, Sober Reflections provides a window into understanding interactions among industries, governments, special interest groups, and public opinion. Alcohol issues give rise to a range of orientations, agenda, and strategies for minimizing harm and promoting alcohol sales. These approaches reflect differing ideologies about the role of government and industry in enhancing and controlling markets, sharing responsibility for damage control, and responding to citizen and consumer demands. The debate and lobbying during policy development, as well as rationales for abandoning policies and blocking policy initiatives, signal who is in charge and reveal something about distribution of resources and power. In short, alcohol policy changes at the provincial and federal levels shed light on the roles of different forces and players in the management of social and economic changes.

research questions and orientation Sober Reflections focuses on the alcohol policy development process in Canada over the past two decades. It addresses several key questions: How and why do alcohol policy issues get on the policy-making agenda and move up and down in priority? How has alcohol policy making been affected by broader social and political forces, such as government restructuring, sovereignty issues (at the national, provincial, and individual levels), and international trade agreements? What is the relative role of different groups, interests, and institutions (i.e., researchers, public opinion, interprovincial and interindustry competition) in the outcome of alcohol-related policy developments? Our study is informed by the work in political science on agenda setting and policy making (see Kingdon 1995) as well as by the literature on policy communities and networks. A related focus is the analysis of policy entrepreneurs and researchers and their influence on the process. These themes are presented in more detail in Chapter 4. Chapter 2 shows that alcohol policy studies neither typically feature an explicit conceptual framework nor reference the broader policy science literature. Greenfield (1996) draws attention to a general lack of awareness of policy science among alcohol policy researchers and proposes greater use of policy science concepts in alcohol policy studies. He especially refers to the work of Kingdon (1995), whose studies of us policy development in health

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and transportation led to the development of a conceptual framework that sought to account for factors that move issues up and down political agendas. This framework builds on a model of decision making that identifies three streams of activity: (1) the problem stream, where the work of citizens, groups, and journalists who seek to have issues recognized as needing political attention is embraced; (2) the policy stream, where ideas about the importance of problems and their solutions are played out; and (3) the political stream, where the stock of government and political leaders waxes and wanes. Kingdon says that these streams are always in motion and that “policy windows” open when two or more streams converge. For example, such a convergence occurs following an election in which public opinion is strongly in favour of specific policy changes. Our analysis shows that the concept of policy windows is particularly important in understanding the emerging, blocking, and other outcomes of policy opportunities. It indicates that there are multiple networks at work in the policy development process, with wide variation across provinces on the same topic (e.g., the privatization of alcohol sales). It also indicates that the role of research, while having a bearing on setting agendas, providing parameters to the options considered, and/or shaping the debate, was probably of less significance than ideology, the perspectives of decision makers, the influence of business interests, and the perceived orientation of the public.

selection of case studies Several alcohol issues that gave rise to policy debates were selected for study. All had attracted public and media attention at various times during the previous decades, and some were being actively considered at the time of study. Others appeared to have been resolved for the foreseeable future. In all but one case these policies concerned the availability or marketing of beverage alcohol. The exception was a policy concerning the use of intoxication as a defence against criminal prosecution. It is included to illustrate the impact of organized public reaction and networks of powerful groups on a decision by Canada’s Supreme Court and its role in subsequent changes in federal legislation. Cross-border Disputes Since the mid-1980s numerous disputes between Canada and the United States regarding trade and marketing of alcoholic beverages have centred on distribution and pricing practices as well as the imposition of tariffs and environmental levies. In the wake of trade dispute decisions under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (gatt), us breweries proposed to flood the Canadian market with inexpensive canned beer. By 1995 this dis-

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pute was settled by Canada, which allowed us beer access to the Canadian market while maintaining a minimum beer price (although at a lower price than before), with Ontario maintaining its environmental levy. Alcohol Smuggling Smuggling of alcohol from the United States into Canada emerged as an issue during the 1990s due, in part, to differences between the retail prices of Canadian and American distilled spirits. Policy responses varied, ranging from proposals to lower taxes for distilled spirits, to efforts to discourage consumer use of smuggled products, to increased and better coordinated law enforcement. Privatization Initiatives in Three Provinces During the 1980s and 1990s several provinces considered privatizing their alcohol retail system. Alberta was the one province to go through with privatization in 1993–94. Ontario and Quebec decided to maintain the status quo for retail sales, although Quebec privatized its wine-bottling industry. Warning Labels Several countries have enacted legislation requiring that beverage containers carry a label that warns about general or specific risks of alcohol consumption. Although warning labels have been proposed in Canada, no federal legislation has been passed. We examine federal-level developments pertaining to warning labels and the fate of a private member’s bill that reached the committee stage. Regulation of Broadcast Advertisements Since 1968 the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (crtc), a federal agency, has regulated broadcast advertisements for alcoholic beverages in order to ensure that they do not encourage consumption or abuse. In the 1980s and 1990s the crtc engaged in a major review of its policies and activities concerning alcohol advertising. Following a federal court decision the crtc lifted a ban on the advertising of distilled spirits and delegated responsibility for the monitoring of alcohol broadcast advertisements to a private agency. Intoxication as a Defence In the fall of 1994 the Supreme Court of Canada granted a man accused of sexual assault the right to a retrial in which he could use intoxication as a

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defence. The ruling, in what became known as the “Daviault case,” stated that it was contrary to the constitutional rights of the accused to be forbidden to raise intoxication as a defence if that intoxication left the accused devoid of the mental capacity required for criminal intent. We examine the developments leading to the federal government’s quick enactment of legislation to eliminate this defence. The case studies we selected cover a diversity of arenas and shed light on the operation of many parts of the political system and its interaction with research. The courts and federal justice ministry were involved in the intoxication defence case study. Police, customs, the liquor boards and distillers were actors in the smuggling case study. The trade agreement disputes highlight the divergent interests in the federal and provincial governments. The three privatization case studies allow us to compare political processes in three key and emblematic provinces. With regard to the cases pertaining to warning labels and modification of marketing controls, alcohol industry and government bodies were major players, with research and public health interests providing commentary without seeming to influence outcomes. The final case study, which focuses on the Daviault ruling and its aftermath, offers an interesting contrast to most of the others. Official responses were themselves a response to the strong public outcry after the court’s initial decision. And, as in the drinking and driving arena, where consumption of alcohol is not considered a valid excuse for erratic or irresponsible behaviour, the dominant vocal public view was that even extreme drunkenness does not excuse sexual assault. It is noteworthy, nevertheless, that this case focused on the individual level and that generic alcohol policy options as a means of controlling drinking-related aggression were not central to the discussion.

methodology Our methodology and measures are described in Appendix A. A primary source of data is in-depth interviews with key informants involved in the policy issues. These people include representatives from public health, government, lobbyists, researchers, media, and the alcohol industry. A review of selected government documents, print media accounts, and public opinion survey data on alcohol policy issues complements and informs the interview data. The case studies also take into account published research literature.

structure of

SOBER REFLECTIONS

Chapters 1 to 4 provide introductory material. Chapter 2 offers a description of alcohol in the Canadian context, of the history of alcohol control in Canada in the twentieth century, of federal and provincial roles, of alcohol

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industries, and of public health and research interests. Chapter 3 provides a synopsis of research studies of alcohol policy from several countries, while Chapter 4 offers policy science concepts and frameworks, including a discussion of policy networks, policy communities, entrepreneurs, and the impact of research. Chapters 5 to 8 consider two case studies that relate to structuring the alcohol market and factors and actors that have had a bearing on this topic in Canada in the 1980s and 1990s. Chapter 6 focuses on international trade agreements, while Chapter 7 focuses on alcohol smuggling. Chapter 8 summarizes the two case studies to see what themes emerge. Chapters 9 to 13 consider three case studies on provincial initiatives to privatize alcohol retailing in Quebec (Chapter 10), Alberta (Chapter 11) and Ontario (Chapter 12). Chapter 13 examines what themes emerge from these three provincial experiences. Chapters 14 to 17 focus on marketing and consumer issues, and examine decisions about controls on alcohol marketing and advertising (Chapter 15) and proposed warning messages on alcoholic beverage containers (Chapter 16). Chapter 17 shows how these issues emerged and examines their contexts and institutional framing, with special attention to whether the outcomes seemed to coincide with the agendas of vested interest groups, the views of the public, and the research literature. Chapter 18, which focuses on legal issues, contains a discussion of the events following the landmark Supreme Court of Canada case Regina v. Daviault, which was the first in Canada to allow the use of alcohol intoxication as a legal defence for sexual assault. The analysis shows how the issue was shaped and changed over time, which alternative legal responses were considered, and how public and institutional responses contributed to the passage of a federal law that eliminated the use of this defence for sexual assault cases. Chapter 19 offers interpretations and conclusions. The questions posed at the outset are discussed in light of the case studies and interactions between them. The relevance of our research for political science theory and previous alcohol policy case studies is considered. Chapter 19 also offers suggestions for future studies and identifies likely issues for future debate. Sober Reflections concludes with a discussion of the implications of these case study experiences, especially insofar as they might serve to raise the profile of the public health agenda in alcohol policy development.

references Anglin, L., N. Giesbrecht, A. Ialomiteanu, J. McAllister, and A. Ogborne. 2003. “Public Perception of Alcohol Policy Issues Relating Directly or Indirectly to

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Privatization: Results from a 1999 Ontario Survey.” Canadian Journal of Public Health 94 (3): 201–6. Babor, T., R. Caetano, S. Casswell, G. Edwards, N. Giesbrecht, K. Graham, J. Grube, P. Gruenewald, L. Hill, H. Holder, R. Romel, E. Österberg, J. Rehm, R. Room, and I. Rossow. 2003. Alcohol, No Ordinary Commodity: Research and Public Policy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Bruun, K., G. Edwards, M. Lumio, K. Mäkelä, L. Pan, R.E. Popham, R. Room, W. Schmidt, O.-J. Skog, P. Sulkunen, and E. Österberg. 1975. Alcohol Control Policies in Public Health Perspective. Helsinki: Finnish Foundation for Alcohol Studies. Edwards, G., P. Anderson, T.F. Babor, S. Casswell, R. Ferrence, N. Giesbrecht, C. Godfrey, H. Holder, P. Lemmens, K. Mäkelä, L.T. Midanik, T. Norström, E. Österberg, A. Romelsjö, R. Room, J. Simpura, and O.–J. Skog. 1994. Alcohol Policy and the Public Good. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Graham, K. 1985. “Determinants of Heavy Drinking and Drinking Problems: The Contribution of the Bar Environment.” In Public Drinking and Public Policy: Proceedings of a Symposium on Observation Studies, ed. E. Single and T. Storm, 71–85. Toronto: Addiction Research Foundation. Greenfield, T.K. 1996. “The Next Agenda for Prevention Research: Studying Alcohol Policy Formation.” Journal of the Center for Alcohol and Drug Research 1: 35–55. Heron, C. 2003. Booze: A Distilled History. Toronto: Between the Lines. Holder, H.D., and G. Edwards, eds. 1995. Alcohol and Public Policy: Evidence and Issues. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Kingdon, J.W. 1995. Agendas, Alternatives and Public Policies. 2nd ed. New York: Harper Collins. Macdonald, S., and P.C. Whitehead. 1983. “Availability of Outlets and Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages.” Journal of Drug Issues 13: 477–86. Mäkelä, K., R. Room, E. Single, P. Sulkunen, B. Walsh, with R. Bunce, M. Cahannes, T. Cameron, N. Giesbrecht, J. de Lint, H. Makinen, P. Morgan, J. Mosher, J. Moskalewicz, R. Müller, E. Österberg, I. Wald and D. Walsh. 1981. Alcohol, Society and the State 1: A Comparative Study of Alcohol Control. Toronto: Addiction Research Foundation. Martin, S.E., and P. Mail, eds. 1995. Effects of Mass Media on the Use and Abuse of Alcohol. niaaa Research Monograph No. 28. Bethesda, md: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Montonen, M. 1996. Alcohol and the Media (who Regional Publications, European Series, No. 62). Copenhagen: World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe. Moore, M.H., and D.R. Gerstein, eds. 1981. Alcohol and Public Policy: Beyond the Shadow of Prohibition. Washington, dc: National Academy Press. Moskowitz, J.M. 1989. “The Primary Prevention of Alcohol Problems: A Critical Review of the Research Literature.” Journal of Studies on Alcohol 50 (1): 54–87. Pross, A.P. 1986. Group Politics and Public Policy. Toronto: Oxford University Press.

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Ramstedt, M. 2003. “Per Capita Alcohol Consumption and Liver Cirrhosis Mortality: The Case of Canada.” Addiction 98: 1267–76. Romanus, G. 1999. “On Social Liberalism, the eu, and the Future of Nordic Alcohol Monopolies: Interview.” Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs 16 (English Suppl.): 119–23. Room, R. 1984. “Alcohol Control and Public Health.” Annual Review of Public Health 5: 169–91. – 1999. “The Idea of Alcohol Policy.” Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs 16 (English Suppl.): 7–20. Room, R., and A. Paglia. 1999. “Explaining Attitudes about Public Policy on Drug Availability: The Role of Expectancies about Drinking and Drug Effects.” In Drug Abuse: Origins and Interventions, ed. M.D. Glantz and C.R. Hartel, 79–96. Washington, dc: American Psychological Association. Schmidt, W. 1977. “Public Health Perspectives on Alcohol Problems with Specific Reference to Canada.” Canadian Journal of Public Health 68: 382–8. Seeley, J.R. 1960. “Death by Liver Cirrhosis and the Price of Beverage Alcohol.” Canadian Medical Association Journal 83: 1361–6. Single, E., L. Robson, X. Xie, and J. Rehm. 1996. The Costs of Substance Abuse in Canada: Highlights of a Major Study of the Social and Economic Costs Associated with the Use of Alcohol, Tobacco and Illicit Drugs. Ottawa: Canadian Centre for Substance Abuse. Skog, O.-J. 2003. “Alcohol Consumption and Fatal Accidents in Canada, 1950–1998.” Addiction 98 (7): 883–94 Smart, R.G., and A.C. Ogborne. 1998. Northern Spirits: A Social History of Alcohol in Canada. 2nd ed. Toronto: Addiction Research Foundation. Toomey, T., L. Rosenfeld, and A. Wagenaar. 1996. “The Minimum Legal Drinking Age: History, Effectiveness, and On-Going Debate.” Alcohol, Health and Research World 20 (4): 213–18. Valverde, M. 1998. Diseases of the Will: Alcohol and the Dilemmas of Freedom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Wyllie, A., J.F. Zhang, and S. Casswell. 1998. “Positive Responses to Televised Beer Advertisements Associated with Drinking and Problems Reported by 18- to 29-year-olds.” Addiction 93 (5): 749–60.

2 Alcohol in the Canadian Context ROBIN ROOM, GINA STODUTO, ANDRÉE DEMERS, ALAN OGBORNE, AND NORMAN GIESBRECHT

This chapter gives a brief history of alcohol control in Canada and lays out the main actors and processes that have contributed to the shaping of current Canadian alcohol control policies. It examines the rationale and mechanisms of the initial alcohol control arrangements during the opening decades of the twentieth century, how these changed over time, and federal and provincial jurisdictions and involvement with regard to alcohol issues. Given Sober Reflections’ emphasis on the role of research in alcohol policy development, this historical background is followed by an overview of the relationship between Canadian research and alcohol policy issues since the 1950s. In order to provide a context for subsequent case studies we also offer a summary of key players in the alcohol policy arena, including the beer, wine, and spirits industries. Because members of the general public are also players, both as consumers and as a political constituency, we offer summary information on trends in alcohol sales (using archival and survey data) as well as on public opinions concerning recent and emerging alcohol policy issues. Various social and economic forces have influenced political initiatives and decisions involving alcohol. The alcoholic beverage industry and its many allies have always been major players in the arena of alcohol control. Given the predominant role of the provinces in the regulation of the alcohol market as well as the state fiscal interest in alcohol sales, the business interests, particularly for the beer and wine industries, were highly protected. Historically, Canada’s alcohol policies were also shaped by public opinion about alcohol and about the role of government in regulating individual behaviours. Although Canada is “wet” by pre-Second World War standards, public support for government alcohol monopolies remains strong

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and has contributed to their survival in all provinces except Alberta. However, consumer demands for greater access to alcohol have also resulted in more consumer-friendly alcohol outlets and the gradual erosion of alcohol control systems in several provinces.

a brief history of alcohol control in canada, 1919–902 For much of the century after Confederation in 1867, the “liquor question” was a major political issue throughout Canada. Until the First World War the issue was primarily formulated in terms of prohibition, whether at the local level (“local option”), the provincial level, or the national level. Thus prohibition was the subject of the first national plebiscite in 1898, with the prohibition side winning in every province except Quebec (Smart and Ogborne 1996). While only in Prince Edward Island was provincewide prohibition instituted in this period (in 1902), local-option elections in the late nineteenth century dried up much of the Maritime provinces and rural Ontario and Quebec (Hose 1928, 15). Prohibition came as a wartime measure to most Canadian provinces between 1915 and 1917, backed up between 1917 and 1919 with wartime prohibition at the federal level. But almost immediately there was a reaction against it. Wine and beer was legalized in Quebec in 1919 and in British Columbia in 1921, and spirits were legalized in both provinces in 1921. By 1927 the Prairie provinces, Ontario, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland (then a separate country) had followed suit (Hose 1928). The Canadian Model of Alcohol Control The long struggles over prohibition had defined the liquor question in terms that greatly influenced the form of repeal. Drinking problems were particularly associated with public drinking, the “old-time saloon,” and with the private interest of the saloon or storekeeper in increasing sales. While there were variations between provinces, the systems adopted at repeal were designed to avoid these perceived problems. In most provinces there was at first little or no provision for “liquor-by-the-drink”; alcohol (other than light beer) was only to be sold for consumption at home. In all provinces the province became the wholesaler and retailer of spirits and wine and, in some places, also of beer. In several provinces (e.g., Ontario and Newfoundland) for several decades the province also had a role in the production of spirits. The private profit motive was thus substantially eliminated, particularly at the sales-point for alcoholic beverages. At the time of adoption of most of the Canadian systems, government monopolies on alcohol sales already had a lengthy history (Room 1985).

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Russia had instituted a wholesale and retail monopoly system, starting in 1895, before switching to prohibition with the wartime mobilization of 1914 (McKee 1997). The idea of a local government monopoly, known as the “Gothenburg system,” was in fact proffered as the major alternative to prohibition by forces in Europe and North America, which acknowledged that drinking caused problems but which opposed prohibition. Thus prohibition was fought off in Sweden in the 1910s and 1920s with the alternative of the “Bratt system” of local (and eventually state) monopolies. When the United States eventually moved towards repeal of prohibition, an influential study financed by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., favoured a monopoly system as the best alternative (Fosdick and Scott 1933). In Canada Saskatchewan had already experimented with a provincial monopoly system between 1915 and 1917 (Hose 1928, 4). The modern Canadian alcohol control model, however, can be said to date from the institution of the Quebec system in 1919. This system involves a detailed control of the sale of alcoholic beverages, particularly at the retail level. These controls are primarily a provincial, rather than a national or local, responsibility. Control is maintained through a system of specialized provincial agencies, which themselves conduct retail sales or license private parties to do so. There is usually some provision for local concerns about problematic sales to be taken into account by the provincial agencies. The mandate of the alcohol control agencies extends only to the conditions and circumstances of alcohol sales and does not normally include other aspects of alcohol policy, such as drinking-driving or treatment of alcohol problems. While in some respects the off-premise3 sales system has proved quite stable, there have been numerous changes over the years, so that the system in the 1990s looks quite different from the system in the 1930s. The provincial liquor store of half a century ago discouraged impulse purchases and, in fact, incorporated a posture of discouragement of sales. Campbell (1993, 174) describes the British Columbia Liquor Control Board store of that era: Only a small sign identified the store’s purpose, and dark green windows and curtains hid the interior. The starkness inside discouraged lingering; the atmosphere was reminiscent of a bank, with the assets kept safely behind a formidable counter. In larger stores customers first lined up to have their mandatory liquor permits approved, although the approval was often ignored in practice. With another clerk they placed their written orders and paid for the purchases in cash. From a third clerk the customers received their goods. All the staff and usually the customers were men; few women and no children entered a liquor store.

This is, of course, a substantial distance from the ambiance of the self-service stores common in most provinces today, increasingly replete with promo-

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tional materials and beverage-tastings. In most provinces the government monopoly on off-premise sales was also somewhat diluted over the years. In British Columbia, for instance, licensed hotels and neighborhood pub stores were allowed to sell bc beer and wine in 1985 (Campbell 1993, 190). In Ontario wineries were allowed to set up stores to sell their products, originally only at the vineyard but later also from off-site stores often located next to or within supermarkets. In Quebec in 1978 grocery stores that were not part of a retail chain were allowed to sell wine bottled in the province. Although the privatization of the Alberta government liquor stores occurred in 1993, retail wine stores had been introduced in 1985, retail beer stores in 1989, and retail sales by hotels in 1990 (West 1997). Two other aspects of the original Canadian model of alcohol control had radically changed well before the 1980s. Originally, there had been some provision for the control of the amount sold to the individual customer. Quebec customers, for instance, were limited to purchasing one bottle of spirits at a time, and Manitoba customers to one case of spirits per week. With a “special quantity permit,” Saskatchewan customers could purchase up to ten gallons of beer or wine or a case of spirits, so long as they did not make any other purchase for two weeks (Hose 1928, 24). The permits, issued in most places on an annual basis, were apparently regularly used as an individual-level control in the early years of the systems. As Moffit (1932) indicated, patrons were required to present the permit with each purchase, and on occasion staff entered sales information on the permit itself. He also noted that suspension or cancellation of permits, as well as interdiction, were frequently used both for infractions of the law and at the discretion of the store manager. As late as 1958 Saskatchewan liquor stores maintained an “interdict list” of persons forbidden to purchase alcoholic beverages (Dewar and Sommer 1962). A vestige of this effort at control of the individual customer, in the form of a signed purchase slip for each purchase, remained in the Ontario system as late as the 1960s, but the attempt to use the alcohol sales system as a means of social control at the individual level never aspired to the thoroughness of the Nordic systems of the same era (Sulkunen, Sutton, Tigerstedt, and Warpenius 2000). The only such controls now left in the systems are prohibitions on sales to those already intoxicated or under the legal purchasing age. Public drinking places were greatly restricted in the original versions of the modern Canadian model of alcohol control. No provinces initially allowed on-premise sales of spirits, and only Quebec allowed wine as well as beer to be sold by the drink (Hose 1928). When beer parlours were allowed in British Columbia in 1925, they were differentiated as far as possible from the old saloon; in fact, the public display of the words “bar” and “saloon” was banned. “No bar was permitted; patrons had to sit at tables where waiters served them draft or bottled beer.” No food or soft drinks could be sold, no

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entertainment or games were permitted, and there were separate sections for men and for “ladies and escorts” (Campbell 1993, 176–8). In “the large Edmonton beer parlor,” Sommer (1965, 107) noted, there was “nothing much to do except converse (if you happen to be sitting with other people) and drink beer. Hot meals are not served, there are practically no other diversions (television is turned on only for special events, and then only with the specific permission of the provincial authorities) and no one standing can be served.” Women were not allowed in the Saskatchewan beer parlors at all (Dewar and Sommer 1962). The large male-only beer parlour remained a standard feature of Canadian drinking practices well after the Second World War. The 1940s and 1950s, however, brought increased calls for liquor-by-the-drink – for licensed restaurants and cocktail lounges. Though in decline, the still lively temperance movement fought vigorously against these proposals, losing in Ontario in 1947 but managing to stave off defeat until 1953 in British Columbia (Campbell 1993, 184) and until 1958 in the Prairie provinces (Gray 1982, 108). Though the Ontario attorney general had claimed that “out and out prohibitionists were no more than a corporal’s guard,” the Ontario premier was personally defeated in the next election in a backlash against the 1947 legislation (Archibald 1990, 2). As elsewhere in the British Commonwealth, the nature of public drinking was transformed in Canada in the postwar decades. While bars remained an important part of the scene, they were no longer a male preserve, while a thriving restaurant culture with alcoholic beverages (mostly wine or beer) served with meals grew up alongside them. Throughout most of Canada it became possible to purchase individual drinks at a bar, and liquor-by-thedrink ceased to be more than an occasional local issue by the end of the 1960s. The “Wet” Elites and Alcohol Control In Canada, as in the United States, prohibition offered a wonderful target for the youth rebellion of the 1920s and 1930s, who railed against the Victorian ideals of middle-class family life and propriety (Room 1984). The resulting “wet generations,” which came to political power in the postwar period, were relatively intolerant of any general consideration of alcohol policy, allowing only for the building of alcoholism treatment for the unfortunate few predestined to have problems with drinking. As the subtitle of an important us report put it in 1981, it took until then to get “beyond the shadow of prohibition” (Moore and Gerstein 1981). But while repeal left behind only a relatively inconspicuous alcohol control structure in much of the United States, the alcohol control structures in Canada remained much more visible in everyday life, even after the advent

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of liquor-by-the-drink. Government efforts to structure the individual’s choices in the alcohol market remained obtrusive. In an era when the doctrine of consumer sovereignty has been very strong, the existence of government liquor stores, with limited numbers and limited hours, runs squarely against the dominant doctrines of free markets and consumer sovereignty. Though Canadian alcohol controls are today only a shadow of what they were in the 1930s, they have remained a favourite target for complaints about the “nanny state.” Those who think of themselves as political opinion leaders or who work in the mass media tend to think of alcohol controls as unnecessary and even offensive, and those in their social circles tend to think the same way. They are thus surprised at or disbelieving of public opinion data that show that the broad Canadian population is quite conservative when it comes to keeping alcohol controls in place (e.g., Room, Graves, Giesbrecht, and Greenfield 1995; Single 1997; Giesbrecht and Kavanagh 1999).

federal and provincial roles Both the federal and the provincial levels of government have jurisdiction over alcohol issues. Both the federal government and the provinces, for instance, tax or collect revenues from alcoholic beverage sales, license alcohol producers and importers, and regulate advertisements for alcoholic beverages. Drinking-driving is sanctioned both under federal criminal law and by provincial highway traffic acts. Some treatment services for alcohol problems – those in the general health system – are jointly financed. Yet, to a large extent, the story of the societal response to alcohol in Canada in the twentieth century is a story played out at the provincial level, although the response has often become national through diffusion from one province to another. This pattern was set with the federal response to the 1898 plebiscite on national prohibition. When Quebec voted five to one against prohibition while the rest of the country voted in support, the federal government of the day declined to act (Smart and Ogborne 1996, 45–6). Frustrated at the federal level, temperance forces transferred their attention to the provincial level, and this was the level at which the battles over prohibition and, later, over alcohol control systems were played out (with the exception of a short-lived federal wartime prohibition in 1918–19, which was added on top of provincial prohibitions). The provincial alcoholism treatment commissions were established before there was substantial federal involvement in alcohol-related health matters. A 1928 federal law, the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act, makes the provinces responsible for buying, importing, and controlling alcohol. However, there were some aspects of alcohol issues in which the federal

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government was involved. In the first place, as part of its general responsibility for the Canadian economy, it tracked alcoholic beverage production, imports and exports, and, in principle, was generally supportive of the industry as a segment of the Canadian economy. More specifically, it collected federal taxes on alcoholic beverages, which meant that there was a federal oversight of the industry to make sure the taxes were collected. Through its control of the national borders, the federal government had a responsibility to apprehend and discourage smuggling, which undercut not only its own revenues but also those of the provinces and of law-abiding segments of the alcohol industry. As criminal law in Canada is a federal matter, alcohol-related matters related to criminal law have also been a federal responsibility, although most of the burden of actual enforcement falls on the provinces. Where the provinces have found federal action too sluggish (e.g., concerning drinking-driving), they have found remedies in administrative law (i.e., within their jurisdiction), which went beyond the provisions of the criminal law. Since electronic broadcasting was also a matter of federal jurisdiction, the federal crtc exercised control over advertising of alcoholic beverages on radio and television, although the provinces had concurrent jurisdiction (which Ontario exercised vigorously). The federal government has special responsibilities for Aboriginal Canadians, including provision of health and social services. The high rates of alcohol problems, particularly in northern populations, meant a very substantial federal expenditure on services to ameliorate these problems. Yet for the whole period of our study this expenditure was little discussed or recognized. Nevertheless, for the most part, the federal focus with regard to alcohol issues pertains to the management of data and revenue and commercial aspects rather than to prevention of drinking-related problems. Prior to the establishment of the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (ccsa) there was no specific federal agency that dealt primarily with alcohol or other drug issues (with a short-lived exception noted below). This, incidentally, is significantly different from the United States, which has at least four federal organizations with alcohol issues central to their mandate: the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse (niaaa), the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (csap), the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (csat), and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (ttb) (formerly the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms [batf]). The first three are affiliated with the us Department of Health and Human Services and conduct in-house programs of research or intervention; they also fund large-scale basic science, applied research, or community-based prevention and treatment initiatives. Canadian federal government involvement in the health side of alcohol issues came only in the wake of the LeDain Commission on Non-Medical

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Use of Drugs in the 1970s, with the formation of the Non-Medical Use of Drugs Directorate in the federal Department of Health and Welfare. Within a few years, however, this was merged into a general health promotion effort, and the federal presence in the alcohol field diminished. While the federal government in the 1980s showed some interest in health promotion measures concerning drinking-driving and other drinking-related problems, the emphasis in federal publicity campaigns was on supporting activities at the community level. Even with the advent of the ccsa in 1988, with a mandate that included alcohol, the level of federal involvement in responding to alcohol problems did not materially change. In short, unlike at the provincial level, at the federal level alcohol matters were not the concern of a specific specialized agency. Alcohol issues were a very small part of the concerns of each of the federal ministries who had some jurisdiction. Provincial Alcohol Control Systems From the brief history of alcohol control in Canada provided above, it can be seen that alcohol matters have been dealt with primarily at the provincial level. As of the late 1980s each province had an alcohol monopoly that controlled the wholesaling of spirits and wine and (usually) beer as well as a licensing agency for restaurants, bars, and other private retailers (in some provinces integrated with the monopoly in a single agency). Specific provincial alcohol control agencies, as well as the provincial government more generally, played a leading role in all matters concerning the production, distribution, and sale of alcohol. Provincial Alcoholism Treatment Commissions Concomitant with the first substantial erosions of the post-prohibition control system after the Second World War came the growth of a societal response to alcohol problems that focused on treating alcoholism. The responsibility for dealing with problems arising from alcohol consumption also fell largely to the provinces (or to local jurisdictions within them). By the late 1970s each province had built some kind of funded treatment system for alcohol problems, usually loosely connected to the health care system, and the flag of a “public health approach” to alcohol issues had been primarily carried by provincial agencies originally set with the main task of providing treatment for alcoholism. As Mäkelä et al. (1981, 65) wrote concerning this period in a number of societies, “the expansion of the treatment system may be seen as a kind of cultural alibi for the normalization of drinking and the relaxation of controls.” In the Canadian context, the link was explicit and open: in province

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after province, the provincial alcoholism treatment agency was set up as part of legislation that also loosened alcohol controls. The original model for these had been the Addiction Research Foundation (arf) of Ontario, founded in 1949 as the Alcoholism Research Foundation under the direction of David Archibald, a charismatic and well connected social worker (Room 1999). This was part of the solution to the “difficult political situation” posed by the defeat of the preceding premier in an election fought on the issue of liquor-by-the-drink (Archibald 1990, 1–2). Most other provinces had followed the lead of Ontario in establishing a provincial agency to build an alcohol treatment system (later incorporating other drugs and, later still, gambling). In the decade and a half after the founding of arf, a commission to establish and run a provincial alcoholism treatment system was set up in every Canadian province (Rush and Ogborne 1992, 256). Saskatchewan and Manitoba set up Alcoholism Commissions to build a provincial treatment system in direct connection with legalizing cocktail bars, cabarets, and liquor licences for restaurants (Gray 1982, 106–7). In the 1960s the responsibilities of these commissions were broadened to include other drugs besides alcohol. In Alberta and Manitoba these commissions still survive, having been given new leases on life by a succession of additions to the original mandate of alcoholism treatment – drugs, drinking-driving remediation, and (most recently) gambling. The establishment of alcoholism commissions also reflected a general movement in the United States and Canada, with support from well placed members of Alcoholics Anonymous (the burgeoning mutual-help movement in the field), to establish such commissions at the state or provincial level. By the time arf was founded there were government alcoholism programs or agencies in 12 us states and the District of Columbia (Johnson 1973, 308), including all the New England states (Davis 1962). In the early 1970s Ontario had diverged from the model by transferring the responsibility for the treatment system to the Ministry of Health. This left arf with responsibility for running a large research-oriented treatment centre in Toronto (originally heavily hospital-based) to serve as a demonstration site for the rest of the system, and for community prevention efforts in the province, along with a very substantial and broad-ranging research capacity. In the course of the 1970s and 1980s the addiction treatment efforts in most other provinces had been reorganized into the general health or social services, so that by 1990 only Alberta and Manitoba had a free-standing specialized addiction agency with responsibility for treatment in the province and also a concern about prevention and policy. Elsewhere in Canada management of the alcohol and drug treatment system was eventually merged into the general health system, first in Quebec (in 1971) and Ontario, and in all other provinces by 1990. Although Ontario’s arf sur-

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vived until 1998 as a separate entity, it was merged with mental health mandates when it became part of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (Room 1999). As the era of separate agencies for alcohol and drug problems at the provincial level waned in the late 1980s, a small semi-governmental agency, the Canadian Centre for Substance Abuse, was set up at the federal level. Its role was to coordinate and assist rather than to direct, and in the mid-1990s its activities were further restricted by budget cuts. ccsa’s attention to alcohol issues has in any case been limited, and, with the drastic cut in funding, its alcohol policy unit was disbanded. Although based at the provincial level, Ontario’s arf to some extent filled the vacuum in public health expertise on alcohol issues between the 1970s and 1990s at the federal level.

science, public health, and alcohol policy agenda At the time when the provincial alcohol control systems were set up, in the wake of the First World War, there was a fairly substantial international research literature on alcohol control to draw upon. Among the studies readily available, for instance, were the reports of the us Committee of Fifty to Investigate the Liquor Problem (e.g., Wines and Koren 1899), Henry Carter’s (1919) report on the experience with liquor control in the United Kingdom during the First World War, and Rowntree and Sherwell’s (1906) international survey of alcohol taxation in the anglophone world. It remains for detailed investigation to determine the extent to which this literature was actually used in setting up the Canadian alcohol control systems. By the time of the flurry of alcohol control changes in the 1940s and 1950s, which brought liquor-by-the-drink, this earlier literature was largely forgotten. The 751-page report of the Manitoba Liquor Enquiry Commission in 1955 drew heavily on the new scholarship about alcohol and alcoholism from the Yale Center of Alcohol Studies, bringing E.M. Jellinek to Winnipeg to consult with the commission (Gray 1982, 106). But little of this scholarship was directly relevant to the question of what would happen if the province allowed liquor-by-the-drink. As Gray complains, the conclusions of the commission were disconnected from the extensive display of scholarship that preceded them. A pioneer study of the effects of a change in alcohol control policy was conducted in Saskatchewan in 1959 and 1961 (Dewar and Sommer 1962). As part of legislation permitting liquor-by-the-drink, the legislature requested that a scientific study be made of the effects of the new legislation. The whole adult population of a small town was surveyed before and after the local beer parlor was converted into a “beverage room,” with food served, women admitted, and wine and spirits served as well as beer. The

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authors did find some changes in the location of drinking, but the overall impression left by the report was that little had changed in the community’s drinking behaviour. Since the change to liquor-by-the-drink came late in Saskatchewan, it is doubtful that the report had much influence on alcohol policies. The provincial commissions gradually took on tasks other than building the treatment system. As early as 1955 the executive director of arf became involved in discussions on the “need for a comprehensive research program that would survey all of the issues related to alcohol and provide a new direction for alcoholism programs” (Johnson 1973, 336) – discussions that pointed towards a broader alcohol policy approach than simply the provision of treatment. While the other provincial commissions appear mostly to have been circumspect about their relation to alcohol control policies, a somewhat different stance was evident among arf management, social researchers, and community program staff. Throughout its history, arf played a special role in promoting research and offering a resource for public health initiatives on alcohol policy issues in Canada. At the end of the 1960s, as its primary mission of building a treatment system was changing, arf began to see its mandate as including consideration of the effects of alcohol availability controls and, thus, provided one resource for provincial and local public health initiatives focusing on alcohol policy agendas. In 1960 arf’s director of research published an article pointing out the relations between alcohol taxes, level of alcohol consumption, and the rates of death from alcoholic cirrhosis (Seeley 1960). While arf management soft-pedalled these findings at the time, by the late 1960s, when other arf scientists put forward the idea that there was a fixed distribution of alcohol consumption – so that a rise in per capita consumption meant a rise in the proportion of very heavy drinkers – arf management was ready to emphasize the research findings (Room 1990). With the publication of “Alcohol Control Policies in Public Health Perspective” in 1975 (Bruun et al. 1975) – an international report with heavy input by arf researchers – arf became identified internationally as well as nationally with what was sometimes called the “new public health perspective” on alcohol problems. While the new research tradition was initiated in Finland, where the social research group was in fact part of the government alcohol monopoly, arf researchers introduced this new emphasis to North America. In the succeeding two decades a substantial international research tradition emerged. It focused on studies of the effects of alcohol controls, with arf researchers making substantial contributions to it (Edwards et al. 1994). In the 1970s and 1980s several lines of research at arf examined the implications of alcohol policies and provided an empirical rationale for a cautious approach to increasing access to alcohol. arf researchers also played a role in several international studies focusing primarily on an alco-

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hol policy agenda (Bruun et al. 1975; Mäkela et al. 1981; Single, Morgan, and de Lint 1981; Edwards et al. 1994). In the 1970s senior researchers were the authors of policy recommendations to the Ontario government (arf 1978), even though, then and later, their advice was either not heeded or only reluctantly sought when decisions were all but finalized. Also, at the community level the findings from national and international research were applied to an emerging emphasis on local and municipal policies focusing on such issues as serving practices, access to alcohol, control of drinking and driving, and snowmobiling incidents, to mention a few (e.g., Rylett, Douglas, Narbonne-Fortin, and Gliksman 1999). During the 1990s arf produced a series of research-based “best advice” documents about alcohol policies (e.g., arf 1993a; 1993b). Other interests in the alcohol field, including the beverage industries and the Ontario liquor control authorities, regularly consulted with arf about its positions on pending matters. There was both consultation and debate, the latter exemplified in the 1970s and early 1980s by disagreement between senior arf research directors and Canadian brewers about the policy implications of research on per capita rates and aggregate levels of damage. arf’s unique position as a research centre in the field in part reflected the lack of other strong research centres in Canada. Relatively small groups of people researching the psychological and biological aspects of alcohol could be found elsewhere, but with the exception of arf, Canadian work in epidemiology or social research on alcohol was confined to individual university professors (sometimes themselves ex-arf staff) and their students. In many instances funding arrangements and other contingencies facilitated, by default rather than design, an ad hoc approach where short-term projects were supported but long-term effort was highly uncommon. In general, in most other provinces sustained lines of research on alcohol issues did not emerge, research working groups were short-lived, and infrastructure that would encourage the emergence of centres for alcohol research was mostly absent. In several other provinces, such as British Columbia (e.g., Cutler and Storm 1973), Alberta (Sommer 1965), Saskatchewan (Dewar and Sommer 1962), and Manitoba (Holloway 1964, 1966; Murray 1978) there were short-term periodic investigations of alcohol policy topics. For example, an extensive report from the Alberta commission examined the implications of the literature on availability of alcohol for alcohol policy (James 1994), and in Manitoba a study was commissioned to examine the impacts of proposed changes in access to alcohol (Michener, Pankhurst, and Leholtz 1981). However, it is doubtful that the research played much of a role in political decision making regarding detailed changes in alcohol controls, although it may have strengthened the position of the provincial monopolies as they increasingly came under threat of privatization.

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In Quebec, in the early 1960s, the Quebec government created the Committee of Inquiry and Information on Alcoholism (Comité d’Étude et d’Information sur l’alcoolisme), which was merged into the Office of Prevention and Treatment of Alcoholism and Addiction (Office de la Prévention et du traitement de l’alcoolisme et des toxicomanies [optat]) in 1966. optat had a research function as part of its mandate and played a leading role in research development and dissemination as well as an advisory role in reporting to the government on alcohol policy development. However, optat was dissolved in 1975, and alcohol research flagged until the beginning of the 1990s. In 1991 Quebec initiated a research infrastructure program that led to the creation of two research teams, grouping together academics working in partnership with practitioners whose primary focus was on prevention and treatment research. In addition, in the late 1990s the Comité permanent de luttes aux toxicomanies, an advisory committee to the minister of health and social services, played an active role in research dissemination by publishing research-based documents on selected topics.

the alcohol market and the alcoholic beverage industries When considering alcohol policies in Canada, it is critical to consider the role and interests of the alcoholic beverage industry and related businesses, particularly when policy developments have the potential to affect the alcohol market. The alcoholic beverage industries are a major economic force, as is indicated by their contribution to the gross domestic product (gdp)4 and to federal and provincial fiscal revenue. From 1988/89 to 1998/99, distilled spirits’ contribution to the gdp grew from $253.7 million (at 1981 prices) to $590 million (at 1992 prices), an increase of about 132 percent; for beer the contribution went from $664.7 million (at 1981 prices) to $1,911 million (at 1992 prices), an increase of about 187 percent; and for wine it went from $109 million (at 1992 prices) to $154 million (at 1992 prices), an increase of about 41 percent. The commitment of alcoholic beverage producers – particularly brewers – to sponsor high-profile hockey, baseball, and football clubs, as well as their contributions to other sports (such as automobile racing) and musical events, enhances their positive public image among Canadians. However, after years of expansion in the alcohol market, the alcohol industries faced a decrease in alcohol consumption beginning in the early 1980s. Nevertheless, by the mid-1990s the per-adult rate of consumption of all alcoholic beverages combined began to increase.5 Although wine, beer, and spirits were all affected, the most noteworthy recent trend has been a decline in the official sales of spirits, with the per-

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adult sales rate in 1995 being less than 50 percent of what it was in 1975. As is noted in Chapter 7, part of this decline was offset, particularly in the early 1990s, by extensive smuggling and other forms of “unrecorded” consumption, much of which involved distilled spirits. Hence, protecting and expanding their market remains a major issue for the brewers, the distillers, and the wine industry, and, as we see in the next chapters, they have been actively involved in alcohol policies in order to protect their business interests. Since the provincial liquor boards largely manage wholesale and importing functions, the primary Canadian industry players were those who produced and bottled spirits, wine, and beer. Canadian grape growers also obviously had strong interests. Others with interests at the production level included suppliers of bottles and cans as well as barley and other grain growers. As is seen in Chapter 6, various commercial interests outside Canada, particularly American brewers and the European and American wine industries, also had an interest in staking a position in the Canadian market. At the retail level the primary interest groups, as on-premise sellers of alcohol, were owners of restaurants and taverns. Retail storeowners, and particularly small-scale retailers, have also had strong desires to take over some or all of the retailing of alcoholic beverages in bottles or cans for off-premise consumption. In Quebec groceries have had a strong “foot in the door” since the end of the 1970s, and in a few other provinces some retailers were able to sell beer (e.g., Newfoundland and, after 1993, Alberta). The case studies presented in subsequent chapters indicate that, despite a common interest in developing and protecting their business, these actors often display divergent interests with regard to alcohol policies. Historically and throughout the period of our study, largely, Canada’s brewing, spirits, and wine industries were organized separately from each other, although occasionally there was some minor cross-ownership (e.g., wineries owned by brewers) (Single 1982). The beer and spirits industries were organized on a national basis with international connections. The Brewers Association of Canada (bac) was established in 1943, and the Association of Canadian Distillers (acd) in 1947, the latter at the suggestion of the provincial liquor control commissioners (acd 2000). Set up as trade associations, the bac and acd engage in lobbying the provincial and the federal government on alcohol policies. By contrast, until the late 1980s, the much smaller but more diverse wine-growing industry was organized largely separately in its two main centres, Ontario and British Columbia, represented by provincial associations (the Wine Council of Ontario and the British Columbia Wine Council, respectively). Until the late 1980s the Canadian alcohol control system set up at repeal ensured a relatively orderly and protected Canadian market for alcoholic beverages. Indeed, it might be referred to as a series of protected markets: each individual province had its own rules that tended to favour local

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production over outside production. Thus, there was not an internal free market in alcoholic beverages; that is, the provinces imposed restrictions on interprovincial trade. The beverage producers generally accepted the fragmented system with the extra costs it entailed since it also provided them with powerful market protection. Brewing Industry Through a variety of pricing and access control measures, the brewers were largely protected from large-scale foreign competition in their home market. Molson and Labatt dominate the Canadian beer market, each with a market share of about 45 percent (Guzik 2002). The most concrete expression of their oligopoly is the government-licensed Brewers Retail System in Ontario, which is 99 percent jointly owned by these two brewers and through which almost all the package beer in the province is sold. In Ontario, the largest market, the pricing and distribution structures for beer have not changed in radical ways, although there have been large changes in some smaller provinces. As is described in Chapter 6, essentially, this lack of change reflects a series of successful defensive actions by Canadian governments on behalf of the big Canadian brewers over two decades. These defensive actions were taken at both the federal and the provincial levels, and by governments representing all the major parties. Helping to make this possible, undoubtedly, was the brewers’ success in portraying their products as national icons and symbols, exemplified most recently in “the rant,” the wildly successful Molson “I Am Canadian” advertising campaign (Peterson 2000). Linking their products and companies to sports, music, and other forms of popular culture also blurred boundaries between selling beer and promoting Canadian culture. However, government regulations had also considerably impaired the beer industry’s efficiency. Provincial preferences for local breweries meant that every province except Prince Edward Island had at least one brewery; altogether there were thirty-nine Canadian breweries in 1987 (Spears 1987). While the average Canadian brewery in 1987 brewed 0.5 million hectolitres per year, American breweries, which ranged up to 15 million hectolitres in size, had considerable economies of scale. To compete with the American breweries, the Canadian breweries have concentrated their plants since 1985. In 2002 Molson had six and Labatt had eight breweries each in six provinces. The industry is thus approaching the reduction to eleven plants that was projected in a submission to the federal government in 1985 (Brewers Association of Canada 1985). Meanwhile, the Canadian brewers, like other brewers from Europe, Mexico and elsewhere, gradually established their product as “premium imports” into the us market as some American beer-drinkers developed a

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6

taste for what was advertised as exotic. In 1993–94, cdn$207 million of Canadian beer was exported to the United States, while only cdn$16 million of us beer was exported to Canada (see Table 6–1 in Chapter 6). Given the difference in population, this meant that the imports in each country had roughly the same proportion of the national beer market. Wine Industry Prior to 1988 the Canadian wine industries were also highly protected by their provinces, with their form of production and sale highly structured by various market interventions, which had begun in Ontario in 1916 with government action to ensure maintaining a market in grapes during provincial prohibition (Harling 1994). Until 1988 provincial rules required that 85 percent of the wine had to be made from Ontario grapes, which were primarily of inferior quality for winemaking. In Quebec the wine industry, mainly a rebottling industry using wine from elsewhere, has been protected by the restriction imposed on grocery stores to sell only wine bottled in Quebec. However, much of the protective structure for Canadian wineries was dismantled in the wake of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade decision of 1987–88 and the inception of the Canada-us Free Trade Agreement of 1989 (discussed in detail in Chapter 6). The long-term result of the new market situation has been a further consolidation of the Canadian wine industry, both within and across provinces, and a diversification into other alcoholic beverages (wine coolers, ciders, spiked lemonades, whisky liqueurs, pepper vodkas, and fruit wines), which it often finds more profitable than wine (Lazarus 2000). Two large wineries have emerged as dominant in the production of Canadian wine: Vincor and Andrés (Madill et al. 2003). Vincor accounts for about 25 percent of all wine, both domestic and imported, sold in Canada, making it the fourth largest wine company in North America, while Andrés is about one-third this size (2002 figures). In the early 2000s the four leading firms accounted for close to 90 percent of total domestic wine production. The geographic concentration remains strong: about 85 percent of industry shipments are from Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia (Food Bureau 2000). At the same time, “boutique wineries” with small production have also proliferated. In Ontario major assets for all wineries with an Ontario base have been found in the systems of retail stores they have been allowed to operate – stores that sell only products with their own label. These systems give these Ontario wineries greater access to the market than is enjoyed by other wineries. Distilled Spirits Industry The main actors in the Canadian spirits industry are the multinational corporations Joseph E. Seagram and Sons, Hiram Walker and Sons, and Corby

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Distilleries. In 2001 these corporations were effectively controlled by two British-based multinationals, udv and Diageo. Along with three smaller, or subsidiary, firms, they form the Association of Canadian Distillers (2000). Spirits distillation in Canada is highly concentrated: Seagram has one distillery in Manitoba, and Hiram Walker and Corby have one plant in Ontario and one in Quebec. This is a considerable consolidation of the industry compared with the situation described by Single (1982) for 1979: at that time there were forty private firms and five provincial monopolies producing spirits, although Seagram and Hiram Walker already controlled 52 percent of the market. The consolidation of the Canadian spirits industry probably owes at least as much to changing Canadian drinking patterns as to international pressures. Between 1981 and 1992 sales of legal domestic spirits dropped by 46 percent (by volume), and they have continued to drop modestly ever since. Employment in the distilling industry fell by 20 percent between 1983 and 1989 (Industry, Science and Technology Canada 1992). Particularly in view of the shrinking domestic market, the United States is an important export market for Canadian spirits (see Chapter 6, Table 6.1), outweighing exports of American spirits to Canada by more than twenty to one.

the public as consumers and as a political constituency Members of the public have several roles in the policy experience – as advocates for policy change or supporters of the status quo, as foci or victims in policy initiatives, and as consumers of alcoholic beverages. Alcohol policies directly or indirectly affect the public, for example, through expanding or restricting opportunities to drink or to display drinking-related behaviour, offering constraints on drinking-related harm, or having an impact on the quality of life in neighbourhoods or communities. Even if members of the public rarely directly participate in debates on alcohol policies, their behaviours, opinions, and preferences are often displayed by those actively involved in the policy process. We turn first to the public as consumers and then offer remarks about their views on policy debates and deliberations. It should be noted that these distinctions are not fully discrete: aggregate alcohol consumption patterns and levels are a significant factor in policy stability and change. For example, a rising interest in wine or a declining preference for spirits has policy implications for international trade, control of smuggling, spirits taxation debates, and marketing techniques; and these, in turn, have implications for public health and safety. Alcohol Consumption Most adult Canadians drink, and, in a typical week, the majority of these drink relatively small amounts. While the estimated level of drinkers varies

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Table 2.1 Proportion of self-reported drinkers, Canada, 1949–95 Percentage reporting drinking Year

Overall

Ages 18 - 29

Ages 30 - 49

Ages 50 +

1949 1958 1969 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995

65 65 67 76 74 82 79 73

67 70 73 84 83 90 87 77

70 68 74 79 79 86 81 78

56 57 56 61 61 70 71 65

Source: Edwards and Hughes, 1995. Note: In 1958 and earlier years, adults were those twenty-one years and over. In 1959 and later, adults are those eighteen years and older. Drinkers are defined as those who indicated that they drank alcohol in the past twelve months.

Table 2.2 Per-adult (aged 15+) consumption of alcoholic beverages (in litres of absolute alcohol), based on official sales, Canada and three provinces, 1965–2000 Year*

Canada

Alberta

Ontario

Quebec

1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000

7.7 8.7 11.0 11.0 10.0 8.9 7.4 7.7

7.6 9.3 11.6 10.4 11.4 9.6 8.2 8.7

8.6 9.3 11.3 11.6 10.4 9.3 7.4 7.7

7.1 8.1 10.0 9.6 9.0 8.1 6.9 7.6

Source: Statistics Canada,1967 to 2002. Publication No. 63–202, The Control and Sale of Alcohol in Canada. (Rounded figures.) Note: * These data are for fiscal years running from 1 April to 31 March (e.g., 1965 is for fiscal year 1965–66).

by type of poll, it seems that about three-quarters of adults are drinkers. Gallup data indicates that the number of drinkers was 65 percent in 1958, rose to a peak at 82 percent in 1985, and then dropped to 73 percent in 1995 (Table 2.1). The prevalence of drinkers is consistently higher among those under age fifty than it is among those aged fifty and over. Based on official sales data, the trend in prevalence of any drinking is roughly parallel to the trend in per-adult consumption. Both increased in the 1960s and 1970s, and declined from the mid-1980s (Table 2.2). Per-adult rates, based on official sales, increased until about 1980, then

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Table 2.3 Per-adult (aged 15+) consumption of beer, wine and spirits (in litres of absolute alcohol), based on official sales, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec, 1965–2000 Year*

1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000

Beer

Wine

Spirits

AL

ON

PQ

AB

ON

PQ

AB

ON

PQ

4.5 5.0 5.2 5.3 4.8 4.6 4.4 4.4

5.1 5.3 5.9 5.5 5.3 5.3 4.3 4.2

5.2 5.4 6.2 5.9 5.3 5.0 4.6 4.7

0.6 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.6 1.1 1.0 1.2

0.5 0.7 0.9 1.3 1.5 1.1 1.1 1.3

0.4 0.7 1.1 1.5 1.7 1.7 1.4 1.9

2.5 3.3 5.3 6.3 5.0 3.9 2.9 3.0

3.0 3.3 4.5 4.4 3.6 2.9 2.0 2.2

1.5 2.0 2.7 2.2 2.0 1.4 0.9 1.0

Source: Statistics Canada, 1967 to 2002 (multiple years), Publication No. 63–202, The Control and Sale of Alcohol in Canada. (Rounded figures.) Note: * These data are for fiscal years running from 1 April to 31 March (e.g., 1965 is for fiscal year 1965–66).

declined for fifteen years and increased in recent years. Although the pattern was somewhat similar in the three provinces of Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec, the level of per-adult consumption was typically somewhat higher in Alberta and somewhat lower in Quebec (Table 2.3).7 On a per-drinker basis, excluding abstainers from the base, consumption increased from 11.7 litres in 1965 to 14.9 litres in 1980. By 1995 it had decreased almost onethird, to 10.1 litres (Table 2.4) When the rates by beverage type and jurisdiction are examined over time, several patterns emerge (Tables 2.3 and 2.4). Although all three beverage groups were affected, as previously noted, the most noteworthy recent trend has been a decline in the official sales of spirits, with the per-adult rate in 1995 being less than 50 percent of what it was in 1975. As is noted in Chapter 7, part of this decline was offset, particularly in the early 1990s, by extensive smuggling and other forms of “unrecorded” consumption, much of which involved distilled spirits. Although wine still represents only about 18 percent of absolute alcohol sold in Canada, the percentage increase in wine sales was particularly dramatic in the 1970s and 1980s, during a time when the per-adult rate of sales for wine tripled (Table 2.4). In this period, too, table wine became predominant over fortified wines, which had earlier accounted for much of the wine consumption. At the provincial level Ontario and Quebec typically sold more beer on a per-adult basis than did Alberta, and, for most years examined in Table 2.3, Quebec sold more wine than the rest of Canada. From about 1975 onward Alberta had a higher per-adult rate of spirits sales than did either Quebec or Ontario. Canadians still drink more beer than spirits

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Table 2.4 Per-adult (aged 15+) consumption of alcoholic beverages (in litres of absolute alcohol), based on official sales, Canada, 1965–2000

Year*

Beer

Wine

Spirits

All

1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000

4.8 5.0 5.8 5.5 5.1 5.0 4.3 4.3

0.5 0.7 1.0 1.4 1.6 1.3 1.1 1.4

2.4 2.9 4.2 4.1 3.3 2.6 1.9 2.1

7.7 8.7 11.0 11.0 10.0 8.9 7.4 7.7

Estimated Per-drinker % of Drinkers** Consumption 66 70 76 74 82 79 73 77***

11.7 12.4 14.5 14.9 12.2 11.3 10.1 10.0

Sources: Statistics Canada, 1962 to 2002 (multiple years), Publication No. 63–202, The Control and Sale of Alcohol in Canada. (Rounded figures.) Notes: * Alcohol sales data are for fiscal years running from 1 April to 31 March (e.g., 1965 is for fiscal 1965–66). Data for prevalence of drinkers is for calendar years. * ** Edwards and Hughes (1995). Canadian Gallup Polls, interpolating for years without Gallup data. *** Prevalence for 2000 is an estimate based on linear extrapolation of 72.3 percent prevalence of drinkers in 1994 and 79.3 percent in 2004, based on national surveys (Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, 2004)

or wine, although wine consumption is most common in Quebec and British Columbia and is on the increase in most provinces. Table 2.2 shows that per-adult consumption rates increased from the mid-1960s, levelled off, declined from around 1980, and then increased in recent years. The percentage of adults who reported that they drank at all has followed a similar pattern, although the peak was somewhat later. Using these data in combination, as in Table 2.4, we see that the per-drinker consumption rate went from 11.7 litres of absolute alcohol in 1965 to about fifteen litres in 1980s and down to about ten litres in 1995 and 2000. Canadian consumption rates are higher than those of Norway but substantially lower than those of many countries. The per-adult rate of consumption among Canadians is currently similar to the us rate. However, given the lower rate of abstention in Canada, on a per-drinker basis Canadian rates are considerably lower than American rates. Attitudes toward Drinking In order to provide a glimpse into public attitudes of Canadians about drinking, the findings from three surveys are summarized below. One study, conducted about two decades ago in Durham Region, Ontario, asked respondents (1) how acceptable it is to drink in different situations and (2) how, when, and how much males and females of different ages should drink

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(Gillies 1978). Respondents were also asked about alcohol policies and about their own drinking and any related problems. Most of those interviewed (n = 1,000) expressed conservative opinions: they did not approve of drunkenness, drinking and driving, drinking while looking after children, or drinking by sixteen-year-olds. Although many thought that it was sometimes all right to “drink enough to feel the effects but not to get drunk,” this behaviour was only considered acceptable at parties. Only 9 percent felt that it was all right for certain people to get drunk occasionally. Over 80 percent felt that sixteen-year-olds should abstain completely. Most also felt that “something should be done” (by the police, relatives, or social service agencies) about such problems as alcohol-related wife abuse, public drunkenness, over-spending on alcohol by heads of families, and drinking by bus drivers. An Ontario survey from the early 1990s (Paglia 1994, 28) showed a majority of drinkers felt that alcohol had improved their lives in at least one way: it helped them to relax. However, most (66 percent) also felt that alcohol had done them as much harm as good, and 10 percent felt that alcohol had done them more harm than good. This survey also showed that most respondents (85 percent) believed that both men and women could drink at least occasionally without risking their health and that many believed that having two to three drinks a day would not pose health risks for either a man or a woman. A national survey conducted in 1996 included questions about the definition of moderate drinking and the belief that it can be good for one’s health. Fifty-seven percent of respondents believed that moderate drinking has health benefits. Forty-seven percent defined moderate drinking as having less than one drink a day, and twelve percent defined it as having one or more drinks a day. Belief in the health benefits of moderate drinking was more common among men, those aged forty-five or older, residents of Ontario and Quebec, more frequent drinkers, and those with ischaemic heart disease. Those who believed in the health benefits of at least one drink a day were more often males, older persons, and frequent, heavy drinkers (Ogborne and Smart 2001). Public Opinion on Alcohol Policies During the period of our study, Canadians were not very active in alcohol policy issues; on balance, their role was not highly vocal, persistent, or organized. There are no strong articulated interests of consumer groups, although wine columnists and some others advocate for easier access to alcohol from time to time (e.g., in connection with proposals for sales through private venues) or for Sunday openings. There are no national pressure groups with a broad public health and safety mandate that are

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active on a number of policy issues. As is noted in subsequent chapters, there is considerable variation by province as to the level of policy activism, the form it takes, and the issues. During the past two decades there have been three alcohol issues that have attracted public health interests at the national level, but most have only done so for relatively brief periods of time. These include: foetal alcohol effects and warning labels (Chapter 15), the proposal to allow spirits advertising on television (Chapter 16), and the fallout from the Daviault case, in which extreme intoxication was judged to be an acceptable defence in a sexual assault case (Chapter 18). The one issue with persistent and sustained public interest is drinking and driving, and it also has a number of local, provincial, and national groups that are active in raising awareness and fostering interventions. However, when governments have signalled an intention to move too quickly and precipitously on alcohol distribution arrangements, such as when they proposed introduction of beverage alcohol into corner stores in Ontario in the mid-1980s, there was a strong negative reaction from a number of quarters (i.e., educators, law enforcement personnel, clergy, and public health officials), which likely contributed to the proposal being shelved. Thus, while the Canadian public may not be highly organized in a persistent and sustained way around an intervention agenda, its opinions are cautious and supportive, for various reasons, of a public health agenda. A series of surveys conducted among Canadian populations, a number of them in Ontario, suggest strong support for a number of policy measures, including curtailing alcohol advertising, having warning labels on bottles, keeping alcoholic beverages out of corner stores, modest density levels with regard to number of alcohol outlets, and increased server intervention (e.g., Room, Graves, Giesbrecht, and Greenfield 1995; Giesbrecht and Greenfield, 1999; Giesbrecht and Kavanagh 1999; Anglin, Kavanagh, and Giesbrecht 2001; Giesbrecht, Ialomiteanu, Room, and Anglin 2001). Although there has been some gradual erosion since the late 1980s in the level of support (Giesbrecht, Ialomiteanu, Room, and Anglin 2001), it still remains high, and it is highest among females, middle-aged and older adults, and lighter drinkers. It is possible, therefore, to come to very different policy conclusions, depending on whether one looks at media accounts and the pronouncements from liquor boards and alcohol specialists or findings from surveys of public opinion. The former often suggest that there is rising and seemingly boundless demand for greater access and wider distribution of alcoholic beverages, while the latter suggest acceptance of the status quo, combined with concern about greater and easier access to alcohol as well as with the implications of these changes for families, neighbourhoods, and communities. This disjunction is partly an artifact of the orientation of different inter-

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est groups and context; for example, the more vocal consumer, who is also likely a regular drinker, may be seen as the typical referent for liquor boards and alcohol producers and distributors, even if the views of this population segment are not representative of all adults.

conclusion Around 1990 a structure for alcohol markets in Canada, inherited from the post-Prohibition settlements of the 1920s, was still in place in every Canadian province, though with some erosions. In every province, also, there was a substantial provision for treatment of alcohol problems. This was somewhat separate from the general health system, but it was funded with provincial health funds. The production of spirits and beer was highly concentrated in a few firms, while wine production, a much smaller industry, was more dispersed. Canadian research-related alcohol policy was important internationally, but much of it came from a single large institution in one province. Until 1980 the rate of drinking had increased among the general public, as had the level of drinking among drinkers, but both subsequently declined. Campaigns against drinking-driving occurred in most provinces, but few other alcohol issues drew sustained attention from the public or the media. The primary buttresses for the status quo in alcohol control policies were the general conservatism of the Canadian public concerning alcohol issues and the vested interests of beverage industries (and others) in the existing control system. Except for drinking and driving, there was little in the way of interprovincial public health advocacy for alcohol policy measures to reduce the rates of alcohol-related problems.

notes 1 On 24 July 2002 the British Columbia government announced a gradual privatization of the government liquor stores in British Columbia, to be implemented over a period of several years (Consumer’s Association of Canada – bc 2003). However, by October 2003, after negotiation with the liquor store employees’ union, the government reversed itself, agreeing “to retain the liquor distribution system,” while the union agreed to show enough flexibility “to enhance retail services with longer hours of operation” (Government of British Columbia 2003). 2 For a detailed account of Canada’s experience with alcohol over several centuries, see Heron (2003). 3 Off-premise sales refers to alcohol purchased and taken away to be consumed at home; on-premise sales refers to restaurant, bar, and tavern sales of alcohol.

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4 gdp is defined as the total market value of all goods and services produced within the political boundaries of an economy during a given period of time (usually one year). 5 Between fiscal years 1997–98 and 2001–02, the per-adult consumption rate increased from 7.3 to 7.7 litres of absolute alcohol (Statistics Canada 2002). 6 Through much of this period there was a complex series of cross-ownership and cross-licensing agreements between Canadian brewers and their American, Australian, Japanese, and other counterparts. In the course of the 1990s the brewing industry further consolidated globally into a series of multinationals (Jernigan 1997), a trend that also affected the Canadian beer industry. In 1995 Labatt Breweries of Canada became a wholly owned subsidiary of a Belgian-based multinational brewer, Interbrew, after its ownership was put in play by a bid by a Canadian financial company, Onex, in partnership with a South American brewer (Summerfield 1995; Chilton 1995). Meanwhile, the other major brewer, Molson Canada, moved in the opposite direction. In the early 1990s Molson was a conglomerate that included a chemicals business and home remodelling store chains, with considerable cross-ownership with breweries in the United States and elsewhere. The Miller Brewing Company in the United States, a subsidiary of Phillip Morris, had bought 20 percent of Molson in 1993 (Summerfield 1997). In the mid-1990s, reversing thirty years of diversification, Molson divested itself of non-brewing businesses. In June 1998 it bought back a 50 percent ownership stake in itself from Foster’s Brewing Group (Summerfield 1998), returning to its original status as a Canadian brewing firm, with substantial ownership by the Molson family. However, in July 2004 a merger was announced (cbc 2004) between Molson and Coors, a us brewer in the same size range consummated in early 2005, the merger still faced shareholder suits and an SEC inquiry in June 2005 (Weinraub 2005). Alongside the two giant brewers, small Canadian brewers have tended to increase in number but with little gain in market share. 7 It is common practice in alcohol research to use alcohol sales data to estimate the annual average amount of pure alcohol consumed by people aged fifteen or older. In Canada these estimates have typically assumed that beer has 5 percent alcohol, wine 13 percent, and spirits 40 percent. Per-adult consumption estimates are most useful for large jurisdictions without heavy tourism or home production and for examining trends over time. By age fifteen about 60 percent of Canadians have had a drink in the past twelve months and therefore can be considered consumers.

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Edwards, G., P. Anderson, T.F. Babor, S. Casswell, R. Ferrence, N. Giesbrecht, C. Godfrey, H. Holder, P. Lemmens, K. Mäkelä, L.T. Midanik, T. Norström, E. Österberg, A. Romelsjö, R. Room, J. Simpura, and O.-J. Skog. 1994. Alcohol Policy and the Public Good. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Edwards, R.G., and J. Hughes. 1995. “73% Consume Alcoholic Beverages.” The Gallup Poll. 55 (37): 1–2. Toronto: Gallup Canada, Inc. Food Bureau. 2000. The Canadian Wine Industry: Sub-Sector Profile. Ottawa: Food Bureau, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Fosdick, R.B., and A.L. Scott. 1933. Toward Liquor Control. New York and London: Harper and Brothers. Giesbrecht N., and T. Greenfield. 1999. “Public Opinion on Alcohol Policy Issues: A Comparison of American and Canadian Surveys.” Addiction 94 (4): 521–31. Giesbrecht, N., A. Ialomiteanu, R. Room, and L. Anglin. 2001. “Trends in Public Opinion on Alcohol Policy Measures: Ontario 1989–1998.” Journal of Studies on Alcohol 62 (2): 142–9. Giesbrecht, N., and L. Kavanagh 1999. “Public Opinion and Alcohol Policy: Comparison of Two Canadian General Population Surveys.” Drug and Alcohol Review 18: 7–19. Gillies, M. 1978. The Durham Region Survey: A Preliminary Report. Toronto: Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Research Foundation. Government of British Columbia. 2003. “Province and bcgeo Reach Agreement.” Information Bulletin, 10 October. Victoria: Government of British Columbia.

Gray, J.H. 1982. Bacchanalia Revisited: Western Canada’s Boozy Skid to Social Disaster. Saskatoon: Western Producer Prairie Books. Guzik, D. 2002. Summer Brings on the Beer Wars. Toronto: Investor Canada.

Harling, K.F. 1994. “Business Strategies as a Market Opens: A Case Study of Ontario Wineries.” Agribusiness 10: 259–73. Heron, C. 2003. Booze: A Distilled History. Toronto: Between the Lines. Holloway, R. 1964. Student Drinking: A Study of Manitoba High School Students’ Behavior, Attitudes and Knowledge With Respect to Beverage Alcohol. Winnipeg, Manitoba: Alcohol Education Service. – 1966. Drinking among Indian Youth: A Study of Drinking Behavior, Attitudes and Beliefs of Indian and Metis Young People in Manitoba. Winnipeg, Manitoba: Alcohol Education Service. Hose, R.E. 1928. Prohibition or Control? Canada’s Experience with the Liquor Problem, 1921–1927. New York and London: Longmans, Green. Industry, Science and Technology Canada. 1992. Industry Profile, 1990–1991: Distilleries. Ottawa: Industry, Science and Technology Canada. James, D. 1994. Alcohol Availability and Control: A Review of the Research Literature. Edmonton, Alberta: Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission.

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Jernigan, D. 1997. Thirsting for Markets: The Global Impact of Corporate Alcohol. San Rafael, ca: The Marin Institute for the Prevention of Alcohol and Other Drug Problems. Johnson, B.H. 1973. “The Alcoholism Movement in America: A Study in Cultural Innovation.” PhD diss., Sociology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Lazarus, E. 2000. “British Columbian Wines Come of Age.” Vineyard and Winery Management 26 (2) March/April. Madill, J.J., A.L. Riding, and G.H. Haines, Jr. 2003. “Strategic Dilemmas of a Small Market Player: The Canadian Wine Industry.” In: Proceedings of the International Colloquium in Wine Marketing. Adelaide: Wine Marketing Group, University of South Australia. Mäkelä, K., R. Room, E. Single, P. Sulkunen, B. Walsh, with R. Bunce, M. Cahannes, T. Cameron, N. Giesbrecht, J. de Lint, H. Makinen, P. Morgan, J. Mosher, J. Moskalewicz, R. Müller, E. Österberg, I. Wald and D. Walsh. 1981. Alcohol, Society, and the State. Vol. 1: A Comparative Study of Alcohol Control. Toronto: Addiction Research Foundation. Manitoba Liquor Enquiry Commission. 1955. Report of the Manitoba Liquor Enquiry Commission. Winnipeg: Manitoba Liquor Enquiry Commission. McKee, W.A. 1997. “Taming the Green Serpent: Alcoholism, Autocracy, and Russian Society, 1881–1914.” PhD diss., History, University of California, Berkeley. Michener, M.P., G.A. Pankhurst, and H.J. Leholtz 1981. A Report of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Liquor Control. Manitoba Ministerial Advisory Committee on Liquor Control. Winnipeg: Manitoba Attorney General. Moffitt, L.W. 1932. “Control of the Liquor Traffic in Canada.” Annals of the American Association of Political and Social Science 163: 188–96. Moore, M.H., and D.R. Gerstein. 1981. Alcohol and Public Policy: Beyond the Shadow of Prohibition. Washington, dc: National Academy Press. Murray, R.P. 1978. Manitoba Health and Drinking Survey: The Social Epidemiology of Alcohol Abuse in the Eastman Region. Ottawa: Health Promotion and Prevention Directorate, Health and Welfare Canada. Ogborne, A.C., and R.G. Smart. 2001. “Public Opinion on the Health Benefits of Moderate Drinking: Results from a Canadian National Population Health Survey.” Addiction 96 (4): 641–9. Paglia, A. 1994. Alcohol, Tobacco and Drugs: Dependence, Problems and Consequences of Use. Document No. 121. Toronto: Addiction Research Foundation. Peterson, T. 2000. “Deconstructing the Molson’s Rant Ad.” Business Week Online, 30 May. Room, R. 1984. “A ‘Reverence for Strong Drink’: The Lost Generation and the Elevation of Alcohol in American Culture.” Journal of Studies on Alcohol 45: 540–6. – 1985. “Alkoholmonopol som idé och realitet – några historiska perspektiv [Alcohol Monopoly as an Idea and a Reality: Some Perspectives from History].” Alkoholpolitik 2 (1): 1–6.

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– 1990. “Social Science Research and Alcohol Policy Making.” In Alcohol: The Development of Sociological Perspectives on Use and Abuse, ed. P.M. Roman, 315–39. New Brunswick, nj: Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies. – 1999. “Farewell to a Unique Institution.” Addiction 94: 1789–91. Room, R., K. Graves, N. Giesbrecht, and T.K. Greenfield. 1995. “Trends in Public Opinion about Alcohol Policy Initiatives in Ontario and the us: 1989–1991.” Drug and Alcohol Review 14: 35–47. Rowntree, J., and R. Sherwell. 1906. The Taxation of the Liquor Trade. London and New York: Macmillan. Rush, B.R., and A.C. Ogborne. 1992. “Alcoholism Treatment in Canada: History, Current Status, and Emerging Issues.” In Cure, Care, or Control: Alcoholism Treatment in Sixteen Countries, ed. H. Klingemann, J.-P. Takala, and G. Hunt, 253–67. Albany: State University of New York Press. Rylett, M., R.R. Douglas, C. Narbonne-Fortin, and L. Gliksman. 1999. “Managing Alcohol Events in Recreational Facilities.” Facility Forum 9 (3): 20–30. Seeley, J.R. 1960. “Death by Liver Cirrhosis and the Price of Beverage Alcohol.” Canadian Medical Association Journal 83: 1361–6. Single, E. 1982. “Intercorporate Connections of the Alcohol Industry in Canada.” Contemporary Drug Problems 11: 545–67. – 1997. “Public Opinion.” In Canada’s Alcohol and Other Drugs Survey 1994: A Discussion of Findings, ed. P. MacNeil and I. Webster, 79–87. Ottawa: Health Canada. Single, E., P. Morgan, and J. de Lint. 1981. Alcohol, Society and the State. Vol. 2: The Social History of Control Policy in Seven Countries. Toronto: Addiction Research Foundation. Smart, R.G., and A.C. Ogborne. 1996. Northern Spirits: A Social History of Alcohol in Canada. 2nd ed. Toronto: Addiction Research Foundation. Sommer, R. 1965. “The Isolated Drinker in the Edmonton Beer Parlor.” Quarterly Journal of Studies on Alcohol 26: 95–110. Spears, J. 1987. “Why Brewers Don’t Want Free Trade.” Toronto Star, 11 April, C1. Statistics Canada. 2002. The Control and Sale of Alcoholic Beverages in Canada. Catalogue 63–202–XIB. Sulkunen, P., C. Sutton, C. Tigerstedt, and K. Warpenius, eds. 2000. Broken Spirits: Power and Ideas in Nordic Alcohol Control. Helsinki: Nordic Council on Alcohol and Drug Research. Summerfield, P. 1995. “Labatt Casts about for Friendly Suitors to Thwart Onex Bid,” Strategy, 29 May, p. 1.

– 1997. “Coors Sets up Shop in Canada.” Strategy, 28 April, p. 8.

– 1998. “Barnett Resigns as Head of Molson,” Strategy, 26 October, p. 6.

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Weinraub, M. 2005. “SEC Wants Merger Info on Molson Coors,” Reuters dispatch, 9 June. West, D.S. 1997. The Privatization of Liquor Retailing in Alberta. Public Policy Sources, Occasional Paper No. 5. Vancouver: Fraser Institute. Wines, F., and J. Koren. 1899. The Liquor Problem in Its Legislative Aspects. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin.

3 Case Studies of Alcohol Policy Formation: Power Politics, Public Opinion, and Research ALAN OGBORNE, NORMAN GIESBRECHT, AND ROBIN ROOM Factors that influence the development of alcohol control policies have long been of interest to observers and actors in the alcohol field and a number of insightful commentaries have been published (e.g., Bruun 1973; Gordis 1991; Hawks, Stockwell, and Casswell 1993; Holder, Kühlhorn, et al. 1998; Room 1984, 1991, 1999; Smart 1993; Saunders 1993). Empirical studies of alcohol policy development have also been conducted in Britain, the Nordic countries, Australia, New Zealand, and North America. The studies have focused on a variety of specific issues, including some considered in the present project (alcohol advertising and promotion, changes to retail systems, drinking labelling, and warning labels) or other issues (legal drinking age, mandated server training, “counter-messages,” and alcohol taxation). The main results of these studies can be summarized below under two broad headings that subsume the main issues of concern in Sober Reflections: (1) the politics of alcohol control policies and (2) alcohol-related research and alcohol control policies.

the politics of alcohol control policies A group of studies have examined alcohol policy development in several English-speaking countries where government intervention in the alcohol market has been generally less than it has been in Canada. While the United Kingdom has had somewhat restrictive opening hours for taverns and relatively high alcohol taxes by European standards, efforts to increase alcohol controls in the uk in recent decades generally start from a position of considerably less control than they do in Canada. The same could be said, in general, of the situation in Australia and New Zealand.

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An in-depth study of alcohol policy development in the United Kingdom (Baggott 1990) sought to answer two questions about government actions with regard to alcohol during the years between 1960 and 1989 (approximately): (1) why did the government do anything about alcohol problems? and (2) why did the government not adopt explicit policies to reduce alcohol consumption through taxation and licensing? Through observations, interviews, and reviews of documents Baggott (1990) concludes that politics had largely determined the fate of alcohol policies in the uk.. Two conflicting constituencies had urged greater or lesser government controls on alcohol. Those urging greater controls included various overlapping temperance, medical, law enforcement groups or agencies, and key individuals. Those opposed to new controls, or in favour of reducing controls, included the alcoholic beverage industry and allies in farming and advertising. These were better organized and more powerful than those in favour of controls. Also, public opinion was generally “luke warm” to alcohol controls. The study identified several factors that did not favour the “alcohol control lobby” in the political arena. In addition to the opposition of the alcohol industry and its allies, there was opposition from within government departments. During the years under study, all government departments except health were, for various reasons, opposed to specific policies to reduce alcohol consumption through controls. These included the treasury, which controlled alcohol taxation, and the Home Office, which was responsible for law enforcement. Baggott did, however, find that the interests of the public and pro- and anti-control groups converged in some cases, particularly with respect to the need for action on drinking and driving. Consequently, several new initiatives were successfully implemented. Converging interests, or at least lack of opposition from the alcohol beverage industry, also resulted in increased efforts aimed at early identification of problem drinkers, expansion of treatment services, increased public education about alcohol, some restrictions on advertising, and increased licensing safeguards. This broad range of agreement on alcohol education, early identification of problem drinkers, and the need for effective drinking-driving laws illustrates that the “politics of alcohol need not be a zero sum game” (Baggott 1990, 152). It is important to note that factors outside of the alcohol arena also contributed to some of these developments (e.g., general policy developments in health and preventative medicine, general advertising regulations, and the government ideology of deregulation that flourished during the period of study). Baggott concluded that the future of alcohol controls in Britain depended on more effective coordination of central government departments, which would require persuading ministers to take a greater interest in alcohol issues. He noted that alcohol and public health issues did not win

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votes in the uk, arguing that these issues are unattractive to ministers who tend to promote policies that guarantee immediate or short-term impacts. Some ministers who were interested in alcohol or public health issues met resistance from other Cabinet colleagues or found themselves dropped or moved to other positions. Also, public health concerns cut across party lines and thus become unattractive as priorities in political platforms. On a positive note, the political will to address public health issues was being increased at the time of his study by the actions of local, national, and international leaders in health policy and growing public concerns about a variety of health-related issues. Increased alliances in the public health field are also contributing to greater awareness of health issues and the coordination of action. However, Baggott (1990, 161) concludes with a cautious note: “future campaigns in this [public health] policy area cannot ignore the political factors operating against effective public health strategies. Preventive action – to protect public health – may be better than cure, but it requires a lot more political will.” Developments in the years since Baggott’s study appeared have supported his caution. Despite a change of government in 1997, the political will to tackle alcohol problems from a public health perspective still seems weak in Britain. Despite a commitment in 1998 to introduce a national alcohol strategy (Thom 1999, 219), in mid–2003 that strategy had not yet been published. Focusing on Australia, Hawks (1993) identified political interests as contributing to the “watering down” of a proposed national alcohol policy. These interests especially dampen proposals to use taxation and licensing regulations to moderate alcohol consumption. However, other proposals were adopted (for public and medical education, increased treatment, lower legal blood alcohol limits, random breath tests for drivers, decriminalization of public drunkenness, review of advertising policies, and the establishment of two national research centres). The development of the Australian alcohol policy received impetus following a speech on the need for a new national drug policy given by an incumbent prime minister in the wake of revelations that his daughter was in treatment for heroin use. A subcommittee of a ministerial council on drugs later drafted a policy that argued for a harm reduction approach to drug and alcohol problems and for a comprehensive strategy that included the use of taxation and licensing to moderate alcohol consumption. These specific strategies were labelled “anti-alcohol” and “prohibitionist” by the alcohol industry, which also attempted to denigrate members of the committee. There was no national body to give focus to alcohol concerns and no organization with responsibility for orchestrating support for the original proposal. Those supporting the use of alcohol controls also faced the daunting task of explaining how changes in per capita consumption would reduce

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alcohol problems when the prevailing belief was that these problems are caused by people who drink to excess. Opposition was especially strong among the wine growers in South Australia, and it was their objections that led to the eventual adoption of a watered down national policy. During the negotiation process the federal minister of health, who was from South Australia, felt obliged to make a deal to soften the alcohol policy in order to secure support for a new tobacco strategy. A New Zealand study (Casswell, Stewart, and Duignan 1993) examined the national government’s failure to adopt policies that explicitly aimed to use control measures to reduce or stabilize alcohol consumption. The opportunity to adopt alcohol control policies occurred when changes to New Zealand’s alcohol distribution, taxation, and advertising policies were introduced in the context of a fiscal crisis and a swing to the right in national politics. Three policy issues were considered: (1) relaxation of controls on availability, (2) restrictions on alcohol advertising, and (3) a taxation policy that reflected concerns about social costs and prevention. Casswell, Stewart, and Duignan noted that the “policy keepers” were not responsible for public health but were concerned with either justice, broadcast standards, or finance. The ideology of deregulation was successful with respect to changes in liberalization of the availability of alcohol. The notion that liberalization would reflect New Zealand’s civilized and tolerant attitude to liquor was also proclaimed in parliamentary debates. Those most vocal in the debate were lawyers, and there was little sympathy for the “availability” hypothesis promoted by public health advocates. This resulted in a sense of failure among those concerned with public health issues, even though their recommendation to provide food and non-alcoholic drinks on licensed premises was accepted. Nevertheless, public opinion seemed to have limited attempts to relax the alcohol advertising rules as well as to have contributed to restricting tv alcohol advertisements to after 9:00 pm and to increasing funding for public health messages. The social climate of deregulation prevailed in the case of advertising sports sponsorship. Despite opposition from the alcohol industry, a taxation policy acknowledging the social costs of alcohol abuse was maintained, although Casswell and her colleagues suggest that this had more to do with the need to raise revenue than with a real concern for alcohol problems. Giesbrecht, Greenfield, Anglin, and Johnson (2004) drew a similar conclusion in their study of changes in federal alcohol taxes in the United States. In contrast to the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand, the Nordic countries other than Denmark (i.e., Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Iceland) have had a tradition of restrictive alcohol controls. Like Canadian alcohol controls, they have been gradually relaxed over the last forty years, although, unlike Canada, there was also a clear period of retightening in the 1970s, particularly in Sweden. In the mid–1990s the relation of these coun-

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tries to the European Union forced considerable changes in alcohol controls. Shortly afterwards, Canada’s alcohol control structure also came under pressure from trade disputes with the European Union and the United States (see Chapter 5). A study by Koski and Österberg (1993) reported that, in Finland, business interests, a gradual dismantling of the welfare policy machinery, and changes in public attitudes towards and expectations of service contributed to the liberalization of alcohol policies at the end of the 1960s. Beauchamp (1981) saw the liberalization of Finnish alcohol policy as a product of “wellnigh-irresistible forces of cultural change.” He also identified the major players in the “modernist” and “fundamentalist” camps and showed how their concerns were played out. A collection of reports and studies on the development and evolution of alcohol control policies on Finland, Norway, and Sweden has recently been published by the Nordic Council of Alcohol and Drug Research (Sulkunen, Sutton, Tigerstedt, and Warpenius 2000). These countries have traditionally had far-reaching state policies on alcohol that were explicitly designed to limit the negative effects of drinking on health and social behaviours. These policies have supported research and involved experts, administrators, the media, and other interested parties in ongoing and well informed discussions about alcohol and its effects on Nordic society. The development, strength, and persistence of Nordic alcohol policies reflect their appeal to many different constituents and to popular support for state interventions designed to promote the public good. Women’s access to, and influence in, the political area; the limited economic importance of alcohol; a “country-side” culture; and the success of Nordic temperance movements in associating alcohol with “transgressing boundaries, hedonism and intoxication” (Johansson 2000) also contributed to social acceptance of a restrictive alcohol control system. Over the past few decades Nordic alcohol policies have become more liberal due to consumer demands, business influences, and, especially, the requirements to conform with the policies of the European Union. However, retail availability continues to be limited and prices are still relatively high. Nordic states have also tried to influence other members of the European Union to adopt a Nordic approach to alcohol control (Holder et al. 1998). Like Canada, the United States has a federal political structure, with both levels of government having some responsibility for alcohol control. Both the federal and state levels have been studied in research on alcohol control policy formation in the United States. Examining factors that shaped post-prohibition alcohol policy in California, Morgan (1988) observed that, post-Second World War, the alcohol industry and its allies were very influential in controlling alcohol issues on the political agenda. In California, the liquor, wine, and beer interests

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joined forces in many lobbying efforts. Furthermore, the industry distanced itself from drinking-related problems found in the general population and promoted the view that the main problem was alcoholism – a condition considered by the industry as affecting an unfortunate few. Research by Saltz (1993) provides an account of the enactment of mandatory server training in Oregon. This required alcohol servers to be trained to refuse service to intoxicated persons and to use other methods to curtail drinking and driving. Mandatory server training resulted from the actions of bar and restaurant owners and trial lawyers. There was no involvement of health and safety professionals, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (madd) dropped out when it learned that the proposed mandatory training might be linked with reduced liability of bar owners. However, when the notion of reduced liability was successfully opposed by trial lawyers, madd did not rejoin the discussion of mandatory server intervention. The original proposal for mandatory intervention was made by a hospitality industry group, apparently in the hope that this would permit a “responsible server” defence against lawsuits and reduce insurance premiums. However, this group continued to support mandatory server intervention even when reduced liability was excluded from the provisions of the bill. Saltz considers this to have been a public relations exercise. He also believes that the adoption and implementation of mandatory server training was facilitated by pre-existing training requirements for those involved in the selling or serving of alcohol and by Oregon’s small, geographically concentrated population. Key events and processes that lead to the us federal legislation on warning labels were identified by Kaskutas (1995). During the prior decade many influential groups and individuals declared themselves in favour of warning labels, and several cities had passed, or were developing, regulations requiring point-of-sale warnings about the health risks of drinking. California was also developing legislation that would require warning labels on alcoholic beverage containers. Also, advocacy groups and coalitions focusing on warning labels formed and were active during senate and congressional hearings, bringing attention to the risks associated with drinking. As well, the outcomes of a few court cases revealed the vulnerability of the alcohol industry to legal charges of negligence for failing to warn consumers of these risks. Furthermore, public opinion was in favour of warning labels. The warning label bill was also introduced following the new Right to Know Act, which required companies to report chemical emissions or stockpiles that might be hazardous to health. This was widely regarded as symbolizing the emergence of consumer and health movements and heralding the success of other types of consumer rights legislation. Warning label legislation had been regularly introduced for over ten years before it passed in 1988. Alcohol industry groups had successfully fought it

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off. A crucial event in the legislative history in 1988 was that alcohol industry groups did not testify against the legislation, although they actively influenced the exact formulation of the label. A possible reason for their silence is that the industry regarded warning labels as protection against potential legal liability for alcohol problems. Others opposed to warning labels included the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and two interest groups (the American Council on Alcoholism and the Alcohol Policy Council) as well as some researchers. The main objections were (1) that the bill did not take into account factors known to influence unhealthy behaviours and (2) that more research was needed. Also, some felt that the proposed wording was alarmist and could backfire; discussions about wording continued until the last minute. Finally, the bill was passed as part of an omnibus war-on-drugs bill that may have distracted attention from some of its shortcomings. The warning label experience was one of several policy changes examined by Greenfield, Giesbrecht, and colleagues (e.g., Greenfield et al. 2004; Giesbrecht et al. 2004a) in a recent study of us federal developments in alcohol policy in the 1980s and 1990s. Several tax- and price-related measures were examined as well alcohol promotion and controls on promotion (or “counter” messages) and one initiative to dismantle a federal agency. The federal tax proposals included two initiatives that were successful and four that failed (Giesbrecht, Greenfield, Anglin, and Johnson 2004b). In 1984 the excise tax on spirits was increased, and in 1991 the excise tax on all alcoholic beverages was increased. In both instances these were revenue-generating initiatives that were hammered out in a late-night sitting of the Commerce Committee without representation of either the alcohol industry opposing the legislation or public health groups favouring it. Subsequent efforts to roll back the 1991 tax (a move supported by the alcohol industry) and a counter-proposal to increase the federal tax on beer and wine both failed. Furthermore, two bills introduced by Representative Joe Kennedy also failed. These aimed to close “tax loopholes” available to the beverage producers and to discontinue deductions available to producers to facilitate overseas promotion of their products. The alcohol industry had a significant role in the latter four initiatives, while the public, in a broad sense, was not particularly involved with them. This project also examined the policy process pertaining to warning label legislation, summarized above, a subsequent effort to counter-act alcohol advertising – Sensible Advertising and Family Education Act (safe) – and an initiative in 1996 by distillers to advertise their products on television (Giesbrecht et al. 2004a). The safe Act proposed that a warning message would appear on television advertisements for alcohol products and in connection with radio messages. This was strongly opposed by the alcohol industry, who argued that the risks of drinking were widely known and that they would discontinue all voluntary support for prevention programming

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if forced to offer these counter-messages. Advertising and broadcasting associations supported the industry position. Public health advocates were supportive of the initiative, citing the high levels of damage associated with alcohol use, the pervasiveness of alcohol advertising, the use of sexist and aggressive symbols in some, and the perceived marketing of alcohol to youth. Although this bill went to committee no legislation emerged. The alcohol producers and the broadcast industries offered a voluntary arrangement whereby prevention messages would be aired. The initiative by Seagram’s in June 1996 to break the voluntary ban on broadcast advertising of distilled spirits in the us generated considerable debate for a short time. President Clinton and chair of the Federal Communications Commission (fcc) expressed concern about this move. Public health groups were opposed but were not unanimous on whether to focus only the spirits advertising issue or advertising of all alcoholic products. There was also a lack of consensus among producer groups. For example, the us distillers association, after some delay, decided to support the initiative, while the beer and wine producers were not particularly vocal. Generally the alcohol producers favoured the Federal Trade Commission (ftc) as having jurisdiction on the issue rather than the fcc. Thus there was no consensus as to which agency had the predominant jurisdiction on the topic. The major networks, likely pressured from beer producers (who advertise extensively on television), decided not to run the advertisements. There were plans to have hearings on the issue, organized by the fcc, and the beer and wine producers stated that they would be at the table if such hearings took place. It appears that several factors contributed to lack of federal initiative on the issue: a lack of agreement on which federal body had jurisdiction; the relatively low volume of spirits advertising on broadcast media (outside the networks); a lack of consensus among public health and industry groups; and a desire by the industry groups – and likely also federal bodies – to avoid an outright confrontation, which would have resulted from the proposed hearings. While there has been substantial work on alcohol policy history in Canada (e.g., Warsh 1993; Campbell 1991, 2001; Heron 2003), studies of alcohol policy formation have mostly concerned Ontario. A study of the development of alcohol controls, consumption, and problems in Ontario between 1950 and 1980 (Single, Giesbrecht, and Eakins 1981) was carried out in the context of parallel studies in six other societies (Mäkelä et al. 1981). In general, the period was marked by a gradual relaxation of alcohol controls, except for one instance: the minimum drinking age was raised again from eighteen to nineteen on the basis of research showing an increase in teenage driving casualties (Schmidt and Kornaczewski 1975). The enactment of server intervention in Ontario in the late 1980s and early 1990s was studied by Single (1993). The legislation was driven by the

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outcomes of court cases in which servers were successfully sued for negligence as well as by the influence of research and researchers. This helped convince the alcohol service industry that it was in its economic self-interest to support server intervention. The industry had also publicly declared itself a guardian of responsible service practice when it opposed a proposal to sell beer and wine in grocery stores. It would thus “have been difficult for the hospitality industry to oppose the proposal that they be required to take a short course in responsible beverage service” (Single 1993, 107s). As in Oregon, the existence in Ontario of some server training programs facilitated the implementation of partial mandatory server training.

alcohol-related research and alcohol control policies A number of studies have focused on the interplay between research and the alcohol policy process. The different studies have found somewhat divergent answers to the question of the extent to which alcohol policy making is influenced by research results. Stockwell (1993) notes that researchers themselves and the research dissemination process contributed to the eventual adoption of standard drink labelling in Australia. He also credits individual politicians and a climate favourable to research for increasing the impact of his studies. However, he also notes that, at the time, the issue of standard drink labelling was very much in the air. This was due to an ongoing education campaign emphasizing the need for awareness of the amount of alcohol consumed. Thus the timing and context of Stockwell’s research may have been critical to its eventual impact. In another study, Wagenaar (1993) considered factors that led to the raising of the legal drinking age in the United States after it was initially lowered. Public opinion was critical to this change, supporting federal legislation at the federal level that successfully pushed all us states into raising the drinking age and also supporting the rejection of proposals to lower it again. Research featured prominently in the debates on drinking age and clearly influenced the outcomes of policy discussions. Research was also acknowledged as contributing to court rulings. Wagenaar considered that the high impact of research in this instance was related to the clarity and timeliness of the results. Research has traditionally featured prominently in Nordic debates about alcohol, and in Finland the main social science alcohol research group was supported by the state alcohol monopoly. Research showing relationships between per capita alcohol consumption and alcohol-related problems was especially appealing to temperance movements and was used to formulate and support restrictive policies (Warpenius and Sutton 2000).

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The close interplay between research and policy discussions, unique to the Nordic countries, is illustrated in Tigerstedt and Sutton’s (2000) analysis of the issue of Saturday stores. Each of Finland, Sweden, and Norway carried out well-designed experiments on the effects of closing stores on Saturdays in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The results from the experiments were closely discussed in the policy debate, but it is questionable that they were determinative. As Tigerstedt and Sutton (2000, 192) remark concerning the Norwegian study, “by no means did these results differ much from those obtained in the Finnish and Swedish studies. The [policy] conclusions, however, were different.” Baggott’s (1990) study lends support to the “enlightenment model” of the influence of research, which proposes that research and policy making are linked in complex ways and draws attention to the various networks through which theories, concepts, and research results enter into the policymaking process. In this model, research results and ideas influence the thinking of policy makers, but policy decisions are influenced by many other factors. Berridge and Thom (1994) also showed how research on Ledermann’s availability hypothesis was used selectively by those in the uk who were located within different political and administrative structures. However, they also reported that policy makers had accepted the need to reduce alcohol consumption, although the mechanisms to achieve this were still being debated. An overview by Room (1991) examined six lines of research in which a strong case could be made for impact on alcohol policy. He concluded that, in all cases, factors other than research had more influence over policy development. His findings did not support the case for a rationalistic process of policy making in which scientists “discover” new knowledge that is then acted upon by policy makers; rather, Room argued that, in all cases considered, the apparent linkages between research and social policy reflected more general social trends that influenced both research and policy. In assessing developments in New Zealand, Casswell, Stewart, and Duignan (1993) reported that policy makers either ignored, rejected, or misinterpreted research findings to support their ideological positions. The most vocal in the debate were lawyers, and there was little sympathy for the “availability” hypothesis promoted by public health advocates. These authors also note that researchers made little use of the media or of personal contacts to promote research findings or influence policy makers. Likewise, Saltz (1993) found no evidence that research influenced the enactment of mandatory server training in Oregon. Giesbrecht, Greenfield, Anglin, and Johnson (2004b) were also unable able to show that the research showing a strong inverse relationship between higher taxes on alcohol and rates of drinking–related damage, such as chronic health prob-

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lems and violence (Edwards et al. 1994), was central to the deliberations about alcohol taxes in the Unites States; rather, the main concerns were about jobs and the impact of higher taxes on the local economy.

observations and conclusions The alcohol policies considered in previous studies and reports differ in many important respects. They address different issues in different environments and in different ways. However, it is clear that policies concerning alcohol are made (or not made) in political contexts in which a variety of actors attempt to have influence. Some actors are powerful and well organized and others weak and fragmented. Some are adept at playing politics while others are mere amateurs. Some form alliances and make deals while others act alone or refuse to compromise their positions. Some find high-level support for their interests while others face opposition or even ridicule at the highest levels. Finally, the actors involved hold fundamentally different views on the nature of alcohol and alcohol-related problems and on the role of the government in regulating alcohol production, distribution, and consumption. Several groups of actors favour policies that regulate the promotion and sale of alcohol. These include traditional and neo-temperance groups, the medical profession, legal and law enforcement agencies, public health agencies, special interest groups that focus on issues such as drinking-driving or foetal alcohol syndrome, and “enlightened” government bureaucrats and politicians. Although alliances between these actors sometimes form, in general those in favour of alcohol control policies have not formed strong alliances that provide a united voice at the national, state, or provincial levels. Also, the alcohol treatment community and the community of recovering alcoholics have not generally been vocal in support of alcohol policies. This may, in part, be due to the competition for resources between the prevention and treatment sectors. Some treatment providers and recovered alcoholics also doubt the effectiveness of prevention because they believe that the main causes of alcohol problems are found in individuals and not in the environment. In general, those opposed to policies that regulate the promotion and sale of alcohol include the alcohol industry and others benefiting directly or indirectly from the sale of alcohol. This includes branches of government that regulate the major instruments for controlling access to alcohol (i.e., taxation and licensing). The power and influence of the alcohol industry present significant barriers to the development of alcohol control policies (Mosher and Jernigan 1989; 2001). Those who favour alcohol control policies will need to develop strategies to counter the tactics by which these barriers are maintained. Prominent strategies should include the development

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and reinforcement of coalitions and increased efforts to raise public awareness of alcohol-related concerns. In some cases research seems to have directly and significantly influenced the outcomes of specific policy initiatives; in particular, standard drink labelling in Australia (Stockwell 1993) and raising the legal drinking age in the United States (Wagenaar 1993), and, to a lesser extent, the development of server intervention in Ontario (Single 1993). However, there are also cases where there was little or no directly relevant research (Kaskutas 1995; Casswell, Stewart, and Duignan 1993) or the absence of any obvious considerations of research (Saltz 1993). In other studies (Baggott 1990; Koski and Österberg 1993; Casswell, Stewart, and Duignan 1993; Hawks 1993), research was at least considered by policy makers, although not always understood or accepted. The Casswell, Stewart, and Duignan study (1993) supports what Berridge and Thom (1994) describe as a “cynical” view of the relationship between research and policy, in that policy makers seemed to use research selectively to support their own positions (which are taken for ideological or other reasons). However, other studies or reports (Baggott 1990; Koski and Österberg 1993; Hawks 1993) lend some support to the “enlightenment model” of the influence of research. In two instances where research was suggested as having the greatest impact (Stockwell 1993; Wagenaar 1993), special efforts were made to bring it to the attention of policy makers. In one case (Stockwell 1993) researchers were directly involved in lobbying policy makers, and in the other case a “bridging” function was also prominent. Other studies (Single 1993; Hawks 1993; Sulkunen, Sutton, Tigerstedt, and Warpenius 2000) suggest that researchers can influence policy by becoming involved in the policy development process, or they suggest the importance of establishing linkages between the research and the policy communities (Berridge and Thom 1994; Casswell, Stewart, and Duignan 1993). This is consistent with Smart (1993), who proposed that researchers and policy makers have different cultures and that these need to be bridged in order for research to have an optimal influence on policy making. Smart suggests that, in order to enhance the influence of research, we must make greater efforts to make research results available to policy makers through the media and “research brokers.” The editors of the special supplement, which included many of the above case studies (Hawks, Stockwel, and Casswell 1993), make similar points. Public and media opinion seems to vary between countries, but the available case studies do not provide sufficient information to make detailed comparisons. In general, it seems that the public expects government to take some action to address issues such as drinking-driving and drinking among youth. However, policies that restrict access to alcohol are not so widely supported by the public as those that control advertising, enhance

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server intervention, offer warning labels, or increase “counter-advertising” (e.g., Giesbrecht and Greenfield 1999). The “common ground” among those who are for or against alcohol control policies has been with respect to drinking-driving, education, treatment, and some interventions that target adolescents. However, there is less convergence with regard to taxes, controls on advertising or sponsorship, many forms of counter-advertising, density of outlets, hours of sale, and so on. Overall, research suggests that policies controlling access to alcohol are more effective in reducing harm than is public education alone (Edwards et al. 1994; Babor et al. 2003). However, education is widely favoured by policy makers, and the alcohol industry is often willing to co-sponsor or partly pay for educational types of interventions (Giesbrecht 2000). Consequently, more effective measures are given less or disdainful consideration, while information-based strategies tend to be embraced almost uncritically. These studies suggest that alcohol policies are tied to many other issues in the domain of more general government departments and agencies. This means that alcohol issues are often ignored when general policies for the department’s jurisdiction are developed (e.g., taxation, trade, licensing, or advertising). Generally, the outcome has been negative from the perspective of those favouring alcohol control policies. However, sometimes alcohol taxes are raised to increase government revenues, which has the side effect of benefiting health. It is clear that when research findings enter the policy arena they must contend with a host of potentially conflicting beliefs and values. This arena involves diverse interest groups who use or ignore research findings to promote their own ideas. It is only, perhaps, when the timing is right and the research results consistent with the prevailing mood that research has a direct impact on policy decisions. However, this may be the case only be for relatively “small” or easy-to-implement policies that only affect some consumers – such as warning labels on beverage containers, server training, or changes in the legal drinking age. The studies reviewed do not show that research influences “big” policies, such as taxation and licensing of alcohol outlets, which have the potential for a broader impact on alcohol sales and rates of drinking among the majority of consumers. Bruun (1973) made a similar observation.

references Babor, T., R. Caetano, S. Casswell, G. Edwards, N. Giesbrecht, K. Graham, J. Grube, P. Gruenewald, L. Hill, H. Holder, R. Romel, E. Österberg, J. Rehm, R. Room, and I. Rossow. 2003. Alcohol, No Ordinary Commodity: Research and Public Policy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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Baggott, R. 1990. Alcohol, Politics and Social Policy. Aldershot, uk: Avebury. Beauchamp, D.E. 1981. “The Paradox of Alcohol Policy: The Case of the 1969 Alcohol Act in Finland.” In Alcohol and Public Policy: Beyond the Shadow of Prohibition, ed. M.H. Moore and D.R. Gerstein, 225–54. Washington, dc: National Academy Press. Berridge, V., and B. Thom. 1994. “The Relationship between Research and Policy: Case Studies from the Postwar History of Drugs and Alcohol.” Contemporary Drug Problems 21 (4): 599–629. Bruun, K. 1973. “Social Research and Social Policy in Action.” In The Epidemiology Of Drug Dependence: Report on a Conference, ed. D. Hawks, 115–19. Copenhagen: World Health Organization, European Office. Campbell, R.A. 1991. Demon Rum or Easy Money: Government Control of Liquor in British Columbia from Prohibition to Privatization. Don Mills, on: Carleton University Press. – 2001. Sit Down and Drink Your Beer: Regulating Vancouver’s Beer Parlours, 1925–1954. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Casswell, S., L. Stewart, and P. Duignan. 1993. “The Negotiation of New Zealand Alcohol Policy in a Decade of Stabilized Consumption and Political Change: The Role of Research.” Addiction 88 (Suppl.): 9S–17S. Edwards, G., P. Anderson, T.F. Babor, S. Casswell, R. Ferrence, N. Giesbrecht, C. Godfrey, H. Holder, P. Lemmens, K. Mäkelä, L.T. Midanik, T. Norström, E. Österberg, A. Romelsjö, R. Room, J. Simpura, and O.-J. Skog. 1994. Alcohol Policy and the Public Good. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Giesbrecht, N. 2000. “Roles of Commercial Interests in Alcohol Policies: Recent Developments in North America.” Addiction 95 (Suppl. 4): S581–95. Giesbrecht, N., and T.K. Greenfield. 1999. “Public Opinion on Alcohol Policy Issues: A Comparison of American and Canadian Surveys.” Addiction 94 (4): 521–31. Giesbrecht, N., S. Johnson, L. Anglin, T.K. Greenfield, and L. Kavanagh. 2004a. “Alcohol Advertising Policies in the United States: National Promotion and Control Initiatives.” Contemporary Drug Problems 31 (winter): 673–-710. Giesbrecht, N., T.K. Greenfield, L. Anglin, and S. Johnson. 2004b. “Changing the Price of Alcohol in the United States: Perspectives from the Alcohol Industry, Public Health and Research.” Contemporary Drug Problems 31 (winter): 711–36. Gordis, E. 1991. “From Science to Social Policy: An Uncertain Road.” Journal of Studies on Alcohol 51: 101–9. Greenfield, T.K., N. Giesbrecht, L.A. Kaskutas, S. Johnson, L. Kavanagh, and L. Anglin. 2004. “A Study of the Alcohol Policy Development Process in the United States: Theory, Goals, and Methods.” Contemporary Drug Problems 31 (winter): 591–626. Hawks, D. 1993. “The Formulation of Australia’s National Health Policy on Alcohol.” Addiction 88 (Suppl.): 19S–26S.

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Hawks, D., T. Stockwell, and S. Casswell. 1993. “Helping Research and Policy Meet.” Addiction 88 (Suppl.): 5S–7S. Heron, C. 2003. Booze: A Distilled History. Toronto: Between the Lines. Holder, H.D., E. Kühlhorn, S. Norlund, E. Õsterberg, A. Romelsjö, and T. Ugland. 1998. European Integration and Nordic Alcohol Policies: Changes in Alcohol Controls and Consequences in Finland, Norway and Sweden, 1980–1997. Aldershot, uk: Ashgate. Johansson, L. 2000. “Sources of the Nordic Solutions.” In Broken Spirits: Power and Ideas in Nordic Alcohol Control, ed. P. Sulkunen, C. Sutton, C. Tigerstedt, and K. Warpenius, 17–43. Helsinki: Nordic Council on Alcohol and Drug Research. Kaskutas, L.A. 1995. “Interpretations of Risk: The Use of Scientific Information in the Development of the Alcohol Warning Label Policy.” International Journal of the Addictions 30 (12): 1519–48. Koski, H., and E. Õsterberg. 1993. “From Large Projects to Case Consultation: Interaction of Alcohol Research and Policy in Finland.” Addiction 88 (Suppl.): 143S–50S. Mäkelä, K., R. Room, E. Single, P. Sulkunen, B. Walsh, with R. Bunce, M. Cahannes, T. Cameron, N. Giesbrecht, J. de Lint, H. Makinen, P. Morgan, J. Mosher, J. Moskalewicz, R. Müller, E. Österberg, I. Wald and D. Walsh. 1981. Alcohol, Society, and the State. Vol. 1: A Comparative Study of Alcohol Control. Toronto: Addiction Research Foundation. Morgan, P. 1988. “Power, Politics and Public Health: The Political Power of the Alcoholic Beverage Industry.” Journal of Public Health Policy 9 (9): 177–97. Mosher, J.F., and D.H. Jernigan. 1989. “New Directions in Alcohol Policy.” Annual Review of Public Health 10: 245–79. – 2001. “Making the Link: A Public Health Approach to Preventing Alcohol-Related Violence and Crime.” Journal of Substance Use 6 (4): 273–89. Room, R. 1984. “A ‘Reverence for Strong Drink’: The Lost Generation and the Elevation of Alcohol in American Culture.” Journal of Studies on Alcohol 45: 540–6. – 1991. “Social Science Research and Alcohol Policy Making.” In Alcohol: The Development of Sociological Perspectives on the Use and Abuse, ed. Paul Roman, 311–35. New Brunswick, nj: Rutgers Centre for Alcohol Studies. – 1999. “The Idea of Alcohol Policy.” Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs (English Suppl.) 16: 7–20. Saltz, R.F. 1993. “The Introduction of Dram Shop Legislation in the United States and the Advent of Server Training.” Addiction 88 (Suppl.): 95S–103S. Saunders, B. 1993. “Guarding the Guardians: Influencing the Regulation of Alcohol Promotions in Australia.” Addiction 88 (Suppl.): 43S–51S. Schmidt, W., and A. Kornaczewski. 1975. “The Effect of Lowering the Legal Drinking Age in Ontario on Alcohol-Related Motor Vehicle Accidents.” Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety. Toronto: Addiction Research Foundation.

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Single, E. 1993. “The Interaction between Policy and Research in the Implementation of Server Training.” Addiction 88 (Suppl.): 105S–113S. Single, E., N. Giesbrecht, and B. Eakins. 1981. “The Alcohol Policy Debate in Ontario in the Post-War Era.” In Alcohol, Society and the State. Vol. 2: The Social History of Control Policy in Seven Countries, ed. E. Single, P. Morgan, and J. de lint, 127–58. Toronto: Addiction Research Foundation. Smart, R.G. 1993. “Alcohol Prevention.” In Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco: Making Science and Policy Connections, ed. Griffith Edwards, James Strang, and Jerome H. Jaffe, 93–9. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Stockwell, T. 1993. “Influencing the Labeling of Alcoholic Beverage Containers: Informing the Public.” Addiction 88 (Suppl): 53S–60S. Sulkunen, P., C. Sutton, C. Tigerstedt, and K. Warpenius, eds. 2000. Broken Spirits: Power and Ideas in Nordic Alcohol Control. Helsinki: Nordic Council on Alcohol and Drug Research. Thom, B. 1999. Dealing with Drink: Alcohol and Social Policy. London: Free Association Books. Tigerstedt, C., and C. Sutton. 2000. “Exclusion and Inclusion: Saturday Closing and Self-Service Stores.” In Broken Spirits: Power and Ideas in Nordic Alcohol Control, ed. P. Sulkunen, C. Sutton, C. Tigerstedt, and K. Warpenius, 185–98. Helsinki: Nordic Council on Alcohol and Drug Research, nad Publication 39. Wagenaar, A.C. 1993. “Research Affects Public Policy: The Case of the Legal Drinking Age in the United States.” Addiction 88 (Suppl.): 75S–82S. Warpenius, K., and C. Sutton 2000. “The Ideal of the Alcohol-Free Society.” In Broken Spirits: Power and Ideas in Nordic Alcohol Control, ed. P. Sulkunen, C. Sutton, C. Tigerstedt, and K. Warpenius, 45–66. Helsinki: Nordic Council on Alcohol and Drug Research. Warsh, C.K. ed. 1993. Drink in Canada: Historical Essays. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press.

4 Framework for Analysis: Policy Change, Networks, and Research EVERT LINDQUIST

As illustrated in the previous chapter, assessing the impact and role of research in a broad domain such as alcohol policy is a complex enterprise. Not only do such assessments require systematic empirical case studies and data collection but they must also be guided by a robust, yet nuanced, conceptual framework that informs the research design and the interpretation of empirical findings. Such a conceptual framework requires a wide-ranging review of several literatures, strands of which sometimes intersect. We will describe concepts such as policy communities, policy networks, and so on in order to provide a context for this study of alcohol policy developments in Canada.

policy communities, policy networks and epistemic communities In the 1970s and early 1980 political scientists became interested in the analysis of the activities of organized interests in the policy process. In a Canadian context Pross (1986) introduced the concept of policy communities to refer to all of the actors that have an interest in a broad policy area (such as health or transportation). He distinguished between actors located in the “subgovernment” and the “attentive public.” The subgovernment was comprised of the government departments that develop and implement public policy and those interest groups exerting strong influence on them; Baumgartner and Jones (1993) have referred to them as “policy monopolies.” The attentive public was comprised of all other actors (e.g., small interest groups, less influential governments, academics, and journalists) with an interest in monitoring and criticizing prevailing policy and outcomes.

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The related concept of policy networks was introduced to put more emphasis on the relationships and influences among the actors in a policy community dealing with specific issues. Research on policy networks in Canada identified several possible configurations (Atkinson and Coleman 1989; Coleman and Skogstad 1990). This work sought to account for variations in the relative capacities and autonomy of actors inside and outside government. Lindquist (1992) summarized these possibilities by arraying them in a simple chart according to whether state and non-state actors were dominant or an equal match for each other in developing, designing, and implementing policy. It was noted that informal networks of leaders and researchers often exercise subtle but critically important influences in policy networks (Kingdon 1984; Sabatier 1988). Such influence can affect pivotal hiring decisions in bureaus and organizations outside government as well as invitations for forums, advisory panels, and contracted research. Personal and professional networks extend in other directions, and sometimes the most important involve colleagues who share similar values, or who work in similar positions, in different jurisdictions. These are referred to as “epistemic communities” (Hass 1992). Indeed, access to international institutions and forums can be a useful and potent way to circumvent either the chain of command of public bureaucracies or the conservatism of policy networks; pronouncements from respected international authorities can prod governments to action. Epistemic communities may also share information about strategies and tactics for advancing the claims and programs of an advocacy coalition. In this context, it is relevant how Canadian researchers on alcohol policy worked with their counterparts inside and outside the country to develop and disseminate research and to develop policy alternatives.

the dynamics of policy making There are three different perspectives on how change happens in policy networks. The first looks at how external forces can affect policy networks; the second considers the extent to which forces within policy networks might lead to incremental or more fundamental change; and the third perspective emphasizes the process of agenda setting and the randomness of change (which is important for considering why some decisions get made and why others do not). External Influences on Policy Regimes The general consensus appears to be that, unless external pressures force dominant interests to change policy, the status quo will prevail. It is pre-

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sumed that the dominant coalition or the subgovernment has little incentive to adjust policy arrangements that remain favourable to their interests. However, Sabatier (1988) has argued that different types of external pressures may provide an important impetus for change in the policy networks described below. In the case studies to be examined in Sober Reflections there are several examples of external influence providing the impetus for change. Thus the interests of European and American alcohol producers, expressed through trade disputes, forced significant changes in Canadian alcohol control structures. Changes in Government. New governments have effects that extend beyond a particular policy network. In exercising the prerogatives of power, new governments bring in new political leaders (ministerial and agency head appointments) and often, at the most senior levels, public-sector bureaucracts. New governments bring a different ideological cast towards a broad range of issues and attach different degrees of importance to specific issues; this may lead to openness to change and willingness to entertain different ideas. In the chapters on the privatization issue in Alberta, Quebec, and Ontario, it can be seen that the advent of a new provincial government invariably dictated a change in gears in the policy processes. New governments may turn to different sources of policy advice and, thus, increase the influence of particular bureaus inside government as well as certain groups and researchers outside government. Finally, new governments may influence the trajectory of intergovernmental negotiations. Changes in the economy and technology. We take for granted that a more globalized economy and the proliferation of new information technologies are profoundly affecting different sectors and regions of the domestic economy. Some of these changes are partly due to decisions of governments to introduce freer trade regimes and to regulate sectors in different ways. As we shall see, the negotiations over the Canadian–American Free Trade Agreement, and then the North American Free Trade Agreement, affected the interests and fate of Canadian wine and beer producers (Chapter 6). When governments adopt expansionary or tight fiscal policies, they also constrain the extent to which resources can be allocated to specific policy domains. Thus the decision of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to withdraw from controlling alcohol advertising (Chapter 16) was greatly influenced by reductions in the Canadian federal budget. If there are dramatic shifts in the international and domestic economy, there could well be significant implications for a particular policy network; this may alter the capacities and relative power among key interests and, thus, lead to policy change.

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Policy spillovers. Recent reforms and experiences of other jurisdictions with the same policy challenges can also serve as models either to emulate or to avoid. As is discussed later in Sober Reflections, the Alberta experience with privatization became one such model, hailed by some and denounced by others, in the Canadian alcohol policy discussions in the late 1990s. External pressures for change in policy networks can also arise from developments in cognate policy networks. Kingdon (1995) suggested that change in one policy network (i.e., tobacco or other regulated drugs) can provide examples for change in others. Also, the effect of change in one network could be sufficiently significant that it would have economic, social, or technological implications for related policy networks. External influences may occur in combination with other forces. Indeed, the more dramatic external change – whether due to politics, economics or spillover – the more likely it is that its influence will be experienced across different case studies and policy networks. Hoberg and Morawski (1997) have demonstrated that policy networks can “converge” or collide as issues start to overlap or merge. Thus previously unrelated networks could be in conflict and lead to uncharted and perhaps uneasy relationships among the principal actors. Changing Policy Networks from Within Although external forces are the most likely cause of policy change within networks, they are not the only source of change. Ongoing conflict, learning, and policy change occurs within policy networks without external perturbation (Sabatier 1988). Actors comprising advocacy coalitions have competitive urges to continuously search for new evidence, new arguments, and new strategies and tactics that can translate their beliefs and proposed programs of action into government policy (Sabatier 1988). Such manoeuvring will typically be countered by anticipatory responses from competing coalitions seeking to ensure that such activity will not sway other actors away from core beliefs and broad programs for change. However, there may be movement on “secondary” issues, where perhaps there isn’t strong agreement among coalition members about the need to continue with the status quo, or there may be new evidence or experience that will lead to the softening of previously hard positions. When such change occurs, it suggests that a degree of policy learning has occurred. In this connection, we should consider recent findings, which show that significant change can occur from within policy networks (Coleman, Skogstad, and Atkinson 1997; Lertzman, Rayner, and Wilson 1996). Thus policy networks can make significant adjustments in policy regimes in an anticipatory manner, without waiting for the onslaught of external forces.

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Our case study of Canadian distillers seeking to advertise spirits provides a good example of this (see Chapter 16).

agenda setting and fundamental change Kingdon (1995) models the agenda-setting process, which is distinctive from, though related to, policy making. In addition to acknowledging internal and external sources of influence on policy networks, Kingdon argues that there is always an element of chance in the policy-making process and that a complete model should explain not only why some alternatives do not move higher onto the agendas of governments and the public but also why, even when they do, they might not get adopted as policy. Kingdon identifies three streams of activity that attempt to move alternatives higher on the agenda: the problem, the policy, and the political streams. The problem stream of activity embraces the work of citizens, groups, think tanks, academics, and journalists who seek to have issues recognized as genuine and important social problems. Problems are ever-present, but some may already be monitored, so that significant changes in the number or rates associated with them may be sufficient to spark concern in the media. Critical incidents – such as a death, crash, scandal, or a failure to secure a major opportunity – may trigger interest in a problem. Thus the court decisions in the Daviault case (Chapter 18) were the primary catalyst for policy making regarding intoxication as a criminal defence in Canada. Finally, problems that previously garnered considerable attention may be resolved or may lose the interest of the public and the media. When this happens, energy may be directed to other problems that, though not having worsened, can nevertheless be easily moved up the agenda. The policy stream of activity concerns ideas about what constitutes a significant problem and what might be the best solution to that problem. These ideas are always in a state of flux. Kingdon suggests that the leading experts on a policy inside and outside government regularly debate the latest developments and possibilities, and that there is a rolling – though always evolving – sense of what stands as the best advice at a given time. Thus, when governments take power or external events demand new strategies, it is these general conclusions that will be proffered, even if one cannot say that the experts are unanimous. For example, the privatization discussions in each province studied (Chapters 10, 11, and 12) draw on an evolving set of understandings about the issues among interested parties. Because we have regular elections, the political stream always reflects a shifting balance of power. Moreover, the stock of governments and political leaders changes, as does the public interest in certain issues. Political leaders constantly seek new issues and causes to champion, each of which may make better sense at different stages in any given government’s life. When a

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premier puts her/his shoulder behind a problem and its alternative, this can quickly move a particular issue up the larger policy agenda. The fortunes of the various privatization proposals, for instance, were critically dependent on the stage in the life of a government at which they were put forward (Chapters 10, 11, and 12). Kingdon argues that, while these streams are always in motion, it is rare that they single-handedly move an issue to top of the policy agenda and result in a policy decision. There must be a confluence of at least two of the streams in order for this to happen; there needs to be sufficient political interest and energy available to translate an alternative into a decision and to match a suitable alternative to a problem. Kingdon ascribes considerable importance to the opening, however briefly, of “policy windows” – such as budgets, government crises, international agreements, or priority-setting exercises – which can provide the occasions for a new alternative to be seriously considered and for decisions to be taken quickly. Such policy windows are an important part of the story in the cases considered in this book (e.g., Alberta privatization [Chapter 11] and the “beer war” trade dispute [Chapter 6]) in which substantial change did occur. Important “decisions” may occur in very different decision sites or arenas. The possibilities include the office of first ministers, cabinets, central agencies, regulatory agencies, courts, international tribunals, and intergovernmental conferences. Each site amplifies or dampens power differentials, allows for different types of representation from interests groups, and relies on varying degrees of research and evidence. Our case studies demonstrate that the ability to inject research findings into public health issues varied considerably depending on the sites where the ultimate debates and decisions were taken. In short, timing, chance, and location are critical factors in this formulation; problems may objectively worsen, but, without saleable solutions or leaders and a public willing to embrace the cause, they are unlikely to receive more than passing attention. This is not inconsistent with the notion that external influences can have significant impacts on the trajectory of policy networks. On the other hand, it could be equally possible that, due to the larger swirling of events, ideas generated from within a particular policy network may receive greater exposure if they seem to address an emerging problem or fit the needs of a government at a certain time. Typically, significant change occurs infrequently, so that at any given moment one often observes stability in policy regimes reinforced by subgovernments or policy monopolies and negative feedback loops that reinforce existing policies no matter how the challenges in policy sectors have evolved (Baumgartner and Jones 1993). However, there are circumstances in which positive feedback loops are at play, and this can lead not only to decisions but also to significant turning points in policy domains. These are

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defining moments in which fundamental decisions are made and the policy governing a network is put on another course (Etzioni 1967).

reshaping policy networks We have already acknowledged that policy networks and communities can be affected by external events, and the approaches we have reviewed presume that external forces are the primary means for securing nonincremental change in policy. However, actors within policy communities also struggle to shape the interactions and structure of different policy networks. There has been increasing interest in how key actors seek to reshape the structure of policy networks and to influence the field on which actors compete (Lindquist 1996; Kickert et al. 1997). A variety of instruments can be employed by policy makers to this end, including: provision/withdrawal of resources or information to organizations, coalitions, or networks; provision/withdrawal of access to policy development, consultation processes, or advisory roles to certain organizations; provision or withdrawal of formal charters or status to certain organizations; appointments of ministers or senior officials to certain organizations; and creation of mediating organizations or professional forums to enhance learning within/across advocacy coalitions. Over time these instruments can greatly alter the effectiveness of some organizations and, perhaps, alter the relative power within and across advocacy coalitions. One might presume that these strategic instruments will only be wielded by ministers or the dominant coalition of a policy network. However, in some policy networks, key non-state actors may exercise considerable influence over government decisions and, thus, may be seeking to continuously influence the balance of power and flow of resources in the network to their own advantage. On the other hand, leaders or actors who are not members of a dominant coalition may nevertheless succeed in increasing the capacity of some organizations or even securing improved access to those who make decisions. Finally, “policy entrepreneurs” play an important role in furthering not only policy change but also structural change. Policy entrepreneurs are usually advocates inside or outside the government who are committed to certain causes or solutions and who are adept at reading the environment. They may be highly placed in one of the key organizations, which may or may not be part of the dominant coalition. However, they sense when policy windows will likely open or, at the very least, are well prepared to react quickly when they do open. Through good positioning, such individuals can take advantage of a confluence of events to secure significant change in policy networks. Accordingly, we seek to identify

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which individuals were pivotal in bringing about policy change in each case study.

research and policy making The question of how social science research relates to the policy-making process is not a new one. There has long been an interest in the challenges of conducting policy-relevant research, insinuating that work into governing processes, and discerning how influence obtains in indirect and subtle ways. Social science research was originally undertaken, in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, in order to influence public policy, to expose a variety of social and health problems, and to stimulate public debate. Even as the social sciences grew and gained credibility, many policy makers remained suspicious of social science research, which had long been associated with reformist initiatives. Many social scientists were committed, in both academic and non-academic activities, to making a difference in the world of action. Indeed, the social sciences were widely seen as having proved their value by assisting policy makers in grappling with a startling range of policy, administrative, and operational challenges associated with the Second World War as well as with managing its aftermath in Europe and North America. This, in many ways, set the stage for moving forward with the war-on-poverty programs in the United States during the late 1960s as well as with adopting program, planning, and budgeting systems. If not driven by the claims of social science research, these initiatives were at least justified with its rhetoric and prestige (Aaron 1978). However, the perceived failure of government programs and social science advice led to questioning and soul-searching about the efficacy and relevance of the claims of the latter. These historical developments profoundly influenced how many observers conceived of the relationship between social science research and policy making. It also led to the emergence of a literature on “knowledge utilization,” which was devoted to why social science research was not used, and proceeded on the presumption that such work ought to have direct value for policy makers (Caplan 1979; Lynn 1978; Weiss 1977). Its initial focus was on depicting, exploring, and explaining the distance between two communities: the knowledge-producing (social scientists) and knowledge-consuming (policy makers) communities, each having different, though not necessarily unrelated, overarching values and cultures. Weiss (1977) sought to uncover the alternative modes of influence of social science research. She argued that research was often not necessarily directly relevant to decisions but that it could influence policy in other important ways – namely, by altering the language and perceptions of policy makers and their advisors. Such change might occur less decisively than

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other forms of change but would exert influence in a powerful manner over a longer period of time. Weiss referred to this perspective as the “enlightenment” model of research, which achieved influence indirectly over time through the circulation and “percolation” of ideas and concepts as opposed to timely, hard facts. The two-community perspective was challenged or supplemented in other ways. There emerged greater awareness of the many intermediary institutions with regard to the so-called knowledge producers and knowledge consumers, and their boundaries came to be perceived as increasingly permeable. Heclo (1978) argued that the careers of many policy analysts were increasingly decoupled from specific institutions, that even though they were the acknowledged experts on certain policy issues, they moved with great frequency from one institutional base to another, inside and outside government. Lindquist (1990) identified a “third community” of organizations inside and outside government that was neither comprised of policy makers nor fully committed to social science research per se but, rather, that shared a commitment to producing policy-relevant data, research, or analysis. This was the case even though these organizations might be located in the government or private sector, work for different audiences, and have varying degrees of willingness to place inquiry in the public domain. Indeed, it was these organizations that provided the many “sites” where Heclo’s analysts could work both in succession and (sometimes) simultaneously. A very important contribution was Sabatier’s advocacy coalition framework, which sought to model how “policy-oriented learning” occurred in highly political environments. Like Weiss, Sabatier acknowledged that, as social science findings moved into the policy-making process, it was shaped by, and had to contend with, competing beliefs and values. He further argued that observers should identify the competing advocacy coalitions in each policy domain and determine whether policy research and analysis was associated with those coalitions or independent from them. Indeed, he argued that research and related institutions could serve as moderating forces when it came to policy conflict The Role of Research and Research Institutions One of the specific aims of Sober Reflections is to shed light on the relationship between the research on alcohol policy and its relevance to policy making. It also addresses the importance of research relative to other influences and factors. The knowledge utilization literature, as well as the many actors that comprise policy communities and policy networks, should serve to quickly lower expectations about the role and impact of research in policy debates and political processes. There are many actors, often very well resourced and positioned organizations, seeking to influence policy makers, and this

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does not include the advocates of many other worthy issues competing for the attention of governments, citizens, and the media. Moreover, policy research is conducted and disseminated in a conflictual, value-laden environment, and, increasingly, experts seem to be treated as no better than another set of opinionated actors. Does this mean that research is ineffective, that it has little or no influence? Several of the authors noted above see important, though not decisive, roles for research. Weiss sees the findings and concepts flowing from research as potentially influencing the lenses through which policy makers and others discern and evaluate problems, alternatives, and policies. Sabatier (1998) suggests that researchers may assist advocacy coalitions in their ongoing efforts to best their opponents and to persuade policy makers to adopt their proposed programs, but he also argues that researchers and well designed forums can serve to moderate and temper shrill debate and foster the process of policy-oriented learning. However, conversely, Lindquist (1992) has argued that experts can also serve to exacerbate conflict, particularly if proper forums are not available for the exchange and scrutiny of views and findings. Finally, Kingdon (1984) ascribes considerable influence to the conventional wisdom among experts at certain moments in time, which may influence alternatives considered and decisions taken. He also sees an important role for policy entrepreneurs, who may also be researchers. It is clear, then, that there are many possible roles for researchers and research institutions in policy networks, many positions from which to attempt to influence events, and different time horizons for evaluating the extent of influence. It is important to identify the key researchers and institutions with a critical mass of talent and resources, and to track the movement of talented individuals over time as well as the changing levels of resources for research. More generally, we should acknowledge that there will be very different kinds of researchers (e.g., generalists, specialists, and interpreters of research and analysis). It will be necessary to determine not only their respective roles, and how they relate to each other, but also how they relate to other actors in the policy networks. A final factor to include as part of the framework concerns the extent of turbulence in a policy network and the disposition to use research. Lindquist (1988; 1990) argues that it is useful to make a distinction between the production of data, analysis, and research. These terms are often used interchangeably but in fact refer to distinct, though often related, forms of policy inquiry. These distinctions take on greater importance if one sees that organizations (or networks, for that matter) are often operating in different decision modes (i.e., routine, incremental, or fundamental) with varying degrees of receptivity for different types of information. This is because they challenge, to greater or lesser degrees, the underpinnings of

framework for analysis

69

the policy regime in place. Suffice it to say that the demand for, and receptivity to, research that challenges the premises of the prevailing policy regime will be at its greatest in anticipation of fundamental policy decisions or following sharp regime shifts. Otherwise, there will be greater interest in useful data and in analysis that deals with incremental issues as they arise. In this case, the findings from ongoing research must achieve influence through enlightenment and percolation.

conclusion This literature review has provided a basis for a framework through which to assess the evolution of alcohol policies in Canada. This framework draws on many concepts from political science (e.g., policy communities, policy networks, policy spillover, and policy entrepreneurs) and suggests that subgovernments (or policy monopolies within networks) have incentives to keep policy regimes in place unless (1) there are significant shifts in the external environment, (2) there are demonstration effects from other jurisdictions or policy sectors, and/ or (3) policy entrepreneurs identify opportunities for change. Policy entrepreneurs inside and outside government seek to move alternatives higher on the agenda, and, if this occurs, then the decision-making “site” can shape which actors are at the table as well as the range of information available to policy makers. This framework acknowledge that research findings are only one influence on the policy-making process, that values and knowledge are always contested, and that the members of competing advocacy coalitions continuously struggle to improve their arguments and to further positions consistent with their values. This conceptual framework informs the interpretation of the specific alcohol policy developments in Canada upon which we focus in the following case study chapters.

references Aaron, H.J. 1978. Politics and the Professors: The Great Society in Perspective. Washington, dc: Brookings Institution Press. Atkinson, M.M., and W.D. Coleman 1989. The State, Business and Industrial Change in Canada, 122–141. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Baumgartner, F.R., and B.D. Jones. 1993. Agendas and Instability in American Politics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Caplan, N. 1979. “The Two-Communities Theory and Knowledge Utilization.” American Behavioral Scientist 22 (3): 459–70. Coleman, W.D., and G. Skogstad, eds. 1990. Policy Communities and Public Policy in Canada: A Structuralist Approach. Toronto: Copp Clark Pitman.

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Coleman, W.D., G.D. Skogstad, and M.M. Atkinson. 1997. “Paradigm Shifts and Policy Networks: Cumulative Change in Agriculture.” Journal of Public Policy 16 (3): 273–301. Etzioni, A. 1967. “Mixed Scanning.” Public Administration Review 27: 385–92. Hass, P. 1992. “Introduction: Epistemic Communities and International Policy Coordination.” International Organization 46: 1–35. Heclo, H. 1978. “Issue Networks and the Executive Establishment.” In The New American Political System, ed., A. King, 87–124. Washington, dc: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. Hoberg, G., and E. Morawski. 1997. “Policy Change through Sector Intersection: Forest and Aboriginal Policy in Clayoquot Sound.” Canadian Public Administration 40 (3): 387–414. Kingdon, J.W. 1995. Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies. 2nd ed. New York: Harper, Collins. Kickert, W., E.H. Klijn, and J.F.M. Koppenjan, eds. 1997. Managing Complex Networks. London: Sage. Lertzman, K., J. Rayner, and J. Wilson. 1996. “Learning and Change in the British Columbia Forest Policy Sector: A Consideration of Sabatier’s Advocacy Coalition Framework.” Canadian Journal of Political Science 29: 111–33. Lindquist. E.A. 1988. “What Do Decision Models Tell Us about Information Use?” International Journal of Knowledge Transfer 1: 86–111. – 1990. “The Third Community, Policy Inquiry, and Social Scientists.” In Social Scientists, Policy, and the State, ed. S. Brooks and A.-G. Gagnon, 21–51. New York: Praeger. – 1992. “Public Managers and Policy Communities: Learning to Meet New Challenges.” Canadian Public Administration 35 (2): 127–59. – 1996. “New Agendas for Research on Policy Communities: Policy Analysis, Administration, and Governance.” In Policy Studies in Canada: The State of the Art, ed. L. Dobzinskis, M. Howlett, and D. Laycock, 219–41. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Lynn, L.E. 1978. Knowledge and Policy: The Uncertain Connection. Washington, dc: National Academy of Sciences. Pross, A.P. 1986. Group Politics and Public Policy. Toronto: Oxford University Press. Sabatier, P. 1988. “An Advocacy Coalition Framework of Policy Change and the Role of Policy-Oriented Learning Therein.” Policy Sciences 21: 128–68. Weiss, C.H. 1977. “Research for Policy’s Sake: The Enlightenment Function of Social Research.” Policy Analysis 3 (4): 531–45.

5 Introduction to Issues on Regulation of Alcohol across Borders

The following three chapters examine issues pertaining to the cross-border movement of alcohol and its regulation. Chapter 6 focuses on international trade agreements, Chapter 7 looks at alcohol smuggling policies (i.e., illicit trade), and Chapter 8 summarizes our findings. With regard to international trade, alcohol is often treated as a commodity like any other and is subject to general rules under trade agreements concerning the free movement of goods. However, as discussed in Chapter 2, because of potential harmful consequences for the individual, the community, and society, in Canada, as elsewhere, alcohol has often been treated as a special commodity, much more highly regulated than other goods. Trade agreements and disputes can undermine this special status, forcing governments to relax alcohol control policies through decreasing alcohol taxation and, thus, retail price or through increasing availability, which, in turn, can lead to an increase in alcohol consumption and alcohol-related problems (Edwards et al. 1994; Babor et al. 2003). The smuggling issue is closely linked with levels of taxation on alcohol and their variation between one jurisdiction and another. Because smuggling entails the avoidance of alcohol taxes, it makes alcohol available at a lower price. For some, it also adds a welcome element of adventure and risk to purchasing alcohol. As we see in Chapter 7, alcohol taxation policy was labelled the primary cause for smuggling by the spirits industry, which then lobbied for a tax reduction. This created a dynamic tension between alcohol taxation policies, public health issues, and fiscal concerns. From a public health perspective, high alcohol retail prices, reflected through high taxation levels, have

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been used in many countries in conjunction with other public health measures to reduce alcohol consumption and, thereby, its harmful consequences (for Nordic countries, for instance, see Holder, Kühlhorn et al. 1998). There is a substantial literature that indicates that demand for alcohol is price responsive (i.e., higher prices are associated with decreased sales of alcohol) and that heavy drinkers are at least as responsive to price as are moderate drinkers (e.g., Cook 1981; Chaloupka 1993; Österberg 1995; Godfrey 1997). Canadians seem to be price responsive for spirits but not so much for other alcoholic beverages (Alley, Ferguson, and Stewart 1992). Such research is supportive of high taxation of spirits as a public health measure. However, the positive effect of the taxation may be eroded if there is an increase in alcohol smuggling due to higher taxation (Room and Jernigan 2000). Another public health concern is that smuggled alcohol may be unsafe for consumption because it escapes quality control mechanisms. Furthermore, lower priced smuggled alcohol may be particularly attractive to heavier drinkers and may encourage them to drink more. Also, there are some indications that taxation has a greater impact on the poorer segments of society (Lyon 1995); however, alcohol consumption rates tend to be lower among these segments. International trade agreements may also affect alcohol price and availability, on the one hand opening up markets to the free movement of goods, services, and investment, and on the other hand maintaining high prices of luxury goods by protecting trademarks as intellectual property. Trade agreements invoke considerations of national sovereignty within a context of globalization. For instance, trade agreements could compromise internal alcohol restrictions on availability, retail access, and price, thereby affecting a nation’s alcohol control system (Grieshaber-Otto and Schacter 2002). An underlying issue is whether a public health perspective will be introduced into trade deliberations, recognizing that alcohol is a special commodity. In the Canadian context, this issue is further complicated because international trade agreements are negotiated between national governments, but importing alcohol has been under the control of provincial governments since 1928. Thus trade policies raise concerns about matters that cut across provincial and federal jurisdictions, including economic development, trade, employment, taxation, law enforcement, and public health. Hence, the following case study on trade agreements and disputes also addresses the issue of provincial authority within Canadian federalism. It is clear that alcohol trade policies may affect public health problems related to consumption (e.g. Babor et al. 2003); however, public health interests are typically not a primary concern in the policy debates and deliberations pertaining to trade and smuggling. The policy communities involved in the development of these alcohol policies will embrace a range of actors who have little interest in public health. Hence, the challenge for

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public health actors is to seek recognition of alcohol as a special commodity. The following case studies are particularly interesting in that they illustrate how actors defending public health interests succeeded or failed in influencing the policy-making process; how research findings were used or not used in the debates; and how governments, in the face of pressures from several quarters, attempted to balance fiscal, commercial, and public health priorities.

references Alley, A.G., D.G. Ferguson, and K.G. Stewart. 1992. “An Almost Ideal Demand System for Alcoholic Beverages in British Columbia.” Empirical Economics 17 (3): 401–18. Babor, T., R. Caetano, S. Casswell, G. Edwards, N. Giesbrecht, K. Graham, J. Grube, P. Gruenewald, L. Hill, H. Holder, R. Homel, E. Österberg, J. Rehm, R. Room, and I. Rossow. 2003. Alcohol: No Ordinary Commodity – Research and Public Policy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Chaloupka, F.J. 1993. “Effects of Price on Alcohol-Related Problems.” Alcohol, Health and Research World 17 (1): 46–53. Cook, P.J. 1981. “The Effect of Liquor Taxes on Drinking, Cirrhosis, and Auto Accidents.” In Alcohol and Public Policy: Beyond the Shadow of Prohibition, ed. M.H. Moore and D.R. Gerstein, 255–8. Washington, dc: National Academy Press. Edwards, G., P. Anderson, T.F. Babor, S. Casswell, R. Ferrence, N. Giesbrecht, C. Godfrey, H. Holder, P. Lemmens, K. Mäkelä, L.T. Midanik, T. Norström, E. Österberg, A. Romelsjö, R. Room, J. Simpura, and O.-J. Skog. 1994. Alcohol Policy and the Public Good. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Godfrey, C. 1997. “Can Tax Be Used to Minimize Harm? A Health Economist’s Perspective.” In Alcohol: Minimising the Harm. What Works? ed. M. Plant, E. Single, and T. Stockwell, 29–42. New York: Free Association Books Ltd. Grieshaber-Otto, J., and N. Schacter. 2002. “The gats: Impacts of the International ‘Services’ Treaty on Health-Based Alcohol Regulation.” Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs 19 (English Suppl.): 50–68. Holder, H.D., E. Kühlhorn, S. Nordlund, E. Österberg, A. Romelsjö, and T. Ugland. 1998. European Integration and Nordic Alcohol Policies. Aldershot, uk: Ashgate. Lyon, A.B. 1995. “Consumption Taxes in a Life-Cycle Framework: Are Sin Taxes Regressive?” Review of Economics and Statistics 77: 389–406. Österberg, E. 1995. “Do Alcohol Prices Affect Consumption and Related Problems?” In Alcohol and Public Policy: Evidence and Issues, ed. H.D. Holder and G. Edwards, 145–63. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Room, R., and D. Jernigan. 2000. “The Ambiguous Role of Alcohol in Social and Economic Development.” Addiction 95 (Suppl. 4): S523-S35.

6 Trade Agreements and Disputes ROBIN ROOM, NORMAN GIESBRECHT, AND GINA STODUTO

Canada and the United States are each other’s biggest trading partners. Alcoholic beverages are a substantial item of both import and export trade in Canada. Canadian whisky has long been a substantial export item, and, with the rise in popularity of imported beers in the 1980s and 1990s in the United States, Canadian brewers also developed substantial export markets. In the other direction, Canada is an important import market for foreign wines. The Ontario and Quebec liquor retail monopolies are among the top three importers of wine globally, and the Quebec monopoly claims to be the single biggest importer of French wine. The substantial trade between Canada and the United States takes specific forms that underlie the trade issues we discuss in this chapter. In order to provide a context for this discussion we provide information on the volume of trade and government revenue that it generates. Table 6.1 presents cross-border exports and imports of alcohol in 1993–94. Trade in each alcoholic beverage is quite imbalanced. However, other factors often influence the degree to which these imbalances generate trade friction. For example, Canada exports considerably more spirits to the United States than vice versa. Since the spirits industry is so multinational, however, it has no particular interest in changing this balance. In fact, given the strength of the American dollar in the 1990s, the more that was sold in the United States, from whatever source, the happier the industry undoubtedly was. Canada also exports much more beer to the United States than vice versa (although, given that the us population is about ten times that of Canada, Canadian beer’s share of the us market is about the same as us beer’s share

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75

Table 6.1 Imports and exports of alcoholic beverages between Canada and the United States, 1993–94 (conversions: 1 us gallon = 3.78 litres; 1 us dollar = $1.2537 Canadian) Exports from Canada to United States

1

Volume in thousands of litres Value in Canadian $$$ (000) Share of total Canadian exports (% by volume) Rank of us as destination for Canadian exports of beverage (by volume) Share of total us imports of the beverage type (% by volume) Rank of Canada as source of us imports (by volume) Exports from United States to Canada

Spirits

2

Wine

Beer

166,150 $410,925 83%

2,876 ––87%

329,357 $207,426 100%

1

1

1

38%

Less than 2%

28%

4

Below 7

2

9,100 $18,821 5% 5

33,805 $57,231 26% 1

24,506 $15,724 7% 4

9%

21%

49%

4

2

1

3

Volume in thousands of litres Value in Canadian $$$ (000) Share of total us exports (% by volume) Rank of Canada as destination of us exports of beverage (by volume) Share of total Canadian imports of beverage (% by volume) Rank of us as source of Canadian imports of beverage (by volume) 1 Statistics Canada (1994). 2 Represents volume at 40 percent alcohol content. 3 Adams/Jobson’s Handbook Advance (1996).

of the Canadian market). Since the brewing companies are more nationally based, this imbalance has been a source of more friction, as we shall discuss. Finally, there is a positive balance of trade in wine for the United States. This in part reflects the climatological limits on Canadian grape growing. But, as we shall see, the us wine industry was not satisfied with the level of its shipments to Canada and has sought to increase its presence in the Canadian market.

trade agreements and disputes, 1980–98 Whereas international trade is a federal matter, the Canadian alcohol control structure, as was discussed in Chapter 2, is primarily a provincial matter. There is substantial provincial government involvement in the alcohol market not only through regulation but also through direct government ownership of wholesale and retail levels of the trade. Federal legislation adopted in 1928 – dating “from the grandfather of Jesus Christ, or nearly,” as a member of the Quebec Assembly put it –

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assigned to the provincial governments the exclusive right to import alcoholic beverages into their province (Commission permanente de l’economie et du travail 1992; Consolidated Statutes 2000). The trade disputes over alcohol thus raised difficult issues about how federal and provincial levels would collaborate, or at least interact, and (as a last resort) what power the federal government has to force provincial compliance with what it has agreed to internationally. Negotiating trade treaties and the handling of trade disputes, as an international matter, are defined as primarily the responsibility of the Canadian federal government. During the period under study, there were several agreements and international disputes pertaining to alcohol sales. Table 6.2 provides a chronology of these events in trade involving the Canadian market, primarily between 1987 and 1994. It is compiled from various sources, including Chapman (1995), Room and West (1998), and newspaper accounts. The main trade agreement by which Canada was bound as of the mid–1980s was the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (gatt), a multilateral agreement initiated in 1948 and subsequently expanded in scope (gatt was succeeded in 1995 by the World Trade Organization). Already in the 1970s Canada had been pressured by the European Common Market to end discrimination against imported products, and in 1979 the Canadian federal government had promised its “best efforts” to eliminate discriminatory treatment by provincial liquor boards. In 1985 the European Union (eu), dissatisfied with the pace of progress on this commitment, filed a complaint with gatt, joined in the same year by the us. In late 1987 gatt issued a preliminary ruling against Canada’s slow progress on these gatt complaints, thus initiating a period of negotiations on how and with what timetable Canada would come into compliance with the ruling. This ruling began a turbulent period of trade disputes on alcoholic beverages between Canada and its main trading partners – a period that lasted until 1994. The Conservative Party was in power from 1984 until late 1993, largely under Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. During this period, the federal government negotiated two key trade treaties. The Canada-us Free Trade Agreement (fta), which went into effect at the beginning of 1989, was superseded on 1 January 1994 by the North American Free Trade Agreement (nafta), involving Mexico, Canada, and the us. These trade agreements were never popular with Canadians, and former prime minister Mulroney’s commitment to them may have contributed to the rout of the Conservative Party, then under new leadership, at the 1993 federal election. Nevertheless, despite growing public opposition to nafta, the succeeding Liberal government reversed its previous opposition to the treaty and publicly began to endorse it.

Table 6.2 Chronology of trade disputes involving Canada concerning alcoholic beverages, 1979–98 Complainant can

us



Date

Complaint involving Canada and alcohol or ruling made regarding trade dispute



1979



1985 1985 1987 10 Nov 1987

In gatt negotiations, Canada promises “best efforts” to eliminate discrimination by provincial liquor boards. eu lodges a complaint against Canada’s restrictions on imported alcoholic beverages. us joins eu complaint. gatt rules against Japan: shochu and whisky are similar beverages, should have same tax. Preliminary ruling by gatt in favour of eu, against discriminatory rules and markups on beer, wine, and liquor. In negotiations after gatt ruling, Canada asks for 12-year phase-in, eu says 2 years, agreement reached on 7 years. Canada-us Free Trade Agreement (fta) goes into effect, includes provisions to eliminate Canadian wine and spirits discriminations over 7 years; beer exempted from agreement. Negotiation between Canadian federal and Ontario and bc governments on financial package to save wineries, primarily financed from new provincial charges on wine sales. us complaint against increase in Ontario warehousing costs for beer, as violating the fta, which allowed only discriminatory measures on beer in effect as of 4 Oct. 1987. us complaint under gatt of discriminatory beer distribution and pricing policies by Ontario, contrary to 1988 ruling. Responds to May complaint by Heileman Brewing; Stroh Brewing also complains in September 1990. Canada files complaint with gatt, claiming us pricing, distribution, and sale restrictions discriminate against Canadian beer, wine and cider. “Dumping” ruling handed down by Revenue Canada concerning bc; requires that two us brewers pay anti-dumping levies. (Dumping is charging prices in an export market less than the “normal” home market price and causing material injury to the domestic producers in the export market.) Preliminary gatt ruling upholding us complaint. us threatens retaliatory tariffs if Canadian restrictions are not lifted by Dec. 1991.

eu

 

other





Dec 1988 

1 Jan 1989



July 1989



June 1990



May 1991



4 June 1991



25 Oct 1991

Table 6.2 (continued) Complainant can

us

eu

  

 

Date

Complaint involving Canada and alcohol or ruling made regarding trade dispute

18 Feb 1992

Canada accepts gatt ruling that Canada’s distribution and pricing practices for imported beer and wine are discriminatory. Proposes three-year phase-in of compliance; us wants compliance by summer 1992. Agreement between most provinces and federal government: interprovincial beer barriers to be eliminated by 1 July, foreign beer barriers to be eliminated by 1995. gatt panel upholds Canadian case against the us, ruling that the pricing, distribution, and sale restrictions in the us at the federal level and in 44 states are discriminatory. us objects to lengthy phase-in period for opening beer market and threatens retroactive border duties if barriers are not dropped by summer 1992. Ontario lcbo announces boycott of us beer. Last minute us-Canada deal: 18-month compromise on implementation period for opening Canadian beer markets. Ontario imposes a 10-cent-per-can environmental levy on canned beer. gatt releases report upholding Canadian case against us restrictions. us agrees to accept gatt ruling, with some reservations. us rejects Canada’s implementing plan, largely because of Ontario environmental levy on canned beer. us requests gatt permission to withdraw trade concessions from Canada; the request is denied. us unilaterally imposes 50% tariff on beer originating in Ontario ($3 per case of 24 beers). Canada imposes 50% retaliatory tariff on two us brewers (Stroh and Heileman). Stall in Mexico/us/Canada trade agreement (nafta) negotiations: Mexico wants 5-year phase-out of its 25% tax on beer in bottles, 10-year phase-out for cans; us cannot agree, as would undercut its position with Canada. gatt rebukes us and Canada for “beer war” outside frame of gatt. us threatens 200% tariff on European white wine if us soybean farmers are not given better treatment in European markets.

other

31 Mar 1992 March 1992



April 1992



25 Apr 1992

 

30 Apr 1992 30 Apr 1992 June 1992 July 1992



July 1992

 



24 Jul 1992 24 Jul 1992 10 Aug 1992

 

30 Sep 1992 5 Nov 1992

Table 6.2 (continued) Complainant

Date

Complaint involving Canada and alcohol or ruling made regarding trade dispute



3 Dec 1992



8 Feb 1993

Canada pushes for us implementation of gatt rulings, asking for loosening of us restrictions by summer 1993. us-Canada trade panel (under fta) upholds the Canadian ruling that 3 us brewers dumped beer in bc. us environmentalists ask us to withdraw opposition to Ontario beer-can levy, linking this to whether they will support nafta. us asks other Canadian provinces to guarantee they will not impose further restrictions such as Ontario’s environmental levy. Quebec refuses to grant this. Group of Seven industrialized democracies agree to a package of tariff cuts (although no specific target numbers are given). Japan agrees to reduce liquor taxes, Canada agrees to reduce beer tariffs, us makes concessions in other areas. Canadian federal government lifts the Canadian Wheat Board’s monopoly on barley sales (brewers had been required to purchase from the board at above-market prices). American beer complaint solved, with Canada allowing access to us beer but maintaining minimum price (at lower level) and Ontario’s environmental levy. Canadian brewers switch to us barley. Ontario extends 6 August agreement with us to the eu and other foreign brewers. nafta (North American Free Trade Agreement between Mexico, us, Canada) takes effect. us trade representative announces the start of talks to speed up cuts in Mexican wine tariffs. Three major us brewers charge that Ontario, Quebec, and bc continue to block us exports despite a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 1993. us claims that Ontario has been slow to put American beer in provincial Brewer’s Retail outlets and that Quebec’s minimum price undermines competitiveness. Canada complains to gatt concerning decision of 30 April 1992: only 4 of 44 us states have removed unfair taxes.

can

us

eu

other

 

30 Jun 1993 

July 1993



1 Aug 1993



6 Aug 1993

 



2 Jun 1993

 

8 Aug 1993 30 Sep 1993 1 Jan 1994 6 Jan 1994

26 Jan 1994

Table 6.2 (continued) Complainant can

us

eu

Date

Complaint involving Canada and alcohol or ruling made regarding trade dispute

2 Feb 1994

us sends out notification that provincial governments have 30 days to comply with truce conditions or it promises to tear up the “beer agreement” and impose duties on Canadian beer. Draft agreement circulated to provincial negotiators in Canada to eliminate inter-provincial trade barriers before July 1994. Canada’s provincial pricing system for beer and liquor tops the list of us concerns re: annual inventory of foreign trade barriers. There is special concern around minimum price requirements that impair the ability of us brewers to compete on the basis of price (Ontario, bc, Quebec [proposed], Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland). gatt dispute settlement panel rules that Canada violated its gatt obligations by imposing anti-dumping duties on us beer sold in bc (insufficient evidence that us was dumping beer into the region). Canada and us reach agreement on market access of us beer, Quebec offers to permit the sale of us beer in supermarkets and convenience stores. The two countries still disagree on whether bc will retain its minimum price on beer and whether Quebec will establish such a requirement. Interprovincial agreement on Canadian internal market; for alcoholic beverages, it only sets up a process for dealing with existing disputes. gatt’s review of Canadian trade policies and practices points out that interprovincial trade barriers within the country are hampering economic progress. However, in general, Canada’s policy is depicted as being open and positive. Canadian International Trade Tribunal (citt) rules that the level of interprovincial trade (since 1991) is such that bc packaged beer producers no longer constitute a regional industry, therefore the ruling results in the lifting of anti-dumping duties on us beer shipments to bc. us nafta negotiators try but fail to persuade Mexico to drop 16% wine tariff now rather than over 10 years.

other

  

14 Feb 1994 April 1994



April 1994



5 May 1994



July 1994



Dec 1994



2 Dec 1994



9 Oct 1995

Table 6.2 (continued) Complainant can

us

eu



.

Date

Complaint involving Canada and alcohol or ruling made regarding trade dispute

Nov 1995

nafta dispute settlement panel upholds a decision to abandon dumping duties on us beer sold in bc. Marked as the end of a four-year dispute on the flow of cheap beer into bc from Pabst Brewing Company, G. Heileman Brewing Company Inc., and Stroh Brewery Co. Panel rules that citt was justified to have lifted anti-dumping duties in December 1994. This represents the third time some aspect of the bc beer dispute has been referred to a bi-national panel. bc government still upholds a minimum price around that charged by Molson, Labatt, and Pacific Western. Ontario also still exacts a levy on cans of imported beer. Canada, us, and eu win a World Trade Organization case against Japan’s liquor tax regime as discriminating against whisky in favour of shochu. Mexico raises tariffs on us wine, wine coolers, and brandy to 20% for three years in retaliation for higher us duties on Mexican straw brooms. nafta panel rules against us on tariff on Mexican straw brooms. us president lifts tariff on Mexican straw brooms.

other



28 May 1996



13 Dec 1996

 

13 Feb 1998 8 Dec 1998

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regulation of alcohol across borders

Between 1987 and 1994 Canada thus found itself engaged on two fronts in disputes and negotiations on trade in alcoholic beverages. One front was the continuing series of disputes in the wake of the preliminary gatt decision of 1987, which (with a follow-up us complaint of 1990) continued until 1994. (In fact, the series may be said to have continued into the new century, in view of American non-compliance with the gatt ruling on Canada’s counter-complaint.) The other front was the negotiations over the fta, and then over nafta, in which both the beer and wine industries in Canada saw themselves as having significant interests at stake. The basic strategy of the beer and wine industries was to secure exemptions in these two trade agreements that, it was hoped, would protect them against the gatt decisions. This strategy failed for the wine industry immediately, as the eu was not a party to the fta, and the Americans proved unwilling to exempt wine from the fta. The strategy also ultimately failed for the beer industry as an fta exemption did not deter the us, under pressure from its brewers, from filing a new grievance under gatt in 1990. During this period it turned out that gatt was more important than the fta or nafta in disputes concerning the Canadian alcohol market. At the beginning of the pivotal period in trade agreements and disputes concerning the Canadian alcohol market, a newspaper article laid out very clearly the disparate interests of the various Canadian alcoholic beverage industries (Spears 1987). The distillers felt that the gains and losses for them from the fta, for instance, would roughly match, so that, on balance, they tended to favour the trade agreement. In contrast, Canadian winemakers felt that free trade would be a “disaster.” Brewers also felt that free trade with the United States would leave them “as flat as a glass of day-old draft,” as an officer of Labatt explained the brewers’ position (Morgan 1987). With the us brewers’ economies of scale, the wages per unit of us beer were about half those per unit of Canadian beer. Ingredients for Canadian beer also cost more; the requirement to use Canadian malting barley, for instance, meant buying at twice the world market price. Moreover, high Canadian beer taxes were brought into the argument, though it is hard to see how they would disadvantage Canadian against American beer. In this newspaper article, and in other public presentations, brewing interests did not totally oppose the application of free trade to beer, but they wanted a substantial phase-in period. As one beer industry presentation to the government put it in 1985, without a sufficient time for the “considerable economic and structural adjustment” of the Canadian brewing industry prior to opening the market further to American exporters, “free trade would have a totally disruptive effect on the Canadian beer market.” Even with this time for adjustment, the Brewers Association of Canada (1985) noted, “some members question the ability of the Canadian industry to survive.”

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the crisis over wine 1987–89 The issue of “discrimination” against foreign beer, wine, and spirits by Canadian provincial liquor boards had already been raised in gatt negotiations in the late 1970s, and in 1979 the Canadian federal government committed itself to its “best efforts” to eliminate these. In a federal system it is inherently difficult for one level of government to influence another level within the other’s area of constitutional competence, and it is perhaps not surprising that in 1985 the eu lodged a complaint against Canada’s lack of progress in ensuring provinces’ compliance to gatt rules. That same year the United States joined in the complaint, and in late 1987 the gatt hearing process was complete, with gatt indicating that the ruling would go against Canada. This started a round of negotiations about the implementation of the agreement and how it was to be phased in. Apparently there would be little problem with spirits, given the integrated multinational nature of the spirits industry, but for beer and wine the Canadian federal government was faced with very unhappy industries, backed up by the provincial regulatory agencies. This is the context within which the negotiations about the fta with the United States were finalized. During these negotiations the Canadian government succeeded in keeping beer out of the fta altogether but signed an agreement to eliminate import controls on us wine and liquor in just over two years. This step dismayed and outraged Canadian winegrowers. As a Niagara, Ontario region grape grower put it, “We were bargained away. We were betrayed. No, betrayal is a very great understatement. We were sold out” (Kenna 1987, B1). Growers in British Columbia felt the same way: “We were traded off. Only God knows what was in the trade negotiations that made them decide we were expendable” (Kenna 1989, D5). “Fright and nearpanic” were reported among the Ontario growers; one came into his bank wanting “to know if he should bother pruning his vines this fall ... He was weeping.” There was even resort to patriotic appeals to the history of the Niagara peninsula, where most of Ontario’s wine-grapes are grown: “Are we going to give up an area we fought for against the Americans in the War of 1812? We turned them back here. If it wasn’t for our families fighting them then, there wouldn’t be a Canada ... today” (Kenna 1987, B4). The differential treatment of beer and wine did not go unremarked. The executive director of the Wine Council of Ontario “wondered aloud why wine makers are told to ‘march to this new and different, dare I say foreign, drummer, when we see that our major competitors, the beer industry, was granted privileged treatment and protected from the hazards of free trade’” (Walker 1988, H1). At the same time, negotiations continued, primarily with the eu, about compliance with the gatt ruling. As a commentator noted, “the ruling ... raises questions about the ability of an international trading body to render decisions against such ‘sub-national’ governments as provinces and states”

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(Lipton 1987, B10). The Ontario government, in Liberal hands (while the federal government was Conservative), was threatening to ignore the gatt ruling if its demand for a twelve-year phase-in of compliance was not met. The weakness in the wine industry’s position, compared to the beer industry’s, was that it was located primarily in only two provinces, while “every province except Prince Edward Island has at least one sizeable brewery” (Sheppard 1988, B3). The predominant orientation of the industry up to that time to inexpensive and relatively low-quality wine was also clearly a losing proposition in the long run. The wine industry’s common front was breached by small boutique wineries such as Hillebrand (Swan 1987) and Vineland Estates (Toronto Star 1988a), which publicly welcomed free trade. Overall, the brewers could claim to generate considerably more employment than the grape growers, and they were also a source of support for the Canadian barley industry. The brewers also held trumps concerning the all-important province of Quebec, which had no important vineyards but whose provincial government “supported the exclusion of beer from [fta] negotiations, given the particular nature of the brewing industry in Canada” (MacDonald 1988). In connection with a meeting of federal and provincial trade officials to plan strategy, the Toronto Star (1988b, A8) noted that “some officials have suggested that Canada might sacrifice its wine industry, which is already threatened by the Canadian-us free trade agreement, in order to continue protection for the domestic brewing industry.” Other reasons for the accommodation of beer producers might have been the size of the beer market and their power to generate revenue and provide jobs, their political clout, and their already established sponsorship of high-profile hockey, baseball, and football clubs. In the end, agreement was reached with the eu in December 1988, just before the fta went into effect. The eu’s primary focus was on wine rather than beer, although it refused to exclude beer from the dispute (Sheppard 1988; Taber 1988). But initially the brunt of the fta agreement and the resolution of the gatt dispute was seen as falling on the wine industry. According to one reporter in April 1988, at least fifteen Ontario grape growers had “walked away” from their vineyards that year (Barnes 1988). But the federal government’s agreement with the eu still left it with the problem of obtaining compliance from the provinces, and particularly from Ontario. The federal minister at first imposed a deadline and threatened to impose a settlement (Story 1989b). An Ontario government source commented that the federal minister’s comments at a news conference “as good as invited the Americans to file a complaint under fta” against Ontario. Then the federal government backed off, with the minister’s spokesman insisting “there wasn’t any ultimatum” (Story 1989a, A13). Finally, an agreement was reached in March 1989 (Adolph 1989). The federal government would provide $5 million to promote Canadian wine exports, while Ontario

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would contribute $45 million for wine improvement and image, primarily money to root out inferior wine grapes and encourage planting of European varietal grapes. The $45 million, however, would come from the new system of mark-up charges by the provincial liquor board, structured to avoid discrimination against foreign products (Adolph 1989). A similar solution was arrived at for British Columbia. In effect, these developments amounted to a transparent replacement of a system of subsidy through discriminatory fees with a temporary system of direct subsidy, at the expense of buyers of imported wine. However, with its own system of wine subsidies, the eu was not in a good position to complain about this (Story 1989c). The us also decided to accept the deal; the American trade representative “dismissed suggestions that the Ontario and federal aid is a hidden subsidy for the provincial wine industry” (Hepburn 1989, C3). However, the fact that Washington was now involved in negotiations between Ottawa and provincial governments did not escape notice (Story 1989d). In the following years, the Canadian wine industry largely transformed itself, with the support from the provincial and federal governments, into an industry producing a more “upscale” product. By 1994, one winery president was able to claim that “Ontario’s industry is probably the healthiest it’s ever been” (Austen 1994, E8). With the exception of specialty products such as ice wine, however, producers have not yet found significant export markets for their products, even after the introduction in Ontario, and later in British Columbia, of a quality assurance program to increase the quality of wine. The Quebec arrangement, whereby designated local companies were permitted to sell in grocery stores bulk wine from elsewhere bottled in the province – “wine called Canadian – between quote marks,” as a Quebec minister called it (Commission permanente du budget et de l’administration 1988), was apparently not affected by the negotiations of 1988–89. However, the minister forecast that the issue of discriminatory favouring of local over foreign bottlers was likely to be raised again by the Europeans within ten years.

the “beer wars” 1989–93 The Canadian beer industry may well have breathed a sigh of relief at escaping the storm over trade agreements and disputes in 1987 and 1988. But new clouds were on its horizon. The us brewing industry had substantial over-capacity, and the high margins in the Canadian market between the cost of us production of lower-cost beer and Canadian retail prices were tempting. Two marginal and threatened players in the us beer industry, Heileman and Stroh, made sustained efforts to improve their market position by entering the Canadian market, enlisting the us trade promotion apparatus in their interest. “Cheap us beer” became a factor in the Canadian market in 1989, with warnings from the Canadian brewers that it “will

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erase jobs” (van Alphen 1989b). A Toronto writer, teacher, and historian pointed out that imported beer had an advantage over Ontario beer in carrying no container deposits, while buyers of domestic beer paid five cents on a can and ten cents on a bottle. He suggested that, in the interests of the environment and of equity, all beer should bear the same refund costs (Raible 1989). The head of the Ontario liquor board “recommended that the government set a minimum price on American beers to prevent domestic brewers from being undercut so easily” (van Alphen 1989a, C1). These recommendations foreshadowed the largely successful Ontario strategy of creating some breathing space for the Canadian brewers with a minimum price for beer and an environment charge for beer cans. In the meantime, in 1989 and 1990, the United States filed charges under the fta and gatt against Ontario distribution and pricing policies and charges. In British Columbia the main strategy in 1991 was to secure an “anti-dumping” ruling that American brewers were charging less in British Columbia than in their home markets. This strategy was initially successful, with a February 1993 ruling in Canada’s favour by the us-Canada trade panel operating under the fta, allowing the imposition of a special anti-dumping tax. However, this was countermanded by a gatt panel ruling in April 1994. Finally, in December 1994, a Canadian panel required that the anti-dumping tax be removed. In May 1991 Canada carried the emerging battle back into us territory, filing a complaint with gatt claiming that us alcohol controls and taxes both at the federal and at state levels discriminated against Canadian beer, wine, and cider. The us delayed gatt action on this case, pointing out that, “because some of Canada’s allegations are directed at the states rather than the federal level, it will take time for Washington to follow up on them” (Toronto Star 1991, D12). Eventually, in March 1992, the gatt panel ruled in Canada’s favour, finding discriminatory practices at the federal level and in forty-four us states. In the meantime, however, gatt had ruled in favour of the us complaint in October 1991 and, in accordance with us law, the us had threatened retaliatory tariffs if the Canadian restrictions were not removed by that December. In December the us moved the deadline to 10 April 1992 (Papoe 1991). By this time, the disputes were being referred to as a “beer war” (McGovern 1992). In February 1992 Canada finally accepted the gatt ruling, but proposed a three-year phase-in of compliance. The us, however, wanted compliance by that summer. Ontario, now with a New Democratic Party government, maintained that, “despite federal scepticism,” it had the right to “maintain a minimum price for beer for social and health reasons.” The Ontario minister of consumer and commercial relations emphasized the importance of these social aspects, stating: “beer is not just another commodity. It’s a drug and we want to maintain our social and health controls” (McCarthy 1992e, B3).

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In the context of external threats from the United States, Canadian federal and provincial governments agreed at a 31 March 1992 meeting that most inter-provincial beer barriers would be eliminated by 1 July of that year, with foreign beer barriers to be eliminated by 1995. This spelled the end of requirements that Canadian beer sold in a province be brewed in that province and, thus, allowed the breweries to consolidate their brewing operations. However, the July 1994 formal agreement on reducing trade barriers among provinces – that is, the Agreement on Internal Trade – touched on alcoholic beverages only to the extent of specifying a process for dealing with existing disputes among provinces (Graham 1994). The United States continued to object to the lengthy phase-in for opening the Canadian beer market and threatened retroactive border duties if the barriers were not dropped by the summer. In response to the threat of retroactivity, the Ontario liquor board instituted a boycott of us beer; that is, it stopped offering it for sale (McCarthy 1992d). In an atmosphere of deteriorating trade relations, the cross-border shipment of beer dried up in late April 1992 (McCarthy 1992f). Finally, the American president intervened to order a compromise on an eighteen-month phase-in period and Ontario was allowed to retain its minimum price level, which was now characterized as “a social control to prevent deep discounting, which would encourage over-consumption” (McCarthy 1992c, A24). The peace in the beer wars, however, was short-lived. In late June the us negotiators rejected Ontario’s proposed implementation of the agreement, which included adoption of a uniform ten cents environmental tax on beer cans. From the point of view of American brewers, the net result would be a 13 percent rise in the average price of American beer (Maggs 1992). On 15 July the gatt Council denied the us request to retaliate against Ontario. Touring Molson and Labatt breweries, the Ontario premier, Bob Rae, raised the rhetorical stakes, reiterating “his determination not to buckle to the Americans” (Ferguson 1992c, A1). On 24 July the us unilaterally imposed a punitive tariff on beer originating in Ontario, and Canada struck back with a tariff on beer brewed by Heileman or Stroh (Ferguson 1992a). The prime minister, Brian Mulroney, “condemned the Americans for making a mockery of international trade practices. ‘It’s the kind of action which is unhelpful. And to say their timing is bad is a significant understatement,’” he added, since the actions were on the eve of negotiations for nafta (Ferguson 1992b, A6). At the gatt Council meeting in October, both Canada and the United States were scolded for taking retaliatory actions outside the gatt framework (Toronto Star 1992). Since the Canadian brewers responded to the American actions against Ontario by shipping their beer from other provinces, the us action was more symbolic than effective. Perhaps because of this the United States periodically threatened to increase the sanctions

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(Toronto Star 1993b). The dispute dragged on into the summer of 1993, with a new wrinkle added when American negotiators demanded that other provinces not adopt policies Ontario would be allowed to keep. Predictably, this drew a frosty response from Quebec: “What’s good for Ontario is good for Quebec,” Quebec’s international affairs minister insisted (McCarthy 1993b, E3). Finally, a settlement was reached in early August 1993 (McCarthy 1993a): Ontario agreed to lower its minimum floor price somewhat but was allowed to maintain its environmental levy on beer cans. The us seems to have backed off on its demand that Ontario’s policies not be adopted elsewhere (Strauss 1993; McKenna and Fagan 1994), and, in late 1993, Quebec adopted a minimum price for beer, following the Ontario model. In response to a complaint by the us ambassador, Quebec’s international affairs minister defended their decision by saying that this “social measure” was related to the objective of reducing alcohol consumption by 15 percent by 2002, announced by the minister of health and social services in order to “struggle against the ravages caused by the excessive consumption of alcohol.” The international affairs minister noted that he consulted the ministers of health, transport, and public security since the “problems of alcohol (traffic accidents and sickness caused by excessive consumption of alcohol) related to all these ministries” (Le Devoir 1994). In the following years both Canada and the United States continued to complain about the non-compliance of the other side with the gatt rulings (e.g., McCarthy 1994; Toronto Star 1994), but the rhetoric remained restrained and any actions mostly behind the scenes. Although there had been high hopes on the Canadian side that the ruling against the us would “give Canada more bargaining room when it comes to bilateral talks” (McCarthy 1992b), the us succeeded in avoiding a linkage of the two rulings in the negotiations (McCarthy 1992a). In fact, at the turn of the millennium Canada’s complaint against the us was still far from resolved; even the discriminatory measures at the federal level had not been amended. A question from the Canadian delegate about us plans to remove discrimination against imported beer and wine drew the bland written response in 2000 that the us “repeatedly made concerted attempts to bring the relevant us federal and sub- federal measures into compliance” (World Trade Organization 2000, Section 8.1). In the week of the August 1993 settlement of the beer wars, the Canadian government lifted the Canadian Wheat Board’s monopoly on the Canadian barley market. Canadian brewers immediately switched to cheaper American barley, noting that the requirement to buy Canadian barley had added $15 million to their annual costs. The president of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture linked the federal action to the resolution of the beer war – “I can draw a line from the beer war to cheaper barley” – although the federal agriculture minister denied any connection (Toronto Star 1993a, B2).

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actors, interests, and strategies Environmental and Public Health Interests: A Contrast Ontario was able to maintain its “environmental levy” on beer cans against considerable odds. The timing of its levy on imported beer appeared to many observers to be highly suspect, coming, as it did, at the moment when the province gave way on previous discriminatory arrangements. Its effects were widely seen to be discriminatory in that American beer was primarily sold in cans, while Canadian beer was primarily sold in recycled bottles. Also, as us trade negotiators pointed out, the levy was applied to beer but not to soft drinks. Part of the explanation for Ontario’s success seems to have been cross-border action by environmental activists. At a crucial point in the negotiations, a number of us environmental groups asked the us trade representative “to drop his demand that the can tax be eliminated ... The groups said that the demand poses a threat to bottle and deposit laws throughout the United States. They linked the outcome of the Ontario case to their support for the North American Free Trade Agreement” (Toronto Star 1993b, F1). With congressional support for ratifying nafta in the balance at the time, this linkage probably carried some real weight. Another factor in us thinking may have been Mexican insistence, in the context of the nafta negotiations, on treating imported beer in cans differently from beer in bottles (Ottawa Citizen 1992). On the other hand, while Ontario was able to maintain the principle of a minimum price level for beer, it was forced to lower the level substantially. Here the natural constituency for support would have been the public health community and perhaps also police and public order advocates. While the responsible minister in Ontario did use public health arguments to defend the policy, there appears to have been no effort to involve these constituencies in the public discussion, and certainly no effort to undertake cross-border action on either side of the border. Nor did public health interests take the initiative. Public health-oriented agencies like the Addiction Research Foundation may have been sympathetic, but they did not become involved in the debate, despite discussions in the media that treated public health justifications as a joke (cf. Simpson 1993). The contrast with the international activism of environmental interest groups is quite stark. Public Health Interests It is notable that both the Ontario minister of consumer and commercial relations and the Quebec minister of international affairs used public health arguments to support their province’s minimum price provisions for

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beer. Despite the clear opportunity this provided, however, public health advocates, in contrast with us environmentalists, did not get involved in the trade disputes or promote a perspective that rulings on floor pricing and other trade issues had implications for public health and safety. In addition to their role in promoting public health and order, governments have traditionally also become involved in the alcohol market to promote domestic economic activity, in part by favouring local production. But trade agreements, which often facilitate international business, normally operate to prevent such local benefits. In this situation, compliance with a trade agreement or ruling can also have the effect of reducing regulation to its lowest common denominator. There is nothing to stop a government from eliminating favours for domestic producers, but it is generally far easier politically to extend these favours to the foreign producers. As discussed elsewhere (Ferris, Room, and Giesbrecht 1993), until the present, there has been little prospect of bringing public health interests into the discussion of alcohol matters in negotiations on trade agreements and in trade disputes. This situation has recently been changing somewhat, for instance in the context of trade within the European Union’s internal market. But in matters of international trade, alcohol is still treated mostly as an ordinary commodity (Jernigan, Monteiro, Room, and Saxena 2000; Grieshaber-Otto and Schacter 2002). The World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control may offer a nascent precedent for ways in which the public health interests in alcohol may be expressed in future trade agreements and disputes. The Lack of Attention Paid to Public Health Research Trade agreements and disputes involve highly complex issues, where all parties perceive a need to protect their national interest and to project the effects of particular decisions into the future. These effects potentially reach well beyond the scope of business projections or economic analyses. It is striking, however, how little connection there seems to have been between the events chronicled here and academic research and the individuals who conduct it. The role of the scientist appears to have been one of just another bystander, almost never consulted by the principal actors, rarely consulted by the media, and rarely taking the initiative to become directly involved in matters impinging directly on her/his specific area of expertise. The events described here, of course, occurred in the heyday of free trade ideology. In the wake of continuing demonstrations and organization against the primacy of multinational commercial interests in World Trade Organization negotiations and processes, there may be an opening to develop a closer relationship between research and the world of trade agreements and disputes.

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There is extensive literature, going back several decades, on the associations between, for example, price and taxation and drinking-related problems (e.g., Bruun et al. 1975; Edwards et al. 1994; Babor et al. 2003). There is no known evidence that this line of research was examined closely or even noted in the trade deliberations affecting alcohol. Furthermore, there is no indication that alcohol researchers with specialized information on these topics were consulted by advisors or decision makers or, alternatively, that they sought opportunities to draw attention to the implications, based on their research and related literature, of the negotiations and the debates swirling around them. Provincial and Federal Roles The beer wars illustrate the difficulty international trade agreements and disputes have in dealing with subnational governments in federal nations. The signatories to the agreements are the federal governments, but they may lack the constitutional power to implement or enforce their decisions and agreements on the subnational governments. Even where they have the formal power, it is typically a fateful and extreme step to interfere in matters within, or impinging upon, another level of government’s area of competence. As a result, subnational governments may wield considerable political power in the situation, as was illustrated publicly by the Ontario government during both the wine crisis and the beer wars. In both cases, acting on behalf of the industry and its provincial interests, Ontario was able to secure a better settlement than the Canadian federal government would otherwise have agreed to. In the view of an Ontario informant, although trade issues were a federal matter, federal officials “were useless in this fight. They wanted to basically sell out our beer industry ... they didn’t think it was as important, say, as pigs and lumber and these bigger issues.”1 Why Ontario in particular played the leading role in both the wine and the beer disputes is an interesting question. Ontario’s obduracy was helped, of course, by the fact that the party in power on each occasion was not the party in power nationally. But this would have been true also of British Columbia and Quebec, both of which are more usually cast in the obdurate role in the routine scenarios of Canadian politics. Ontario was the biggest Canadian market and was thus of most interest to foreign exporters. In one newspaper report on the beer wars, the Ontario government was described as acting “under pressure from Canada’s major brewers, which are headquartered in the province” (Maggs 1992,B1). Clearly, important factors in Ontario’s social democratic government’s strong support in the beer wars were the issue of job losses, underlined by the labour unions, and the defence of the environment-friendly bottle recirculation system. One government informant said: “Number one, we were concerned about job loss.

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And number two, we were concerned about losing our deposit/return system which has been in place in Ontario since the 1930s, and very successful ... If we had lost [our] case the beer industry in Ontario would have been dead ... There really wasn’t a compromise. It was kind of a win or lose situation.” The fact of divided powers or federal systems, of course, can be used by national governments as a pretext for delays in implementation of any treaty dispute decision or settlement that is problematic for them. The United States has used its purported inability to ensure state compliance to explain its failure to comply so far with the gatt decision against it in 1992. The same dynamic has applied on the Canadian side, although the us was able to use its brute strength in the global marketplace to force a pace much faster than normal Canadian practice. Under this circumstance, the Canadian negotiators found it necessary to bring all the provinces onto the negotiating team. In retrospect, one informant found the situation during the negotiations concerning the American demands on Canada somewhat comical: Each of the provinces had a team composed of the government and liquor board. And they would travel with the federal government wherever they were having meetings to discuss policy issues and changes with regard to alcohol, because the main thrust of the agreements was to open the markets to foreign product and that meant rewriting virtually all policies related to listing practices, distribution practices [and] advertising practices. So all the liquor boards would have to be in attendance, which was rather amusing at some times, because ... the Americans were represented by three people and the Canadians were represented by about 40.

conclusion There are many ways in which a market may be, or may be thought to be, discriminatory. Countries pursuing complaints through the international trade agreement machinery must inevitably pick and choose which issues they pursue. To a considerable extent, what is chosen depends on the individual interests of different economic actors. If it had been left to the major American brewers, for instance, there would probably have been no beer wars. Their cross-licensing and cross-ownership arrangements with the Canadian brewers made them disinclined to engage in cross-border disputes, and they had bigger markets to pursue elsewhere. The beer wars with Canada, to a considerable extent, reflected desperate moves by the marginal and failing brewers in the us, supported by the us government. Despite the thorough scrutiny and strong pressure, there are still elements in the Canadian alcohol market that, by the increasingly broad definitions in international trade law, are likely to be viewed as discriminatory.

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Like some time bomb, these practices could be challenged in the future, exploding into another crisis. Obvious examples of such practices include Ontario’s requirement for Ontario wine stores to be operated only by Ontario wineries, and Quebec’s requirement that only wine bottled in Quebec can be sold in Quebec convenience stores. Canadians are fond of quoting the Mexican lament, “poor Mexico – so far from God and so close to the United States.” The “beer wars” provide a stark illustration that the country that is the larger market often holds the winning cards in trade disputes. Canada has been unsuccessful over a period of eight years in securing us compliance with the gatt ruling. Nor has the Canadian government been willing to threaten or use the same kind of pressure tactics that the us government used, first to get the Canadian government’s attention and then to extract important concessions, during the protracted beer wars.

note 1 This quotation and others ascribed to an informant are based on in-depth interviews conducted during the research for the project. The protocol, which included an agreement between the researchers and those interviewed, was that respondents would not be identified by name, position, or organization. For further information see pages 338–9.

references Adams/Jobson’s Handbook Advance. 1996. A Special Report on Spirits, Wine and Beer Sales and Consumption in 1995. New York: Adams/Jobson’s Handbook Advance. Adolph, C. 1989. “Aid to Wine Industry Means Markup Changes.” Toronto Star, 10 March, B1. Austen, I. 1994. “Ontario Wine Industry Ripens with Free Trade.” Toronto Star, 26 August, E8. Babor, T., R. Caetano, S. Casswell, G. Edwards, N. Giesbrecht, K. Graham, J. Grube, P. Gruenewald, L. Hill, H. Holder, R. Romel, E. Österberg, J. Rehm, R. Room, and R. Rossow. 2003. Alcohol, No Ordinary Commodity: Research and Public Policy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Barnes, A. 1988. “Failed Growers Seen as Victims of Free Trade.” Toronto Star, 25 April, A8. Brewers Association of Canada. 1985. Perspectives on Canada-United States Free Trade. Submitted to the Honourable James Kelleher, Minister for International Trade. Ottawa: Brewers Association of Canada, May.

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Bruun, K., G. Edwards, M. Lumio, K. Mäkelä, L. Pan, R.E. Popham, R. Room, W. Schmidt, O.-J. Skog, P. Sulkunen, and E. Österberg. 1975. Alcohol Control Policies in Public Health Perspective. Helsinki: Finnish Foundation for Alcohol Studies. Chapman, A. 1995. Canada-US Trade Disputes. Ottawa: Library of Parliament, Research Branch, 22 January 1991, revised 18 September 1995. Commission permanente du budget et de l’administration. 1988. “Étude des crédits du ministère des Finances, No. 3, Assemblée Nationale, Journal des débats: Commissions parlementaires.” 13 avril, p. cba 44. Quebec: Government of Quebec. Commission permanente de l’economie et du travail. 1992. “Étude détaillée du project du loi 6, Assemblée Nationale, Journal des débats: Commissions parlementaires.” 17 juin, p. cet–846. Quebec: Government of Quebec. Consolidated Statutes. 2000. “Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act.” Ottawa: Ministry of Justice. Le Devoir. 1994. “Imposition d’une prix minimum sur la bière: Une ‘mesure sociale,’ dit Caccia.” 12 janvier, n.p. Edwards, G., P. Anderson, T.F. Babor, S. Casswell, R. Ferrence, N. Giesbrecht, C. Godfrey, H. Holder, P. Lemmens, K. Mäkelä, L.T. Midanik, T. Norström, E. Österberg, A. Romelsjö, R. Room, J. Simpura and O.-J. Skog. 1994. Alcohol Policy and the Public Good. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Ferguson, J. 1992a. “Beer War! Canada Fires Back at us.” Toronto Star, 25 July, A1, A6. – 1992b. “Ontario Slams us ‘Bullies.’” Toronto Star, 25 July, A6. – 1992c. “Rae Blasts us Beer Threat.” Toronto Star, 23 July, A1, A10. Ferris, J., R. Room, and N. Giesbrecht. 1993. “Public Health Interests in Trade Agreements on Alcoholic Beverages in North America.” Alcohol Health and Research World 17: 235–41. Graham, C. 1994. “Provincial Trade Deal Comes up Short.” Globe and Mail, 14 July, B2. Grieshaber-Otto, J., and N. Schacter. 2002. “The gats: Impacts of the International ‘Services’ Treaty on Health-Based Alcohol Regulation.” Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs 19 (English Suppl.): 50–68. Hepburn, B. 1989. “us Applauds Wine Mark Up Cuts.” Toronto Star, 14 March, C3. Jernigan, D., M. Monteiro, R. Room, and S. Saxena. 2000. “Towards a Global Alcohol Policy: Alcohol, Public Health and the Role of who.” Bulletin of the World Health Organization 78: 491–9. Kenna, K. 1987. “Free Trade: Niagara Growers Feel Betrayed.” Toronto Star, 15 November, B1, B4. – 1989. “Vineyards in bc Turn to Graveyards.” Toronto Star, 19 August, D5. Lipton, M. 1987. “Liquor Ruling by gatt Raises Questions for Canada.” Toronto Star, 16 November, B10.

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MacDonald, P. 1988. The Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement: A Quebec Viewpoint. Quebec: Government of Quebec. Maggs, J. 1992. “New Beer Fight Looms with us.” Toronto Star, 29 June, B1. McCarthy, S. 1992a. “Beer Makers in Canada Brew Attack on us.” Toronto Star, 23 April, D3. – 1992b. “Brewers Win gatt Ruling against us.” Toronto Star, 12 February, F1, F8. – 1992c. “Last-Minute Deal Heads Off Beer War.” Toronto Star, 25 April, A1, A24. – 1992d. “Ontario Boycotts us Beer.” Toronto Star, 16 April, D1. – 1992e. “Ontario Will Defy gatt on Beer.” Toronto Star, 14 February, B3. – 1992f. “us Reported Ready to Impose Big Duty on Beer.” Toronto Star, 24 April, D1. – 1993a. “Beer May Drop by $6 a Case as Trade War Ends.” Toronto Star, 6 August, A1. – 1993b. “Quebec Demands Equality in Beer Dispute with the us.” Toronto Star, 1 July, E3. – 1994. “New Beer War Looms as us Issues Threats.” Toronto Star, 3 February, B3. McGovern, S. 1992. “us-Canada Beer Warriors Seek Peaceful Trade Solution.” Toronto Star, 13 January, B1, B6. McKenna, B., and D. Fagan. 1994. “Truce Aims to Head Off Beer War.” Globe and Mail, 6 May, A1. Morgan, J.F. 1987. “Political Decisions Restrict Development of Industry.” Toronto Star, 16 February, B10. Ottawa Citizen. 1992. “Beer Battle: Suds Remain a Stumbling Block in Three-Way Trade Negotiations.” 11 August, B6. Papoe, B. 1991. “us Puts Penalty on Our Beer.” Toronto Star, 28 December, C1. Raible, C. 1989. “More Litter Is the Price of Cheap us Beer.” Toronto Star, 12 June, A29. Room, R., and P. West. 1998. “Alcohol and the us-Canada Border: Trade Disputes and Border Traffic Problems.” Journal of Public Health Policy 19: 68–87. Sheppard, J. 1988. “20,000 Jobs Hinge on Our Response to gatt Ruling.” Toronto Star, 21 March, B3. Simpson, J. 1993. “Tilting the Playing Field so the Beer Keeps Flowing the Right Way.” Globe and Mail, 7 January, A14. Spears, J. 1987. “Why Brewers Don’t Want Free Trade.” Toronto Star, 11 April, C1. Statistics Canada. 1994. The Control and Sale of Alcoholic Beverages in Canada. Catalogue 63–202. Story, A. 1989a. “Ottawa Backs Off from Threats against Ontario on Wine Pricing.” Toronto Star, 25 January, A13. – 1989b. “Politics and Power behind the Scenes of Wine Showdown.” Toronto Star, 7 January, A14. – 1989c. “Row Feared Over Wine Subsidy Plan.” Toronto Star, 31 January, A9. – 1989d. “Wine Deal May Not Suit Everyone’s Palate.” Toronto Star, 19 March, B4.

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Strauss, M. 1993. “Flood of Cheap us Beer Will Flatten Profits, Labatt Chief Warns.” Globe and Mail, 10 September, B5. Swan, J. 1987. “An Ontario Winery That Welcomes Free Trade.” Toronto Star, 13 November, A25. Taber, J. 1988. “gatt Ruling ‘Surrender’ Raises Political Furore.” Ottawa Citizen, 22 March, A1, A2. Toronto Star. 1988a. “One Winery’s Exports to us Stem the Fears over Free Trade.” 32 August, B3. – 1988b. “Trade Officials Trying to Devise Scheme to Save Liquor Laws.” 6 January, A8. – 1991. “gatt Won’t Examine Canadian Beer Charge.” 25 April, D12. – 1992. “gatt Delegates Rebuke us and Canada for Beer Actions.” 1 October, C2. – 1993a. “Brewers Switch to American Barley.” 9 August, B2. – 1993b. “us Considering Trade Sanctions as Beer Talks Fail.” 3 June, F1. – 1994. “us Not Obeying Beer Trade Rules, Canada Claims.” 24 February, D5. van Alphen, T. 1989a. “Import Opponent Brings us Beer to Canada.” Toronto Star, 24 June, C1. – 1989b. “Molson Warns us Invasion Will Erase Jobs.” Toronto Star, 27 May, C1. Walker, W. 1988. “Wine Makers Turning Sour on Free Trade.” Toronto Star, 8 March, H1. World Trade Organization. 2000. Trade Policy Review: United States. Minutes of meeting, 12 and 14 July 1999. Addendum: Outstanding responses to questions. Geneva: World Trade Organization, document WT/TPR/M/56/Add.1.

7 Alcohol Smuggling in the 1990s: Policy Opportunism and Interventions NORMAN GIESBRECHT, ANDRÉE DEMERS, AND GINA STODUTO

In Chapter 6 we saw how trade agreements and disputes affected the structure of the alcohol industry, the flow of alcohol products between Canada and the United States, the viability of protectionist measures, and measures related to access (such as pricing). These dimensions are also relevant to a consideration of alcohol smuggling and its control. During the prohibition era significant volumes of alcohol were moved from Canada, especially Quebec and Ontario, to border states to provide quality illegal alcohol to the United States (Kottman 1962). The more recent experiences involve a reverse pattern; namely, the transportation of alcoholic beverages, primarily distilled spirits, from the United States to Canada. Factors that have facilitated smuggling into Canada included relatively “open” borders, price differentials for adjacent jurisdictions, high population density, public attitudes, and networks conducive to carrying out the smuggling and distributing the products. All of these conditions were, and to some extent still are, evident in the southern parts of Canada. Among the different alcoholic beverages, distilled spirits are the most amenable to smuggling. The price difference for distilled spirits sold in Canada and bordering American states was significant, particularly in the early 1990s when the Canadian dollar was somewhat stronger than it was some years later. Also, the high ethanol content of spirits makes them more portable and thus more attractive for smugglers than either beer or wine. There are long stretches of border that are amenable to illegal crossing and that are close to densely populated regions of southern Ontario and Quebec. Furthermore, the volume of border traffic at some places, such as

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Niagara Falls and Detroit-Windsor, exceeds the capacity of customs officials for effective surveillance. Crossing back into Canada without declaring goods seems to be common practice among Canadians. Furthermore, some operators of licensed premises provided an opportunity to distribute smuggled alcohol through their outlets. In addition, as we shall discuss, organized smuggling of tobacco as Canadian tobacco taxes increased in the late 1980s and early 1990s provided an extensive network to switch products in order to smuggle alcohol (Room and West 1998; Expert Panel on Renewal of the Ontario Tobacco Strategy 1999; Cunningham 1996). The smuggling ranges from small-scale efforts by individuals transporting alcohol that is above the legal limit per trip to the organized transportation, primarily of spirits — either legally or illegally produced – in large quantities from the United States to Canada. The smuggled goods did not necessarily originate outside Canada. In order to satisfy some drinkers’ preference for Canadian whisky, for example, it appears that, in some instances, spirits produced in Canada and officially designated for export to the us were smuggled back into Canada for sale. Many methods have been used to transport illegal alcohol in recent years, but small boats and transport trucks were the most common. Border points included crossings near Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Windsor, and the Akwesasne Reserve near Cornwall, which straddles Ontario, Quebec, and New York State and is not far from Montreal. In addition to small volumes of alcohol transported in personal vehicles, there were reports of high-powered speedboats crossing the St Lawrence River near the Akwesasne Reserve and convoys of transport trucks at the Buffalo, Niagara, Windsor, and Sarnia frontiers (e.g., Liquor Control Board of Ontario 1995). Alcohol smuggling can undermine laws and regulations pertaining to alcohol distribution and sale. Political leaders, mainly at the provincial level, are interested both in protecting the interests of the local alcohol producers and in sustaining government revenues from legally sold alcohol. Extensive smuggling can compromise both agendas. The fact of smuggling, and consequent reduced state revenue from legal sales of alcohol, can be used as a lever to lobby for more relaxed alcohol control measures (such as tax reductions) and hence lower retail prices or as a rationale for privatization of liquor retailing systems (Her, Giesbrecht, Room, and Rehm 1999). Provincial liquor control boards place considerable importance on quality control of the products they distribute or manage, routinely testing for unsanitary or unsafe ingredients and withdrawing those found to be unsafe (Liquor Control Board of Ontario 1995). Health may be compromised by the wide dispensation of smuggled or illegal alcohol that could have been produced in unsanitary or unregulated conditions. Heavier drinkers could be attracted to low-cost stronger alcohol, and easy access to smuggled cheap spirits could present opportunities to drink even more alcohol. Further-

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Table 7.1 Chronology of alcohol smuggling events, 1991–98 Date 1991–92 1992 June 1993

Nov 1993

Nov 1993

Feb 1994 Feb 1994 Feb 1994

Mar 1994 Mar 1994

Apr 1994

Apr 1994

Apr 1994 Apr 1994 Oct 1994

Dec 1994 Mar 1995

Event lcbo estimates extent of illegal smuggling and manufacturing Illegal Alcohol Task Force, founded by the lcbo Warning letter sent to 15,000 licensees about possessing, selling or serving illegal liquor, by llbo chair Risky business: How Ontario’s underground economy endangers the public health. Presented by Mark Taylor, President, arf, to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, Ontario Govt. “The Impact of Smuggling and Illegal Manufacturing of Beverage Alcohol”: Presentation by Andrew Brandt, Chair and ceo, lcbo, to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, Government of Ontario Federal government and Quebec and Ontario governments lower taxes on tobacco products Illegal wine market “exploding”: Canadian Wine Institute News Release Association of Canadian Distillers hold press conference on Parliament Hill in support of lower taxes on spirits Release of Decima research survey findings, commissioned by the acd “Preventing the use of Illegal Liquor in Establishments Licensed by the llbo: A Study in General Deterrence” “Not a Victimless Crime: An International Symposium on Liquor Smuggling and Illegal Alcohol Manufacturing” Ontario Stakeholders Report (in support of the Canadian distilled spirits industry, with 8 signatory groups) arf news release warning of consequences of reduced alcohol taxes Organized Crime Committee Report: Smuggling Activities in Canada The Quebec Distilled Spirits Industry: Impact of a Tax Rollback on the Viability of the Industry lcbo/llbo Illegal Alcohol Public Information Campaign News Conference Progressive Conservative leader announces the lcbo may be privatized if they win the election

l

Source lcbo, economic and planning statistics lcbo Annual Report, 1995–96, p. 12 S. Girling report, llbo 1994 arf, 4 Nov 1993

lcbo, 18 Nov 1993

Cunningham, 1996 Canadian Wine Institute 18 Feb 1994 McCarthy 1994

Association of Canadian Distillers, March 1994 S. Girling report, llbo 1994 Symposium sponsored by the lcbo in Toronto, 12–13 Apr 1994 Ontario Stakeholders Report, 14 Apr 1994 arf, 18 Apr 1994 Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police 1994 Quebec distilled spirits industry lcbo news conference kit, 8 Dec 1994 See Chapter 12

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Table 7.1 (continued) Date Sep 1995

Jan 1996 Aug 1996

June 1997 Dec 1997 Apr 1998

Event Contraband Liquor in Canada, report commissioned by stakeholders in the distilling industry The Economic Impact and Taxation Burden from the Distilled Spirits Industry Rapport d’étude qualitative et quantitative sur le phénomène de la contrebande d’alcool [Report on a qualitative and quantitative study on the phenomenon of alcohol smuggling] Illegal alcohol/anti-smuggling reward program announced The Smuggling of Distilled Spirits in Ontario “International Conference on Smuggling and Organized Crime”

Source kpmg Investigation and Security Inc. report, 28 Sep 1995 Conference Board of Canada report Legendre Lubawin Goldfarb Inc. 22 Aug 1996 lcbo News Release, 24 June 1997 fia Specialist Investigations Group Inc. fia Specialist Investigations Group Inc. and hosted by lcbo, Cornwall, Ontario, 21–22 April 1998

more, for some border communities, such as Cornwall, Ontario, the link between alcohol smuggling and organized crime may pose a safety risk. Therefore, in principle, various interests may converge to develop policies to control smuggling. In the 1980s and 1990s changes in the taxation of tobacco and subsequent changes in the volume of tobacco smuggling led to political concern about alcohol smuggling and enhanced the movement of this topic onto the political agenda. This chapter focuses on how the issue emerged and was framed in the 1990s, what the main developments have been, who the players were and what their perspectives were, what strategies they used to present their case, and what prevention and control initiatives were introduced. A chronology of key events and reports presented in Table 7.1 shows that activities on this topic were particularly intense in 1994.

tobacco smuggling curtailed When looking at alcohol smuggling in the 1990s one cannot ignore the “spillover” from tobacco smuggling. The high increase in tobacco taxes in the 1980s and early 1990s – a result of the public health strategy against smoking, which included higher taxes and thus higher retail prices – contributed to extensive smuggling of tobacco into Canada. Influenced by Canadian smokers’ preference for Canadian cigarettes, this typically involved smuggling duty-free Canadian products back into Canada. Suspicions at the time that the tobacco companies themselves were involved in the smuggling have been confirmed by later investigations and court cases

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(Cheney and Malarek 2003). Tobacco smuggling rapidly emerged as a social and political problem and quickly moved up the political agenda. Increased surveillance at the borders was the primary initial policy response to curtail tobacco smuggling (Cunningham 1996).1 However, in response to the reported extent of tobacco smuggling, the projected lost revenue, and various forms of political pressure by the producers of Canadian cigarettes, taxes on tobacco were cut, despite the resistance of public health interests. In February 1994 the federal government proposed a dramatic drop in federal cigarette taxes. This was implemented soon after Quebec and Ontario reduced their cigarette tax. This change in tobacco tax policy significantly undercut smuggling of cigarettes into Canada. The alcohol and tobacco smuggling issues were linked in several ways. First, alcohol smuggling expanded, or at least became more visible, in connection with tobacco smuggling. According to a survey conducted by a private investigations group for the liquor control board in Quebec, alcohol and tobacco smuggling were associated in public opinion, and respondents reported hearing more on alcohol smuggling, particularly through the media, when tobacco smuggling was high (Legendre Lubawin Goldfarb Inc. 1996). Second, tobacco and alcohol smuggling were conducted by some of the same groups, using the same transportation routes, and sometimes both products were smuggled together. It was largely through police interventions in tobacco smuggling that the magnitude of alcohol smuggling was revealed as the police often found smuggled alcohol when looking for smuggled tobacco. Based on information provided by Canadian Customs, the retail value of alcohol seizures was estimated at $2.1 million in 1992, $4.12 million in 1993, $7.97 million in 1994, and $6.19 million in 1995. Even if the increase observed may be largely an artefact of law enforcement, this nevertheless provided direct evidence that there was also a problem with alcohol smuggling. However, a third linkage involved the decline in tobacco smuggling. As the market for smuggled cigarettes was dramatically eroded through the tax cuts, it was reported that alcohol (particularly distilled spirits) as well as other contraband became attractive alternative products for smugglers (e.g., Ferguson 1994; Toronto Star 1994). Although alcohol smuggling was common prior to February 1994, the collapse of the market for smuggled tobacco raised the profile of alcohol as a source of illegal profit and likely provided additional motivation for the smugglers to transport higher volumes of alcoholic beverages. Finally, the policy options that were considered to control alcohol smuggling paralleled the policy responses to tobacco smuggling: law enforcement, border control, on-premise control, sanctions for smugglers, public education, and a tax cut. However, one tool was available in the alcohol field

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Fig. 7.1. Canadian newspaper coverage of smuggling issue 80

60 40

20 0 85

86

87

88

89

90

91

92

93

94

95

96

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Year

that was not available for cigarettes – namely, retail sales control through the alcohol monopolies and licensing boards. Both took a lead in efforts to curtail alcohol smuggling.

media coverage Our analysis of newspaper stories published between 1985 and 1999 indicates that the reports were concentrated between 1994 and 1998 (Figure 7.1). The volume of stories about alcohol smuggling, or making reference to alcohol smuggling, typically increased within the context of tobacco smuggling and peaked in 1994, the year tobacco taxes were cut and the shift to alcohol occurred. The media coverage presents a raw picture of the actors’ activities, their interests, how the issue was framed, and the policy options raised. Figures 7.2 and 7.3 show that both provincial and federal governments, business interests such as liquor boards and distillers, and law enforcement personnel were prominent players in the smuggling issue. A number of newspaper stories referred to offenders and defendants (and sometimes to other citizens) in smuggling criminal cases, and thereby addressed the issue of smuggling as a criminal activity. It is noteworthy that only five stories referred to health agencies or health issues in the context of smuggling. Most of the stories examined were in favour of greater control measures, although fortysix opposed such intervention. Looking at the headlines and main themes of the stories, it is clear that the media spokespersons, and the approach taken by the media, framed the stories with regard to several questions: What is the volume of smuggling? Who is involved and how does it work? What are the implications for legiti-

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Fig. 7.2. Policy rationales reported in Canadian newspaper coverage on the issue of smuggling (n = 176) 150

100 50

r he ot

rc h ea re s

of

cu ltu ra l ck la

l ga le

ym pl o em

ic

op in

io

en

t

n

th al he

um ns co

pu bl

er

s es bu sin

ec

on

om

ic

0

Fig. 7.3. Policy actors mentioned in Canadian newspaper articles on the issue of smuggling 100 80

60

40 20

al

co

h ho eal th li nd us tr y re se ar ch ci tiz en m liq ed uo i rb a oa r bu d sin es s un io n po lic cu e sto m s ju de dge fe nd an t ot he r

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mate alcohol producers, retailers, and government revenue? What should or is being done to curtail it? In many cases several questions were addressed in the same story. However, it was highly uncommon for media stories to consider the implications to personal health and safety of consumers as a result of smuggling (e.g., Laframboise 1993; Galt 1994). On balance, stories did not present the views of public health personnel or consider increased risks with regard to heavy drinking and attendant problems such as liver damage, cancer, family disruption, violence, or motor vehicle crashes. This oversight might be

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expected, given that the public health implications of alcohol smuggling was not a predominant theme in commissioned reports by distillers, in activities undertaken by law enforcement agencies and liquor boards, or in their public pronouncements.2 The themes of the high or growing volume of alcohol smuggling, and high taxes on legal products as a contributor to the phenomenon, were particularly prominent between 1992 and 1995 (e.g., Wright 1992; Lakey 1993; DeMara 1994; Saunders 1995). By 1996 and later there were still stories about the high volume and negative impact for domestic distillers or reduced revenue collected by liquor boards (e.g., Gibbon 1996); however, many stories focused more on criminal activity, the role of organized crime, or the apparent effectiveness of increased law enforcement in curtailing smuggling (Moon 1996).

actors, politics, and actions Alcohol smuggling was a source of concern for the government, some sectors of the alcohol industry, and public health interests, while providing income to a few individuals and low-cost alcohol to many consumers. The major mainstream players with regard to the alcohol smuggling issue were provincial governments, represented primarily by liquor boards and provincial police; the distillers and Association of Canadian Distillers; on-premise retailers; the federal government (i.e., Revenue Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and Customs); as well as provincial or municipal police forces (Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police 1994). Other policy actors included the Mohawk nation (Akwesasne Reserve), small us distilleries who saw a new market, and organized criminal groups such as motorcycle gangs. Customs officials who may have facilitated smuggling were also players in this story, although information about the roles of these groups is more anecdotal than it is for the others. Among those interest groups focusing on controlling smuggling, there were different views on the causes of alcohol smuggling and the best solution to it. The main policy options proposed to fight against alcohol smuggling were tax cuts, the strengthening of police interventions, other sanctions against smugglers, and public education. Distillers Proposed Reduction of Taxes on Spirits Although there was a growing official interest in the extent of alcohol smuggling and its control, in the late 1980s and early 1990s (see Table 7.1) events in the tobacco arena were particularly critical. Following the cut in taxes on tobacco in February 1994 concerted efforts, led by the Association of Canadian Distillers (acd), were undertaken to realize a tax reduction for

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alcohol as well. A tax reduction on spirits was already on the distillers’ agenda when they pushed to move the alcohol smuggling issue onto the political agenda. The cut in tobacco taxes in February 1994 opened an important window of opportunity. Indeed, just hours after the prime minister announced the reduction in cigarette taxes, the acd held a press conference on Parliament Hill presenting their case for reduced taxes on distilled spirits (McCarthy 1994). The overall strategy of the distillers in Quebec and Ontario was transparent and involved several tactics: (1) to indicate that the volume of smuggling is extensive and growing; (2) to indicate that smuggling cuts into jobs for Canadians and revenues for governments; and (3) to indicate that distilled products are highly taxed and that these taxes are the root of the smuggling problem. Therefore, the conclusion offered was that taxes on distilled products must be reduced in order to effectively reduce smuggling. However, the political and fiscal realities turned out not to converge with this proposed solution. To aid their case the acd commissioned consultant reports that estimated the extent of smuggling, based in part on questionable assumptions, and projected the volume of revenue that would be regained by governments and distillers jobs that would be saved if taxes were cut (e.g., Mittelstaedt 1993). Their position was at times supported by other spokespersons, such as someone from Canada Customs who noted that high taxation and the Canadian economy were encouraging more people to smuggle (Wright 1992), and an lcbo union representative who noted that smuggling would not be so extensive if the province didn’t impose such high taxes on alcohol (Lakey 1993). In addition, several commissioned reports from 1994 onward took a position comparable to that held by the acd (Table 7.1). Thus a coalition in support of tax reduction was formed, led by the acd. Various documents and lobbying measures were used in support of the distillers’ proposal. After indicating the negative economic impact of smuggling on tourism, the hospitality industry, the legal alcohol industry, and government revenue, the Quebec Stakeholders Report (1994) suggested a four-point strategy designed “to recover sales lost due to the smugglers”: (1) improve the profile of police interventions; (2) increase the sanctions imposed on smugglers; (3) educate the public about the risks of consuming contraband spirits; and (4) eliminate the attraction for smuggling by reducing retail prices. The report put emphasis on the last point by using boldface type. Supportive of the tax reduction option, as implied by the title3 of the report, the document pointed out price differences between Quebec and adjacent northeastern us states. It mentioned that surveys suggested that Quebec consumers would prefer legal products and also that a 90 percent reduction in tobacco smuggling was the result of a tax rollback.

106

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Particular attention was given to a hypothetical outline of the revenue implications of a five-dollar cut in the retail price of a standard 750-millilitre bottle of spirits, with 50 percent recovery, 75 percent recovery, and 90 percent recovery of sales considered lost to smuggling in 1994. The report showed a flat-line projection for the volume of alcohol sold, at 33.3 million litres for each scenario. They noted: “All levels of government want to ensure that alcohol consumption will not increase as a result of a price cut. All stakeholders share this concern and want to assure the government that this phenomenon will not take place, as this report indicates. The increase in sales through the Société des Alcools de Quebec (saq) will only reflect the current consumption habits, but with an advantage: illegal sales will be eliminated. The saq will recover these sales as the consumers turn away from the illegal market and return to the legal market” (Quebec Stakeholders 1994, 21). Higher taxes were also considered a main factor in smuggling by kpmg Investigation and Security Inc. (1995a; 1995b) in a report commissioned by supporters of the distillers. Furthermore, messages and radio spots from the saq unionized staff urged working together to combat smuggling and recovering $200 million in taxes and benefits (scfp 1995). Several radio spots indicated that the union wanted the tax on alcohol cut by half; “It has created [a] black market and jobs have been lost. If the tax will be cut, people will go back to the saq and buy legal alcohol.” However, the claims that consumption would not be influenced by the tax cut, noted above, rely on the questionable assumption that a tax cut would only result in drawing sales from illegal to legal channels and not to an increase in total sales. It is noteworthy that this assumption was not questioned and that public health considerations related to potentially higher sales were not part of the discourse. In other policy disputes, such as the threat of privatization (see Chapter 12), the unions have tended to wrap themselves with the mantle of public health; in this case they appeared to side with the distillers. The Quebec finance minister indicated that the saq was studying cutting its tax, and it was reported that the agency made a formal proposal to the government to let it cut prices. The response by Quebec premier Daniel Johnson was that he would wait and see if beefed-up border checks would help. The rcmp had added 123 officers to border crossings in February 1994 in order to concentrate more on the illegal liquor trade (Globe and Mail 1994). Tax Cut Option Not Implemented The tax reduction option was not initiated either in Quebec or in Ontario. It appears that there were at least two reasons why alcohol taxes were not

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reduced in Quebec. The first relates to the perceived effectiveness of increased enforcement, as noted above, and the second relates to concern with the high provincial deficit at the time (Gibbon 1996). With regard to the latter, there appeared to be uncertainty as to whether reduced taxes on alcohol would generate a sufficiently increased volume of business in purchasing of legal alcohol to ensure that revenue from alcohol did not decline. In Ontario the pressure from the distillers and their supporters to reduce taxes on their products was no less intense (e.g., Gibbon 1993). The chair of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (lcbo), Andrew Brandt, acknowledged that smuggling was extensive and indicated that the loss of revenue to the provincial government was considerable (Brandt 1994). Bill Kennedy, speaking for the lcbo, noted that the estimated lost revenue of $335 million could pay for a lot of hospital beds (Marsden 1993), and the lcbo chair referred generally to the loss of revenue and jobs (Lakey 1993). However, a tax reduction, while considered, was not implemented. By 1995 another topic was prominent in Ontario. Privatization of the lcbo was on the political agenda, and the lcbo was bent on demonstrating its worth to the government by maintaining and indeed increasing revenue (see lcbo 1995, 1996, 1997). A reasonable explanation is that the lcbo strategy to prevent privatization would probably have been undermined by a tax cut that did not result in sufficient increase in legal sales and, thus, a net increase in provincial revenue (lower taxes per transaction combined with a higher volume of transactions). Instead, federal and provincial agencies concentrated on a wide range of strategies to curtail the extent of smuggling through coordinated law enforcement and by making suppliers and consumers aware of penalties in both provinces. Other Responses to Smuggling Although the political leadership did not favour the tax cut option, there was political and institutional support for a number of other interventions. In Ontario and Quebec a wide range of responses became evident, including the following: G G

G

G

G

upgrading liquor stores to attract customers increased enforcement and detection efforts and coordination of efforts across agencies targeted efforts to curtail the sale of smuggled alcohol through licensed premises international symposia to facilitate communication among those interested in controlling smuggling and raising the media profile of responses reports by consultants about the extent of smuggling and response options

108 G

G

G

G

G

regulation of alcohol across borders

press releases and media events to draw public attention to the risks of smuggling rewards for turning in suspected smugglers; efforts to track the duty-free bulk movement of Canadian spirits to the United States (some of which might, in turn, be smuggled back for sale in Canada) communication with American officials about control efforts and pricing differentials public opinion surveys about smuggling activity and current pricing and taxation levels campaigns to reduce the tax, particularly on distilled spirits

Several interventions are summarized below. The Illegal Alcohol Task Force (iatf), founded by the lcbo in 1992 with the mandate to marshal resources and focus attention on the illegal alcohol problem, developed a more comprehensive and cooperative approach to finding and arresting criminals who trade in illegal alcohol. Representatives from a number of agencies met regularly to share information and plan strategies, including personnel from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Ontario Provincial Police, Ontario Ministry of Finance, Revenue Canada, Canada Customs, as well as the lcbo and Liquor Licence Board of Ontario (llbo) (lcbo 1996, 12). In 1996 the Quebec government took a similar initiative with the creation of the program acces (Actions Concertés Contre les Économies Souterraines). This was coordinated by the saq and included representatives from the Ministries of Public Safety, Justice, and Revenue, the Régie des Alcools, des Courses et des jeux (Alcohol, Racing and Gaming Board of Quebec), municipal and provincial police, the saq, and a non-profit organization focusing on crime. Of particular interest are several related interventions that, in the short run, produced a documented impact. These involved the llbo (now Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario), the lcbo, agency inspectors, and police. In the early 1990s activities by the llbo inspectors pointed to an increase in the sale of illegal alcohol in “on-premise” licensed establishments. They confiscated illegal alcohol from 179 establishments in 1992 and from 368 in 1993. The number of hearings dealing with illegal alcohol also increased: 3 in 1991, 18 in 1992, 43 in 1993, and 30 in the month of January 1994. In addition, in 1992 and 1993 there were several lengthy articles in the llbo’s Licence Line, a quarterly publication that reached 17,000 subscribers, including 15,000 licencees. This publication warned licencees of the consequences of having and selling illegal liquor and the steps the llbo was taking to deter its use (Girling 1994, 5). The results of llbo decisions after hearings on illegal sale were also released to the media as a deterrent measure for others. A specific response to the growing concern about sales of illegal alcohol through licensed establishments in Ontario was taken in June 1993.

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Andromache Karakatsanis, then chair of the llbo, sent a personal letter to all 15,000 licencees “warning them that smuggled and illegal liquor will not be tolerated by the Board” (Girling 1994, 5). It was discovered that in the weeks immediately following the sending of the letter on 23 June 1993 there was an unusual increase in sales of domestic spirits to licencees in Ontario via the official and legitimate channels – namely, the lcbo. The increase involved “the very commodity which has experienced the greatest decline in recent years and is the preferred product of smugglers” (5). Sales data are typically organized by thirteen four-week periods. In fiscal year 1993–94 (ending 31 March), the fourth period ran from 20 June to 17 July. Sales of domestic spirits to licencees went from about 243,000 litres in period three to 280,000 litres in period four (a 15.2 percent increase). In contrast, for 1992–93, the change was from about 251,000 to 259,000 litres (3.2 percent increase). Girling’s analysis suggests that, from the fourth to the tenth period in 1993, an increase of 31,000 litres of domestic spirit sales is evident in comparison to 1992, which appears to be related to “increased llbo activities of inspections, hearings, punishment, education and moral suasion” (17). Responses relevant to both provinces also included several high profile activities, including two symposia on liquor smuggling (April 1994; April 1998), a press event focusing on illegal manufacturing oriented to the multicultural community in Ontario (December 1994), and a Crime Stoppers reward program (poster and letter distributed, March 1998). The April 1994 symposium in Toronto included presentations from a number of persons involved in the detection, law enforcement, alcohol production, and alcohol control communities. There were calls for more coordinated efforts and reports on both the extent of smuggling and increased law enforcement. Although tax reduction was not specifically on the agenda, this topic was repeatedly mentioned, particularly during the closing panel moderated by the president of the Association of Canadian Distillers. However, the April 1998 symposium in Cornwall (fia Specialist Investigations Group Inc. 1998) appeared to include other players in a more prominent role, including the Crime Stoppers Association and Forensic Investigative Associates. A comparison of the programs of the two events shows that American investigators or federal law enforcement officials were more prominent on the program of the 1998 event and that both curtailing organized crime and involving citizens in “crime stopper” efforts were encouraged strongly in 1998.

the numbers game In support of action against smuggling, a central strategy was the production and dissemination of estimates. Estimates serve many functions in the

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dynamics of problem identification and the sorting out of response options. Estimates of the extent of illegal activity demonstrate the seriousness of the problem and the need for urgent collective action, and serve to scapegoat criminal organizations. They also provide a rationale for diverting funds for special detection, law enforcement, or public education campaigns. Estimates of alcohol smuggling are available from various sources. These include alcohol seizures at Canada border frontiers, surveys, and archival 4 data on official sales in various jurisdictions. There were a number of indications of extensive smuggling in the 1990s, particularly in the mid–1990s, from bordering us states into Ontario and Quebec (e.g., Ontario Stakeholders 1994; Quebec Stakeholders 1994; kpmg Investigation and Security Inc. 1995a, 1995b; lcbo 1995; Conference Board of Canada 1996; fia Specialist Investigations Group Inc. 1997). However, the extent of smuggling is elusive. Estimates are often based on questionable assumptions and are typically offered without validation or corroborating data. The variation in the estimates from different sources is considerable, and so far convincing explanations for the differences have not emerged. Furthermore, there are pressures, and perceived political benefits, to provide high estimates and, by contrast, few if any constraints or penalties for inflated projections. The institutional-level risks associated with high estimates, as opposed to low estimates, are likely not particularly serious. However, the impact of estimates is not benign if major changes in alcohol policy are stimulated by faulty estimates, and in the course of implementing changes (such as tax cuts) public health implications are not given careful attention. Determining the accuracy of an estimate seemed to take second place to a political and intervention-oriented agenda. In short, accuracy of estimates was neither an interim nor an outcome goal, while their potential to support political and ideological perspectives on alcohol management issues was central. The estimates were used by the distillers to support their case. They noted that high taxes were contributing to lost jobs, that there was a downturn in the spirits economy and thus lost revenue to government, and that, therefore, a reduction in spirits taxes was warranted. The brewers and wine producers were officially silent on the issue of reduced taxes for distillers but were probably very closely observing the development of this proposal. Similarly, government liquor boards appeared to use the estimates to tackle several agendas: the estimates demonstrated that revenue to government, while significant, was actually well below what was feasible, in principle, if smuggling were effectively curtailed (see lcbo Annual Reports for 1990s). Therefore, these agencies looked for cooperation in tackling this problem in a coordinated way but, typically, did not support reduced taxes. Police

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Table 7.2 a Legal sales and estimates of illegal sales, Ontario, 1991–97, dollar value Sales or Distribution Category lcbo

c

1991–92

b

1992–93

1993–94

1994–95

1995–96

1996–97

1997–98

2,132,949 2,096,176 2,054,991 2,101,952 2,215,523 2,342,998 2,493,935

1,946,646 1,937,255 1,910,584 1,951,825 2,060,219 2,075,664 2,114,467 Brewers d Retail 66,419 75,097 81,297 99,233 113,320 126,446 136,618 Winery e Stores 500,480 524,690 464,729 448,069 408,388 937,863 996,604 Other f,g Channels 276,750 299,568 245,965 250,944 284,202 223,029 189,789 Illegal: h Wine Manuf. 450,000 454,311 549,132 534,132 490,372 421,443 393,991 Illegal: h Smuggling 5,373,244 5,387,097 5,306,698 5,286,922 5,458,704 6,127,443 6,325,404 total: Legal and Estimated i Illegal 21.1% 21.7% 26.7% 25.4% 22.1% 18.0% 15.8% Smuggling 8.4% 8.4% 10.3% 10.1% 9.0% 6.9% 6.3% % of lcbo; % of Total (Legal and Illegal) Notes: In thousands of dollars. b Fiscal year ending 31 March. c lcbo: Liquor Control Board of Ontario and Agency stores. d bri: Sales through Brewers Retail Inc. e wrs: Ontario Winery outlets. f Includes: cross border exempt, cross-border declared, brew pubs, wine pubs, U-brews, and home-made wine and beer. g Based on estimates. h Based on estimates. i Includes illegal wine manufacturing and smuggled alcohol Source: lcbo 1996, 1998, Economic and Planning Statistics. a

and other law enforcement personnel used the estimates to support requests for additional resources. As indicated in Annex 7.1 (pg. 116), there are several sources of estimates, including alcohol seizures at the frontiers; official statistics for Ontario, Quebec, and adjacent jurisdictions; survey data; and a combination of methods. Tables 7.2 and 7.3, using official statistics, provide estimates for the smuggling of spirits into Ontario. Table 7.4 summarizes several estimates for the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. Each estimate involves a number of assumptions, and calculations having tenuous underpinnings are not

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Table 7.3 a Legal sales and estimates of illegal alcohol sales, Ontario, 1991–97, beverage volumes Sales or Distribution Category c

1991–92

b

lcbo 205,693 lcbo Spirits 55,389 d e bri, wrs, 704,156 Other Sales f,g Venues 39,059 Illegal: h Wine Manuf. 18,000 Illegal: h Smuggling total: Legal 1,157,050 and Estimated i Illegal 31.5% Smuggled as a % of lcbo Spirits and Smuggled 1.6% Smuggled as % of Total Legal and Illegal

1992–93

1993–94

1994–95

1995–96

1996–97

1997–98

190,145 50,565 696,518

184,986 48,955 702,840

194,539 48,551 710,007

206,397 50,131 710,181

218,391 51, 268 695,110

236,275 57,224 689,545

38,461

37,540

35,614

32,258

31,874

27,124

20,348

21,776

20,786

17,388

16,396

15,328

945,472

947,142

960,946

966,224

961,771

968,272

28.6%

30.8%

30.0%

25.8%

24.2%

21.1%

2.2%

2.3%

2.2%

1.8%

1.7%

1.6%

Notes: a In thousands of litres of beverage volumes, not absolute alcohol volumes. b Fiscal years ending 31 March. c lcbo: Liquor Control Board of Ontario and Agency stores. d bri: Sales through Brewers Retail Inc. e wrs: Ontario Winery outlets. f Includes: cross-border, exempt, cross-border declared, brew pubs, wine pubs, U-brews, and home-made wine and beer. g Based on estimates. h Based on estimates. i Includes illegal wine and smuggled alcoholic beverages. Source: lcbo 1996; 1998; Economic and Planning Statistics.

uncommon. The estimates vary widely, ranging from a ratio between the highest to the lowest of 7.3:1 for Ontario and 8.6:1 for the two Quebec estimates. For Ontario the estimates from Canada Customs and general population surveys generate fairly similar numbers. One might expect the self-report-based estimates to be low for a number of reasons, including under-reporting, possible greater illicit alcohol use among survey non-participants, and so on. The projections based on us and Ontario sales do not take into account a number of other factors and, thus, are likely to produce high estimates. If the highest estimate is added to the official sales of spirits for each province for fiscal year 1994–95 (Statistics Canada 1996,

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Table 7.4 Several estimates of volume of alcohol smuggled into Ontario and Quebec, in thousands of litres of absolute alcohol Base Source

Assumptions, Calculations, and Comments

Estimate

ontario 1994

Canada Customs seizures

1994/95

lcbo (see also Table 7–3)

1994/95

General population surveys (Macdonald, Wells, and Giesbrecht 1999)

quebec 1994

1994

Canada Customs seizures

acd stakeholders report 1994

Assuming liquor/wine is 40 oz spirits (1.137 L) spirits @ 40% alcohol, beer 12 oz. (0.341 L) @ 5% alcohol. jfo a was assigned 38.8% to Ontario. Base b estimate is multiplied by 20. Based on divergence in per capita rates of sales of legal spirits between 1981 and current year between us and Ontario. Assuming sharper rate of decline in Ontario primarily due to smuggling. Beverage litres assumed to be 40% alcohol. Based on questions about alcohol brought across border without declaring it and purchasing of alcohol from unlicensed sources. Assuming liquor/wine is 40 oz spirits (1.137 L) spirits @ 40% alcohol, beer 12 oz (0.341 L) @ 5% alcohol. jfo d was assigned 38.8% to Quebec Base e estimate multiplied by 20. 1.2 million standard 9-litre cases are considered to be smuggled annually into Quebec. Assumed to be 40% alcohol.

1,140.3

8,341.4

c

1,481.7

501.7

4,320.0

Notes: a Data provided by Canada Customs indicates that 1994 data also include seizures from Joint Forces Operations (jfo), which are not assigned by province. The 1992 data indicate that 77.6% of the seizures (in estimated absolute alcohol volumes) were either at Ontario or Quebec frontiers, and no jfo data were available that year. The jfo volumes for 1994 were assigned equally to Quebec and Ontario. b Canada Customs estimated that only about 5% of all smuggled alcohol is detected (Macdonald, Wells, and Giesbrecht 1999; Chamberlain 1994). c Beverage volume is 20,786,000 litres × 0.40 = 8,314,400 litres absolute alcohol. d See note b. e See note b.

Table 1.5), the proportions are as follows: Quebec smuggling is estimated as 54.9 percent of all spirits (legal and illegal) and 9.7 percent of all alcohol (legal and illegal); Ontario smuggling is estimated to be 33 percent of all spirits and 13.6 percent of all alcohol.

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For different reasons, estimates based on law enforcement and survey methods grossly underestimate the extent of alcohol smuggling. Law enforcement personnel admit that what they document through surveillance is a fraction of what passes over the frontier, and methods of estimating the size of that fraction are far from reliable. As a result of forgetting and perhaps intentional under-reporting of illegal behaviour, responses to surveys tend to be underestimates. Also, the approach based on official statistics does not appear to be sensitive to short-term changes in the volume of alcohol. Furthermore, it is unlikely that this method of estimation is at all sensitive to tobacco taxes and subsequent decline in tobacco smuggling. Plus the relative importance of smuggling needs to be considered in light of demographic shifts, changes in number of abstainers, orientation to health issues, switching to other beverages, and relative purchasing power between populations in Canada and the us. These estimates, based on official archival data, do not take these factors into account. The results of the combination method, focusing on Quebec and Ontario, are particularly vulnerable to criticism, as is indicated in Annex 7.1. A combination of methods using survey data, official statistics, and projections provides estimates of questionable value – suggesting a rise in spirits sales in Quebec (official sales and smuggled alcohol combined) when other jurisdictions in North America, not so affected by smuggling, actually underwent a decline during the same time.

interpretations Alcohol smuggling in Canada in the last two decades can be examined from a number of perspectives. Our interest has been in the players’ positions and activities, and in the debates and interventions pertaining to smuggling. We considered how these experiences interacted with the development and outcome of other policy agendas. Alcohol smuggling experiences can be viewed from two perspectives: (1) the practical and empirical and (2) the political and ideological. At the practical level there was evidence that alcohol was, and likely still is, being systematically smuggled in an organized fashion from the United States to Canada – primarily to Quebec and Ontario. However, estimates vary widely on the extent of the smuggling, and all methods used to date have significant flaws. Furthermore, a systematic high-quality study of the volume and parameters of alcohol smuggling into central and eastern Canada has not been undertaken, and the opportune time to conduct it has likely passed. At the political and ideological level there are similarities in smuggling in Quebec and Ontario. Key similarities are that both provinces are monopoly

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jurisdictions, major producers of distilled spirits, and have strong liquor store employees’ unions whose spokespeople said that the high rate of smuggling was a threat to their workforce. The acd played a role in each province in coordinating some of the responses. A number of strategies were proposed in the 1990s to curtail smuggling of alcohol. These included: (1) reducing taxes on distilled spirits; (2) coordinating efforts by diverse organizations to curtail smuggling; (3) intervening with licensed premises where some of the smuggled alcohol was being distributed; (4) enhancing law enforcement and increasing public awareness of the links between organized crime and smuggling; and (5) drawing attention to the health risks associated with illegal alcohol. Each strategy has its champions and detractors. The distillers favoured tax reduction, although liquor boards and governments did not since they were concerned about the implications for revenues and the reactions of beer and wine producers. Governments and liquor boards favoured coordination and took the lead in seeking ways of facilitating this. Leaders in law enforcement also favoured this approach and drew public attention to the role of organized crime in smuggling. It was uncommon to see reference to public health risks associated with illegal alcohol, a point raised by the ceo of the Addiction Research Foundation (Taylor 1993). On balance, few concerns were raised about health risks. This perspective did emerge in the context of the low quality of some illegally produced bulk wine in Ontario (see lcbo 1996) but not with regard to smuggled alcohol. Thus there were extensive coordinated interventions, and they seem to have had an impact on curtailing smuggling. However, three critical types of information were lacking with respect to this effort: (1) systematic and defendable baseline data on the extent of smuggling; (2) data on the extent of the interventions and resources devoted to them; and (3) the impacts of the interventions on volumes smuggled and the supply and distribution networks. The one initiative that was assessed using archival data involved the lcbo and the llbo working together to enforce the law and to monitor the subsequent changes in legal sales. This initiative demonstrated the potential for government agencies to curtail smuggling when coordinated campaigns are undertaken. The social fact of alcohol smuggling, combined with the experiences with tobacco smuggling, provided an opportunity for major players to present their positions and seek to enhance them. It provided the distillers with a window to make their strongest case in recent years to lobby for reduced taxes – a case that apparently almost succeeded, as is noted above. Alcohol smuggling provided the provincial liquor boards with an opportunity to illustrate the real and potential contribution to government revenues from alcohol sales as well as their coordinating functions with regard to law enforcement, inspection, and media campaigns. The agenda of liquor

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boards was clearly not fully compatible with that of the alcohol producers on this topic, and the case for not tampering with an established strong revenue-generating system won out over that of accommodating one sector of the alcohol production industry through reduced taxes. We have at best only impressions and hunches as to who was and is most likely to consume smuggled alcohol and how this affected health and safety. For example, did it contribute to more high-risk drinking or a larger percentage of the population drinking at high-risk levels? Did it add to drinking and driving behaviour in some quarters or to other social risks and problems? On the practical and empirical side there are serious gaps in information about the extent of smuggling, whether and how consumption of smuggled alcohol contributed to health and safety, and what impact interventions had on smuggling and drinking-related events. In the course of deliberations, questions were seldom asked about whether those who were already high-risk drinkers were those who were most likely to resort to consuming smuggled products. Also, public health, safety, and law enforcement groups did not collaborate in addressing this issue. Smuggling had the potential to be framed, in part, as a public health and safety issue. It could also have provided an opportunity for law enforcement and public health personnel to work together. Neither happened. Smuggling of alcohol was framed primarily as a criminal activity and as a threat to government revenue and alcohol industry profits.

annex 7.1: estimating alcohol smuggling in the 1990s Below is a synopsis and commentary on four types of estimates. Alcohol Seizures Information on alcohol seizures at Canadian frontier points indicates that the retail value of seizures increased between 1992 and 1995. These estimates are $2.1 million in 1992, 4.12 million in 1993, 7.97 million in 1994, and 6.19 million in 1995 (based on information provided by Canadian Customs, Border Services, Frontier Operations). The value of these estimates is that, because they are based on actual seizures of illegal alcohol, they constitute direct evidence. However, these seizures represent an undetermined fraction of actual smuggling, and the estimates are likely low. During these years there was an increase in surveillance at the borders, so the trend noted above may be partially an artefact of this increased law enforcement. Also noteworthy is the increase in the average amount seized per intervention. In Ontario it was on average 18.7 containers per intervention in 1992 and 49.2

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in 1994. This may reflect a combination of an increase in organized highvolume smuggling along with a reorientation of customs and police officers towards focusing on larger containers suspected to be used in transporting smuggled alcohol. Official Statistics Another method is exemplified in Liquor Control Board of Ontario (lcbo) reports, in which official statistics on alcohol for Ontario and adjacent us jurisdictions are used to estimate the amount of distilled spirits smuggling. The method for estimating illegal smuggling is based on legal sales of spirits in Ontario and the us states. The per capita rates for both jurisdictions are calculated for 1981, and the difference in the rates in subsequent years, including a sharper decline for the Ontario rate, is used to estimate the amount smuggled. Based on these methods, smuggling is estimated to account for between 6 percent and 10 percent of the dollar value of smuggled and legitimate alcohol combined over seven years (Table 7.2). Also, unlike the numbers based on seizures, the values are relatively stable, whereas in practice one would expect smuggling volumes to move up and down even more dramatically than retail dollar values or volumes of official legal sales. Using this method it is estimated that smuggled beverages represent about 1.5 percent to 2.3 percent of the total beverage volumes (legal and illegal substances), and about 21 percent to 31 percent of total spirits distributed in Ontario (both official and smuggled alcohol sales)(Table 7.3). Survey Data A third approach, reported in Macdonald, Wells, and Giesbrecht (1999), involves self-reports from probability samples of Ontario adults interviewed by telephone in 1994–95. One question focused on the amount of alcohol they had brought over the border in the last year without declaring it (asked in 1995). Another question focused on how much alcohol they had purchased from an unlicensed source (asked in 1994). This estimate included some alcohol “sold under the table,” alcohol prepared at home and sold privately, and wine sold at grape juice vendors without a licence. As the authors indicate, this estimate is expected to be below the actual figure, “since under-reporting is expected in self-reports, especially when questions about illegal activities are asked” (Macdonald, Wells, and Giesbrecht 1996, 16). The cross-border transportation question generated an estimation of 67,960 litres of absolute alcohol smuggled into the province, and the question on illegal purchasing produced an estimate of 1,413,799 litres. Their sum is 1,481,759 litres of absolute alcohol.

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Combination of Methods Finally, several methods have also been used in combination to draw attention to the estimated extent of smuggled alcohol entering Quebec (Quebec Stakeholders 1994, 11–4). These estimates involved several types of data and several trends: G

G

G

Official sales vis-á-vis US: This report notes that, between 1983 and 1992, per capita (i.e., persons of legal drinking age) official sales in spirits declined 48.4 percent in Quebec but only 26.8 percent on average in the United States (excluding border states). Trends in domestic sales: It also noted that, between 1988 and 1993, sales of domestic spirits in Canada (in millions of litres) declined from 13.9 to 8.3 in Quebec, and 55.3 to 47.0 for the rest of Canada (excluding Quebec and Ontario). The percentage change is 40.3 percent in Quebec and 15.0 percent in the rest of Canada. Personal spending on alcohol: Overall, the share of personal spending allocated to the purchase of alcoholic beverages is estimated to have declined 13.8 percent, with a 62 percent drop in spirits from 0.9 to 0.3, a 14.2 percent drop for wine, and a 25.6 percent increase for beer. The report indicates that the data on personal expenditures are obtained from Statistics Canada, although the units are not specified in the report.

The three patterns above were then contrasted with three others: G

G

G

Changes in frequency of consumption: A Decima survey conducted in March 1994 found only modest changes in the frequency of consumption of liquor between December 1990 and March 1994. Potential consumers: Between 1981 and 1993 the population of legal drinking age is estimated to increase by 17.54 percent, representing 821,000 additional potential consumers. Seizures: An increase in seizures of smuggled spirits between 1988 and 1993 is noted, based on efforts by customs officers, the rcmp, and the Sûreté du Québec. An increase from $150,000 to goods valued at $3.6 million is mentioned (Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police 1994). Sûreté du Québec also conducted inspections in licensed premises during the month of June, finding illegal alcohol in 22 percent of the 730 businesses that were inspected. They also note that: “The number of seizures of illegal products by Revenue Canada officers (Customs and Excise) and by the rcmp have increased dramatically since 1986” (Quebec Stakeholders 1994, 15).

A number of estimates were then offered about the impact of declining spirits sales on the hospitality industry, tourism industry, distillers, and

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suppliers. A specific estimate of the volume of spirits smuggled into Quebec provided by the acd is 1.2 million standard nine-litre cases annually, or 10.8 million litres of spirits. However, the following hypothetical example suggests that, when the estimated smuggled alcohol is added to official sales of spirits, consumption of spirits in Quebec is assumed to be increasing during this five-year period while, in the rest of Canada, excluding Ontario, it declined. These projections do not fit well with other data from survey research noted earlier or with trends in spirits sales in other parts of North America during this time. The estimates offered by the distillers thus appear to be unrealistically high. Let us assume that spirits smuggling into Quebec was half of the estimated volume in 1988 that it was in 1993 and that it was inconsequential in the rest of Canada (except for Ontario). As noted above, the annual estimate of 10.8 million litres of spirits is offered as the amount smuggled. Half of 10.8 is 5.4 million litres, and if this is added to the legal sales of spirits in Quebec for 1988, and 10.8 to legal sales in 1993, then the adjusted amounts of estimated smuggling volumes plus legal sales are 19.3 for 1988 and 21.8 for 1993. In this example the percentage change of adjusted numbers would be a 12.9 percent increase in spirits sales in Quebec, whereas the beverage volume of spirits sold in the rest of Canada, excluding Ontario and Quebec, declined by 15.0 percent over the same time period. Using a similar hypothetical procedure for estimates of spirits smuggled into Ontario, we arrive at a decline in spirit sales of 4.1 percent. Both the 12.9 percent estimated increase for Quebec and the 4.1 percent estimated decline for Ontario are substantially out of step with the rest of Canada, and they raise serious questions about the veracity of these estimates. There are many challenges when estimating the volume of alcohol smuggled, including the following: standardizing the baseline years used, obtaining quantitative information on alternative activities and changes in lifestyle that also may have contributed to the decline in sales of legal spirits, and figuring out how consumption of smuggled beverages “interacts” with consumption of legal products on an individual basis (e.g., the extent of addition and substitution and which types of beverages are typically involved). Estimates also need to take into consideration how consumption of smuggled alcohol contributes to the distribution of alcohol consumption, the yearly volume of alcohol consumed, and patterns of drinking. The last challenge is whether it is feasible to determine the impact of other relevant developments, such as a drop in tobacco taxes and the subsequent attractiveness of alcohol as a source of illegal revenue, particularly in the Cornwall area and other southern Ontario border frontiers.

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notes 1 Tobacco smuggling was particularly critical in Ontario and in Quebec as it found a transportation road with the Native tribal arrangements and boundaries between Canada and the United States (Room and West 1998). The Akwesasne Reserve on the St Lawrence River lies across the boundaries of Ontario and New York. Thus a person entering the southern part of the reserve is in the United States and upon leaving the northern side is in Canada. Although reliable estimates are elusive, a very large share of tobacco smuggled through the eastern part of the us-Canada border was passing through the reserve on the way north to Canadian consumers. 2 There is reference to the dangers of poor-quality alcohol or unhealthy production conditions but very little mention of how smuggling might increase the overall consumption and risk of drinking problems among those using these products. 3 The Quebec Distilled Spirits Industry: Impact of a Tax Rollback on the Viability of the Industry. 4 For a discussion of the challenges of different sources of information on “unofficial” alcohol sales, or “unrecorded consumption,” including that from smuggling, see Single and Giesbrecht (1979); Macdonald, Wells, and Giesbrecht (1999); and Giesbrecht (2000).

references Brandt, A.S. 1994. “Not a Victimless Crime: An International Symposium on Liquor Smuggling and Illegal Alcohol Manufacturing.” Address, 12 April, Toronto. Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police. 1994. Smuggling Activities in Canada. Organized Crime Committee Report. Ottawa: Criminal Intelligence Services Canada. Chamberlain, A. “High Taxes Kill Jobs, Distillers’ Lobby Says.” Toronto Star, 29 October, 3. Cheney, P., and Malarek, V. 2003. “Tobacco Executives Charged in $1.2 Billion Fraud.” Globe and Mail, 1 March, A1. Conference Board of Canada. 1996. The Economic Impact and Taxation Burden from the Distilled Spirits Industry. Association of Canadian Distillers

Cunningham, R. 1996. Smoke and Mirrors: The Canadian Tobacco War. Ottawa: International Development Research Centre. DeMara, B. 1994. “Illegal Liquor Cutting lcbo Sales.” Toronto Star, 14 April, A12. Expert Panel on the Renewal of the Ontario Tobacco Strategy. 1999. Actions Will Speak Louder Than Words: Getting Serious About Tobacco Control in Ontario. A Report to the Minister of Health, Feb.

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Ferguson, J. 1994. “Liquor Quicker, Rogues May Deduce: Warehouses Sprouting, Official Says.” Globe and Mail, 9 February, A1, A2. fia Specialist Investigations Group Inc. 1997. The Smuggling of Distilled Spirits in Ontario. Toronto: Association of Canadian Distillers. – 1998. Program of the International Conference on Smuggling and Organized Crime. Cornwall, Ontario, 21–2 April. Galt, V. 1994. “Poison, Glass Particles Found in Illegal Alcohol.” Globe and Mail, 9 December, A4. Gibbon, A. 1993. “Liquor Smuggling Sobering Fact for Ottawa: Corby Chief Says Illicit Trade Costing $1-billion a Year in Sales and Taxes.” Globe and Mail, 24 June, B1. – 1996. “Smuggled Booze Plagues Corby: Distiller’s Chief Executive Says Black Market Most Active in Quebec.” Globe and Mail, 19 January, B4. Giesbrecht, N., ed. 2000. “Estimating Alcohol Consumption: Measurement and Policy Issues Related to Legal and Illegal Sources of Alcohol.” Contemporary Drug Problems (theme issue) 27: 221–381. Girling, S. 1994. Preventing the Use of Illegal Liquor in Establishments Licensed by the LLBO: A Study in General Deterrence. Toronto: Liquor Licence Board of Ontario. Globe and Mail. 1994. “Quebec Eyes Liquor Price Cuts: Plan to Curb Contraband Receives Sobering Response.” 11 March, B1, B4. Her, M., N. Giesbrecht, R. Room, and J. Rehm. 1999. “Privatizing Alcohol Sales and Alcohol Consumption: Evidence and Implications.” Addiction 94: 1125–39. Kottman, R.N. 1962. “Volstead Violated: Prohibition as a Factor in Canadian-American Relations.” Canadian Historical Review 43 (2): 107. kpmg Investigation and Security Inc. 1995a. Contraband Liquor in Canada. Report commissioned by stakeholders in the distilling industry. Toronto: Association of Canadian Distillers. – 1995b. La contrebande des spiritueux au Canada. Rapport commandé par les intervenants dans l’industrie de la distillation. LaFramboise, D. 1993. “Smuggled Alcohol Could Ruin Your Health.” Toronto Star, 13 December, A17. Lakey, J. 1993. “Smuggling Booze Is Big Business.” Toronto Star, 18 April, A2. Legendre Lubawin Goldfarb Inc. 1996. Rapport d’étude qualitative et quantative sur le phénomène de la contrebande d’alcool. Liquor Control Board of Ontario 1992. LCBO Annual Report 1991–92: Balancing Social Responsibility with Customer-Focused Retailing. Toronto: Liquor Control Board of Ontario. – 1993. LCBO Annual Report 1992–93: A Year of Restraint. Toronto: Liquor Control Board of Ontario. – 1995. LCBO Annual Report 1994–95: Serving You in Many Ways. Toronto: Liquor Control Board of Ontario. – 1996. LCBO Annual Report 1995–96: Our Best Year Ever. Toronto: Liquor Control Board of Ontario.

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– 1997. Illegal Alcohol/Anti-Smuggling Reward Program Announced. News release, 24 June. – 1998. LCBO Annual Report 1997–98: Our Third Straight Record Year. Toronto: Liquor Control Board of Ontario. – 1996, 1998. Economic and Planning Statistics. Toronto: Liquor Control Board of Ontario. Macdonald, S., S. Wells, and N. Giesbrecht. 1996. Unrecorded Alcohol Consumption in Ontario: 1990–1995. arf Research Document Series no. 131. Toronto: Addiction Research Foundation. – 1999. “Unrecorded Consumption in Ontario, Canada: Estimation Procedures and Research Implications.” Drug and Alcohol Review 18: 21–9. Marsden, W. 1993. “Millions Lost in Huge Booze.” Toronto Star, 31 July, A1. McCarthy, S. 1994. “Distillers Seek Tax Cuts to Combat Smuggling.” Toronto Star, 9 February, B1. Mittelstaedt, M. 1993. “Smuggling Crackdown Promised: Profit on Contraband Cigarettes, Liquor Estimated $1-Million a Day.” Globe and Mail, 26 November, A1, A10. Moon, P. 1996. “Police End Smugglers’ ‘Glory Days.’” Globe and Mail, 28 May, A1, A2. Ontario Stakeholders. 1994. Ontario Stakeholders Report. Toronto: Association of Canadian Distillers. Quebec Stakeholders. 1994. The Quebec Distilled Spirits Industry: Impact of a Tax Rollback on the Viability of the Industry. Quebec Stakeholders Report. Montreal: Association of Canadian Distillers and other signators. Room, R., and P. West. 1998. “Alcohol and the us-Canada Border: Trade Disputes and Border Traffic Problems.” Journal of Public Health Policy 19 (1): 68–87. Saunders, D. 1995. “Bootleg Booze Thriving Business in Ontario.” Globe and Mail, 29 May, A12. scfp. 1995. La c’est l’affaire de tout le monde! Communiqué. Quebec City. Single, E., and N. Giesbrecht. 1979. “The 16 Percent Solution and Other Mysteries Concerning the Accuracy of Alcohol Consumption.” British Journal of Addiction 74: 165–73. Statistics Canada. 1996. The Control and Sale of Alcoholic Beverages in Canada. Fiscal year ending 31 March 1995. Public Institutions Division, System of National Accounts Branch. Ottawa: Ministry of Industry, Catalogue no. 63–202-xpb. Taylor, M. 1993. “Risky Business: How Ontario’s Underground Economy Endangers the Public Health.” Presentation by Mark Taylor, President and ceo, Addiction Research Foundation, to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs of the Ontario Government, 4 November 1993. Toronto Star. 1994. “Liquor Smuggling ‘Growing Problem’: Cigarette Tax Cut Sparks Shift to Booze.” 25 August, A15. Wright, L. 1992. “Smugglers Give lcbo a Run for Our Money.” Toronto Star, 10 December, A10.

8 Discussion of Trade and Smuggling Issues

Trade agreements and smuggling, as issues, share a common feature that is of particular interest for Sober Reflections: they are not alcohol specific. Trade agreements are primarily a matter of opening the international market (i.e., of facilitating the free movement of a broad range of commodities); smuggling appears, above all, as a border control and law enforcement issue, in which alcohol is but one of the smuggled commodities to be placed under control. Formally, cross-border trade issues are under federal jurisdiction. However, federal and provincial jurisdictions overlap on these issues as the regulation of the alcohol market is under provincial jurisdiction. As we saw in Chapter 2, the provincial regulations of the market and of trade were established as part of the alcohol control policies to deal with the “special” status of alcohol and the need to curtail its potential threat for the individual and society. Hence, these case studies raise the issue of how trade and the market are regulated for this “special commodity”. A summary of these two case studies on several dimensions is provided in Table 8.1. International trade and smuggling issues relating to alcohol move onto the political agenda through different streams of activity. Trade issues regarding alcohol are raised in the political stream of international trade agreements and disputes, which are initiated or responded to by the federal government within the context of market globalization. As the international trade agreements signed by the federal government impinge on provincial areas of competence, they cannot be implemented without the consent and collaboration of the provinces, which tend to stand behind the local alcohol industries and which also have a primary responsibility for dealing with the problems resulting from drinking. The trade agreement disputes were

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Table 8.1 Comparison of developments in two case studies on several dimensions Alcohol Trade & Distribution chapter

Trade Disputes and Agreements

Smuggling

dimensions Time Period

Key Issues

Key Actors

Mid–1980s–99: trade 1980–89 wine 1987–89 beer 1989–93 Differential treatment of foreign producers of alcohol

Federal government Ontario government Quebec government us government European Union gatt Council & wto Brewers Distillers Vintners Key Forum gatt Council wto Federal government Policy Small us brewers Entrepreneurs us environmental lobby Precipitating Event and Dynamics

Constraints

Instruments

1990s

Lost government revenues. Quality/safety of alcohol. Law enforcement versus alcohol tax cuts versus education. Jobs in law enforcement. Federal government (Revenue Canada, Canada Customs). Ontario government. Quebec government. Provincial liquor boards. Law enforcement (rcmp). Provincial liquor store unions. Distillers. Two symposia on alcohol smuggling (Toronto and Cornwall). Distillers wanting alcohol tax cuts. Law enforcement. Provincial liquor boards. Spillover from tobacco policy arena in two ways: – provided distillers opportunity to ask for lower alcohol taxes. – smuggling organized crime networks were already in place.

Trade agreement provided opportunity for smaller us producers to sell in Canada at lower price than Canadian products. Diverging interests of brewers, vintners, and distillers. Public desire for greater consumer choice. Silence of health advocates in debate. Environmental activism. Canada’s broader policy objectives Governments worried about in trade agenda revenue loss. Actors seeking effective interventions to stop smuggling. Alcohol taxation. Pricing (e.g., beer, barley). Environmental beer bottle levies. Law enforcement. Persuading licenced establishments Access. not to sell smuggled products.

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Table 8.1 (continued) Alcohol Trade & Distribution Trade Disputes and Agreements dimensions Instruments (continued) Media Reporting Role of Research

Points of distribution for certain alcohol products.

Little use of research, although provincial liquor boards (e.g., lcbo) used public health concerns to justify floor pricing.

Smuggling Education regarding alcohol quality/safety. Balanced, but did not address, implications for health and safety risk. Consulting reports. Surveys on public opinion. lcbo estimates of dollar and volume of amount smuggled. Distillers sponsored estimates on revenue loss & volume of smuggling. Relatively little interventions from health organizations.

played both in narrower and wider political arenas – between the federal, the provincial, and foreign governments – and were dominated by economic and business interests. The alcohol smuggling issue moved to the top of the political agenda in a completely different stream. Alcohol smuggling is an old problem that, within the context of tobacco smuggling, gained new attention in the 1990s. The increase in border control and law enforcement in order to curtail tobacco smuggling revealed the magnitude of alcohol smuggling, and the provincial and federal governments were pressed to take action against alcohol smuggling. The distillers, supported by the unions, took the opportunity provided by the tax reduction on tobacco to lay claim to tax reduction as their “right” for spirits, as a central option in addition to law enforcement to curtail spirit smuggling. Despite important differences in the two issues of trade and smuggling – in how they came on the agenda, in the policy networks involved, and in the options and strategies contemplated – policy development in both areas was clearly dominated by economic interests. However, other actors or coalitions might have taken a role and raised concerns about the options proposed and, thereby, influenced the policy solution. As alcohol is not an ordinary commodity, public health actors or coalitions might have been expected to stand up in order to echo health, security, and well-being concerns in the discussion surrounding international trade agreements and smuggling issues. However, a central finding here is that public interest actors were almost entirely absent and public health concerns almost totally overlooked in the debates.

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Public health actors neither formed their own coalition nor allied with others groups of actors to get an audience on these issues, even though the public health interest converged with the interests of brewers on aspects of the trade debate. For instance, in the trade agreement disputes, no public health coalition or advocates took a stand in support of a minimum price for beer: only the Ontario and Quebec governments raised the public health argument. On the other hand, there was one instance of intervention by a public health actor: when the reduction of taxes on spirits was pushed as an option to curtail smuggling, the then president of the Addiction Research Foundation opposed it from a public health perspective (Taylor 1993). The low profile of public health advocates in these discussions is especially surprising in light of the fact that alcohol price and taxation are widely perceived to be central to alcohol control policies (e.g., Edwards et al. 1994; Österberg 1995; Holder et al. 1998). Moreover, the public health coalition was quite active on a parallel issue, that of opposing a tax reduction on tobacco to curtail tobacco smuggling (Cunningham 1996). From these two case studies, it might be concluded that alcohol trade was regulated almost entirely as an ordinary commodity. Fiscal, taxation, and economic interests dominated the policy deliberations.

references Cunningham, R. 1996. Smoke and Mirrors: The Canadian Tobacco War. Ottawa: International Development Research Centre. Edwards, G., P. Anderson, T.F. Babor, S. Casswell, R. Ferrence, N. Giesbrecht, C. Godfrey, H. Holder, P. Lemmens, K. Mäkelä, L.T. Midanik, T. Norström, E. Österberg, A. Romelsjö, R. Room, J. Simpura, and O.-J. Skog. 1994. Alcohol Policy and the Public Good. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Holder, H.D., E. Kühlhorn, S. Nordlund, E. Österberg, A. Romelsjö, and T. Ugland. 1998. European Integration and Nordic Alcohol Policies. Aldershot: Ashgate. Österberg, E. 1995. “Do Alcohol Prices Affect Consumption and Related Problems?” In Alcohol and Public Policy: Evidence and Issues, ed. H.D. Holder and G. Edwards, 145–63. Oxford: Oxford Medical Publications. Taylor, M. 1993. “Risky Business: How Ontario’s Underground Economy Endangers the Public Health.” Presentation by Mark Taylor, President and ceo, Addiction Research Foundation, to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs of the Ontario Government, 4 November.

9 Introduction to Retail Privatization of Alcohol in Quebec, Alberta, and Ontario

Government retail systems for alcoholic beverages persist in several countries, despite threatening pressures from within and internationally. Their stubborn survival in the face of the broader sweep towards privatization in the 1980s and pressures from trade agreements are a testament to the flexibility of these organizations both in adapting to the times and in finding new allies or reviving older associations. Chapters 10, 11, and 12 provide case studies of privatization initiatives involving alcohol retail sales in three provinces. These examples illustrate that the battle for those wishing to retain a government monopoly is an ongoing one and that there is no one model for privatization. Since these case studies were written, British Columbia has moved to privatize its retail alcohol monopoly, which was initially on a three-year timetable (2002–05) (Consumers’ Association of Canada-bc 2003). However, by 2003 the process seemed to have slowed considerably in the face of opposition from the liquor store employees’ union and from several municipal governments (Government of British Columbia 2003). While revising or reforming retail alcohol sales was the overt focus of the initiatives studied in the next chapters, they reveal a great deal about the interaction between private and public sectors, the framing of alcohol distribution as a commercial or public health issue, and how the alcohol issue is affected by broader political and ideological agendas. In Chapter 10 we look at Quebec, which has the most complex experience in this area – experience that stretches over two decades and involves three different privatization initiatives. Several options were explored during this time, but a retail system dominated by a revised and revitalized government monopoly survives to this day.

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In Chapter 11 we examine the Alberta experience. Here a gradual and piecemeal move to a partially private arrangement was followed by a major change in the system in 1993. The rapid transformation of a government-run retailing system into a network of private outlets was fuelled by political, ideological, and fiscal considerations. This experience served, in part, as a model, and also as a warning, for deliberations in Ontario (where privatization has not, so far, been implemented). As we show in Chapter 12, Ontario’s experience also involved several proposals to privatize alcohol retail sales, including one in the mid–1980s and one in the mid–1990s. To date full privatization of retail alcohol sales has not occurred. While many factors are likely involved, this is largely due to the strength of a mixed private and public retailing system and, under threat of privatization, the transformation of the public system into something that emphasizes marketing and promotion. The three cases exemplify one of Sober Reflection’s central themes – namely, that debate about and changes in the management of the commerce in alcohol is largely detached from public health and safety agendas. Second, they illustrate the differentiations in the approach to alcohol retailing and to private-public arrangements taken in each province, despite a common history of similar monopoly approaches. Finally, these experiences in alcohol retailing and commerce at the provincial level relate to the international and interprovincial alcohol trade issues and international smuggling analyzed in Chapters 6 and 7. In the absence of clear commitments to alcohol policy at the federal level, the provincial monopolies and their employee unions have been major players in sustaining the Canadian alcohol control system, albeit in a form that emphasizes marketing and alcohol promotion.

references Consumers’ Association of Canada-bc. 2003. Privatization of BC’s Retail Liquor Store System: Implications for Consumers. A report of the Consumers’ Association of Canada – bc, May 2003. Vancouver: Consumers’ Association of Canada, bc. Government of British Columbia. 2003. Province and BCGEO Reach Agreement. Information Bulletin, 10 October. Victoria: Government of British Columbia. .

10 The Proposed Privatization of the Québec Liquor Corporation: The Never-Ending Story ANDRÉE DEMERS AND MADELYN FOURNIER

Over the last two decades, 1980 to 1999, the privatization of the Quebec Liquor Corporation, better known under its French name Société des alcools du Québec (saq), moved onto the political agenda several times. Despite some relaxation of controls on alcohol retailing, the saq has remained a state-run alcohol retail corporation. The focus of this case study is the repeated rise and fall of the privatization issue on the political agenda under various political and policy streams. This chapter examines the three main saq privatization proposals in their historical, social, political, and economic contexts.1 The Quebec case is unique in the Canadian context in that alcohol retail in Quebec has never been a “total” state monopoly. When the Quebec Liquor Commission (the former saq) was created in 1921, domestic beers continued to be sold in grocery stores, and, since 1978, selected brands of wine and cider have also been sold in these stores. The saq retail monopoly is only on sales of distilled spirits, imported wine and imported beer.

the early years, 1921–70 In 1921, after prohibition was repealed, the Quebec government unanimously adopted the Alcoholic Liquor Act, creating a state quasi-monopoly for alcohol – namely, the Québec Liquor Commission. This legislation, together with the Alcoholic Liquor Possession and Transportation Act, gave the Quebec Liquor Commission the exclusive right to import, distribute, and sell wine and spirits in the province as well as the right to bottle wine imported in bulk. As a result of lobbying by the brewers, beer produced in the province

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was excluded from this monopoly and continues to be sold in grocery stores. The Quebec Liquor Commission was also responsible for liquor licences and, in collaboration with police, for the control and surveillance of smuggling and other infringements of liquor laws. This latter function was transferred to the attorney general in 1934, and an alcohol police force was created in 1940 (under the Provincial Police Force and the Liquor Police Force Act). The official rhetoric of the government for creating this alcohol quasi-monopoly was to control alcohol abuse while respecting individual freedom. Nevertheless, it quickly became apparent that profits generated by the Quebec Liquor Commission were a major source of revenue for the Quebec government (Prévost, Gagné, and Phaneuf 1986; Thinel 1971). The Alcoholic Liquor Act and the Alcoholic Liquor Possession and Transportation Act were replaced by the Quebec Liquor Board Act in 1961, which created one agency, the Quebec Liquor Board (qlb). The qlb had two distinct mandates, one (under the supervision of the finance minister) was to manage the alcohol business, including importation, distribution, and sales, and the other (under the supervision of the justice minister) was to administer liquor licences for on-premise establishments and sanctions for infringements of liquor laws and regulations. The business mandate was closely linked to providing government revenue, which created pressure to increase sales and, thereby, alcohol consumption. The control function remained largely driven by control of alcohol abuse or intemperance. Since 1921 the Quebec government has been lobbied by the private sector to relax alcohol retailing and by the temperance movement to stiffen alcohol controls and the enforcement of liquor laws; however, the government’s interest has been to keep the revenue-generating status quo (see Table 10.1). In this context the voice of the private sector had little effect, and privatization was not seriously raised until the end of the 1960s.

the thinel commission and creation of the qlc The administrative dysfunctions of the qlb became obvious after two strikes by qlb employees in 1964–65 and 1968, respectively. During these strikes the alcohol control function was ineffective, enabling the growth of alcohol smuggling. Moreover, the licence allocation process was slow, and decisions were often arbitrary or unfair. With regard to alcohol retailing, the halo of a temperance ideology constrained the development of a profitable business. As a result, the Quebec Cabinet created the Thinel Commission in 1968, with the mandate to assess the development of the alcoholic beverage retailing business since January 1964 and to find the most efficient way to oversee this business while maintaining social peace and providing government revenue (Thinel 1971, 18).

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The Thinel Commission played an important role in setting the context for privatization debates in Quebec. The rhetoric of the commission was dominated by libertarian arguments, and the Quebec Liquor Board Act was regarded as an infringement of fundamental individual rights and freedoms (Thinel 1971, 239). The final report stated that there was no relationship between alcohol accessibility and alcohol abuse; that it was not the role of liquor laws to reduce alcohol abuse; and that prevention of alcoholism was not part of the commission’s mandate but was, rather, a public health issue (33–8). Hence, the commission endorsed the qlb’s marketing orientation change from the public good to the consumer good: “It is within the perspective of the majority, therefore, that the new surveillance and alcohol beverage marketing policy has to be elaborated, and not in the perspective of a marginal fringe of this population that cannot withhold its consumption” (38).2 However, it should be noted that no public submissions heard by the commission represented social or health interests. Even though the Thinel Commission had seriously considered privatizing the alcohol retail function, it concluded that consumers would be better served by a public system (i.e., that the public would have better access and lower priced alcohol). The commission recommended splitting the qlb into two government agencies: one responsible for alcohol control (with the mandate of protecting public order by the allocation of liquor licences) and the other responsible for the alcohol retail business (Société des alcools du Québec, saq). Hence, in July 1971, the Liquor Permit Control Act and Quebec Liquor Corporation Act created these two agencies. It is important to keep in mind that, during the 1960s, Quebec was undergoing major political, ideological, and economical changes that, collectively, were known as “La Révolution Tranquille” (the Quiet Revolution). Often regarded as the “priest-ridden province,” anchored in tradition and the past, until the late 1950s Quebec had been dominated by the Roman Catholic clergy, who were champions of the temperance movement (Prévost, Gagné, and Phaneuf 1986). The Quiet Revolution resulted in a secularized province: Quebec moved away from respecting traditions and towards facing the challenges of progress (Monière 1977). During this period the Quebec government played an active role in economic development by creating state societies. Thus privatization of the alcohol retail business would have been contrary to the government’s mainstream ideology. The new Société des alcools du Québec (saq), a state agency, reported to the minister of finance. However, the saq had administrative autonomy in order to avoid political influence or pressure. The saq (1) inherited the importing, distribution, and alcohol retail functions that were formerly part of the qlb; (2) kept the monopoly on bottling of wine imported in bulk; (3) was allowed to prescribe the conditions for the production, quality, and

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composition of alcoholic beverages sold in Quebec; and (4) advised the finance minister on alcohol industry licences and regulations. The new saq was driven by modern business principles and service ideology: efficiency and profitability became its credo. The Thinel Commission’s report and the creation of the saq marked a turning point in the alcohol retail business in Quebec, with a clear separation of alcohol abuse issues from business issues. Although the mandate of the saq was exclusively a business mandate, it retained its commitment to fight against alcoholism in its 1980–85 developmental plan (Société des alcools du Québec 1980).

liberalization of the wine market, 1970s Although the Thinel Commission did not recommend the privatization of alcohol retailing, it did support the liberalization of wine retailing. The commission regarded wines as a beverage consumed with meals and, hence, believed that it should be available for purchase in grocery stores as a consumer commodity (Thinel 1971, 196). The 1971 legislation did not allow the sale of wine in grocery stores. However, the retail food industry 3 allied with the growing Quebec wine industry to open the grocery store market. The election of a new government in 1976, the Parti Québécois (pq, the sovereignty party in Quebec), and appointment of the former secretary of the Thinel Commission, Rodrigue Tremblay, as minister of industry and commerce created the opportunity to push the issue of opening the wine market onto the political agenda. In 1978, despite strong opposition by the saq administration, grocery stores were allowed to sell designated brands of wine produced by the Quebec wine industry or bottled by the saq. However, grocery stores forming part of a chain of stores were excluded from the regulation change until 1980. This was the first fundamental change in the alcohol retail monopoly since 1921, and the saq administration regarded it as the beginning of the government attempting to chip away at its monopoly. The saq retained the exclusive right to import alcoholic beverages, to purchase wine and spirits from Quebec producers, to sell wholesale to onpremise establishments and grocery stores, and to sell spirits and imported beers. Although retail sales of Quebec wine was mainly through grocery stores, the saq retail network had the exclusive right to sell all other wines. The wine bottling activity was shared with the private sector, but the private sector was not allowed to bottle wine imported in bulk. The production, distribution, and sale of domestic beer remained entirely under the control of the private sector.

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Fig. 10.1. Number of newspaper articles mentioning various policy actors, saq privatization 60

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the privatization debates Media Coverage Over the last two decades, privatization of the saq appeared three times on the political agenda. From 1983 to 1985, under a Parti Québécois government, the Biron project developed in the stream of the sovereignty movement; from 1993 to 1994, under a Liberal government, the Bourbeau project arose in the stream of the privatization of government agencies; and from 1997 to 1999, under a Parti Québécois government, the Landry project appeared in the stream of the rationalization and downsizing of the state. Mirrored by the press coverage in the major francophone newspapers in Montreal (La Presse and Le Devoir) (see Figures 10.1 and 10.2), the first and most serious privatization initiative (the Biron project) opposed business interests, government interests, and employment interests, and involved mainly government, the saq, and the saq union. The second initiative was short-lived, and the debate remained between the government and the private sector. The third initiative was dominated by business interests and involved the saq, the private sector, and the saq unions. Based on the media coverage of these three privatization endeavours (see Figures 10.1 and 10.2), health-related interests seem to have been mostly ignored, even if consumer interests were raised, and the public did not play an active role in the debates. The Biron Project, 1983–85 Window of opportunity. It is hard to pinpoint the exact date the privatization debate in Quebec started. The liberalization of the wine market was likely

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Fig. 10.2. Number of newspaper articles by policy rationales, saq privatization 70 60 Biron Bourbeau Landry

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regarded by the private sector and the saq administration as indicating that the provincial government was ready to relax some control of alcohol business. During the 1981 election campaign a political opportunity, or “window,” opened when Rodrigue Biron (pq), minister of industry and commerce, proclaimed that if he and his party were re-elected the saq retail stores would be transformed into cooperatives. The re-elected Premier René Lévesque announced in his inaugural speech of parliamentary session (April 1981) that he intended to set up a “co-ordination table” to discuss the development of the Quebec alcohol industry. The new wine industry, which was limited in its development by the restrictions on the origin of the wine produced in Quebec (a restriction not imposed on the saq bottling plant), took this opportunity to lobby for a mini-summit with the intent of criticizing the saq. The industry and commerce minister responded by inviting the private sector (e.g., brewers, distillers, wine industry, and grocery store sector), liquor workers’ union, and the saq to sit with government representatives from the finance and the industry and commerce ministries in 1982. There was a consensus within the private sector that the saq had an advantage created by the Quebec legislation and its formal advisory role to the government and that, hence, competition with the private sector was unfair. The wine industry complained about being restricted to bottling only Quebec wine; the food retail sector complained about the limited number of wine brands grocery stores were allowed to sell; and the wine importers and wholesalers were discontented with the absolute authority of the saq in alcohol quality control. The industry and commerce minister said in the legislature that their complaints were grounded and that he was committed to taking the claims of the private sector into account when revising alcohol

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legislation and regulations (Hansard, Commission permanente de l’économie et du travail, 1984, ser. 5, v. 27, 394). The opposition between the private sector and the saq was physically tangible at the coordination table, where they sat opposite one another. Despite a lack of consensus on specific issues, private-sector representatives joined forces to press for the privatization of the saq. The saq employees’ union allied with the saq to maintain the status quo. But the dice were loaded, and the minister opened the proceedings by saying he did not intend to privatize either the bottling plant or the retail stores, even if he agreed to relax some regulations; therefore, privatization was not on the political agenda. The government’s position was surprising given the growing public sentiment – influenced by the Quebec employers council (Conseil du patronat du Québec) after the fifth strike by saq employees in 1979 – that privatization of the saq should be an option. One informant said: “There would be no strikes in the grocery stores, therefore, no loss of revenue for the state.” Nevertheless, the saq union, as well as some in the wine industry, suspected that the government had a hidden agenda to privatize the saq (Godin 1991, 407). The dispute was over the profitability of the saq. The private sector’s arguments were based on a study commissioned by the alcohol industry, which showed that management of the saq was inefficient. Experts on either side tried to show that their solution – privatization or the status quo – would provide more revenue to the government. The saq union saw the status quo as the most desirable option with regard to secure jobs and working conditions, which could explain why it allied with its “natural enemy,” the saq management. Following this consultation, the government relaxed the saq’s monopoly on bottling and expanded the number of wine brands available in grocery stores. Amendments to saq legislation and other legislation in 1983 allowed the wine industry to bottle imported wine in bulk (although importing remained controlled by the saq) under their own brands and sell them in grocery stores, thus expanding the varieties of wines available (Gouvernement du Québec 1983, Gazette officielle du Québec). Moreover, this amendment forced the saq to keep its bottling plant and its sales activities accounts separate, and created a mixed committee under the ministry of industry and commerce, composed of saq and alcohol industry representatives, responsible for quality control of alcohol. A repercussion of this first privatization initiative was the nomination of the former vice-president of a major wine company as the new president of the saq. His mandate was to increase alcohol sales, establish a better relationship with the private sector, develop new markets (particularly outside Quebec), improve customer service, and increase the profits provided to the government (Hansard, Commission permanente de l’industrie, du commerce et du tourisme, 1983, ser. 53, v. 27, 3555). In an editorial in La

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Presse, Dubuc (1983a) commented, “C’est le loup dans la bergerie [It’s the wolf in a flock of sheep].” It is noteworthy that health authorities were not invited to the coordination table and were silent in this process, which is not surprising given the dissociation of alcohol abuse and alcoholism issues from business issues since the Thinel Commission and the creation of the saq in 1971. Nevertheless, the Liberals (the opposition party) took the opportunity of the debate in the legislature to raise alcohol-related health issues and forced the government to reiterate that the saq’s mandate is business, not the fight against alcoholism (Hansard, Commission permanente de l’industrie, du commerce et du tourisme, 1983, ser. 84, v. 27, 4581). The cooperative project. Privatization of alcohol retail was on the political agenda for the first time at the end of 1983. This first serious endeavour to change the status of the saq began, developed, and ended in chaos. It began with a statement by the chair of the saq in an exclusive interview in the newspaper Le Devoir (Nadeau 1983b) that the saq intended to sell or franchise its retail store network. Even if this report were later denied by the president of the saq in a letter addressed to his staff, the pre-eminent public statement on the issue reported in Le Devoir was that privatization of the saq retail network was on the political agenda. On 30 November 1983 the front-page article of Le Devoir, entitled “La privatisation ne serait qu’une question de mois: Un réseau de franchises prendra la relève des 360 succursales de la saq [Privatization would be a matter of months: A franchise network will take over the 360 saq branches]” (Nadeau 1983b), gave rise to strong reactions. According to Le Devoir, the union denounced the project as a strategy to “kill the union,” whereas the grocery store coalitions reacted positively (Nadeau 1983a). Dubuc’s editorial in La Presse argued that privatization would be in the consumer’s interest (Dubuc 1983b). Nevertheless, this was set aside and replaced by a project initiated by the minister of industry and commerce. As previously announced in the 1981 electoral campaign, the idea was to transform the retail stores into workers’ cooperatives. This project became known as the cooperative project, as it was this aspect that would be the main focus of discussion in the legislature. According to the minister, the cooperative mode was a way to reconcile workers’ interests and government’s fiscal interests. However, the main rhetoric concerned Quebec sovereignty, championed by the Parti Québécois, and the new “society project” (Hansard, Commission permanente de l’industrie, du commerce et du tourisme, 1984, ser. 75, v. 27, 5510): “La vision de la société québécoise c’est un objectif de participation des travailleurs aux décisions et à la profitabilité [The vision of Québec’s society is an objective of workers’ participation in decisions and profitability]”

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(Hansard, Commission permanente de l’industrie, du commerce et du tourisme, 1984, ser. 79, v. 27, 5695). The ideology of the sovereignty of the workers (i.e., their capacity to manage themselves and improve their economic condition) was an opportunity to show the public that it is better to be economically and hence politically sovereign (Hansard, Commission permanente de l’économie et du travail, 1984, ser. 11, v.27, 398). This may have been a strategy to create an informal alliance with the sovereignty/separatist movement and the cooperative project. In many respects the cooperative project appeared to be improvised. As described below, the project contravened the cooperative philosophy and legislation adopted in 1982 (the Co-operative Act) and enforced in December 1983 (Noël 1986). In addition, the minister did not consult the saq union or the cooperative coalition before announcing his project, and both opposed it. Despite these impediments the minister tried to move the project forward by: (1) amending the cooperative legislation, (2) creating a group from the business school of the University of Montréal (hec) to design the project, and (3) appointing the former chair of the Parti Québécois in his electoral district (who was an expert in cooperative development) as director of special projects at the saq. Amending the cooperative legislation. According to the cooperative legislation: “A co-operative is a corporation joining together individuals having common economic and social needs and who, to satisfy them, join themselves to operate an enterprise in conformity with co-operative action rules” (Gouvernement du Québec 1983, 8).5 In order to be viable, a cooperative must be initiated by the workers, meet their shared needs, create employment, and include a minimum of twelve members. The workers must be free to join the cooperative, hence the law defined three kinds of cooperatives: consumers’, producers’, and workers’ cooperatives (the latter being under the restriction that the workers cannot buy goods to retail). Transforming the saq retail stores into business cooperatives, as proposed by the minister, contravened existing legislation in many respects. First, the aim of these co-ops would be to make a profit from consumers; second, most of the stores would include only two or three potential cooperators; third, these co-ops would not create employment; and fourth, the freedom of the worker to join the movement would be jeopardized. The project was not endorsed by the Conseil de la coopération au Québec (ccq, Québec Co-operation Council) who advised the minister that the objectives and tenure of the project appeared incompatible with the cooperative organization mode requirements and asked the minister to suspend it (Hansard, Commission permanente de l’industrie, du commerce et du tourisme, 1984, ser. 79, v. 27, 5694–95; Hansard, Commission permanente de l’économie et du travail, 1984, ser. 3, v. 27, 70–7).

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Despite the reluctance of the cooperative coalition to support it, the project derived strength from a study commissioned by the government from the business school at the University of Montreal (hec). The minister pushed the amendment of the cooperative legislation through and rallied the ccq to join a pilot project in a few stores; hence, he was able to push his project forward. The workers’ fight against the co-operative project. For the saq union, movements towards privatization or “cooperativisation” have always been seen as a way for the government to “break” the union. The consistent position of the union was to keep the status quo. Having lost the legislative and political struggle, the saq union then took legal steps to stop the project and obtained a temporary injunction in June 1984 by arguing that the transformation of the liquor stores into cooperatives would change the working conditions for the workers. However, a permanent injunction was refused in March 1985 by the Quebec Court of Appeal, which recognized the saq and government’s right to privatize (Court of Appeal ruling, Clerk Court Office of Montreal, No. 500–09– 000551–945, 43). Deriving strength from this judgment, the government moved ahead and invited bids to purchase the liquor stores in the Montreal region. The stores could be purchased as franchises, either by the private sector (excluding those involved in the production or wholesale of alcoholic beverages) or by workers, whether or not they were organized in the cooperative. In July 1985 the union again took its case to court to try to stop the bidding process, but it lost in August. Although it could have continued the judicial battle, the union decided instead to return to the political arena to try to get a six-month moratorium in order to prepare, in collaboration with the government, a new privatization project. The death of the cooperative project. Concurrent with the union’s judicial battle, the government called for bids to sell 126 retail stores in the Montreal region as franchises. Bids were open to the private sector, excluding those in the alcohol industry (e.g., producers and wholesalers). The bidding process moved ahead, but the saq received bids for only half of the stores – the more profitable ones. In October the minister stopped the process for ninety days, knowing that a provincial election would be called for December. The issue apparently was too hot to stay on the agenda during an election campaign. During the election campaign the Liberals announced they intended to stop the project not because they were opposed to privatization but, rather, because it was developed by the Parti Québécois and thus tightly linked to the sovereignty issue. The Liberals won the election, stopped the cooperative project, and began developing their own privatization project.

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The Bourbeau Project, 1993–94 The open window of opportunity. The second attempt to privatize the saq began in a completely different political context. In 1985 the new Liberal government had put privatization of government agencies on its agenda. A new minister was appointed,6 a committee formed to advise him, and a privatization policy published in 1986 (Gouvernement du Québec, Ministère des finances, 1986). Even if the committee recommended examining privatization of the saq in this process, the Liberal government delayed attacking this issue. The abrupt end of the previous saq privatization process in 1986 gave rise to judicial proceedings claiming damages, which as yet were unresolved. Nevertheless, in 1993 there was the political will to speed up the process of privatization of provincial agencies in order to put government finances in order. At the same time the wine industry continued lobbying for privatization of the saq bottling plant and the grocery retail industry lobbied in order to expand their share of the market to include wines of higher quality (Hansard, Commission permanente de l’économie et du travail, 1993, ser. 73, v. 32). At first the discussion was only of privatization of the wine bottling plant. However, this issue could not be raised without considering the whole system since wine bottled in Quebec, and sold through the grocery stores, had a protected retail market that was recognized in trade agreements (see Chapter 6). Therefore, a change in the bottling industry could have forced the opening of the grocery market to a wider range of wines and, consequently, could have affected the saq retail monopoly. The debate was extended in May 1994 to consider complete privatization of the saq, including its retail and wholesale activities. Following the principles of the Liberals’ 1986 privatization policy, a working group was formed under the authority of the finance minister, including representatives from the finance, industry and commerce, and technology ministries as well as the saq. A short-lived debate. Under the 1986 privatization policy, the 1993–94 saq privatization debate had to consider the public good, the Quebec economic good, the specificity of the sector, public disclosure, the fairness of the privatization process for every stakeholder, the previous achievements of the government agency, and the fairness of its competition in a liberal market (Gouvernement du Québec, Ministère des finances, 1986). The positions championed by the stakeholders remained consistent with those developed during the first privatization attempt. The saq union remained opposed to privatization for employment considerations. The food retail coalition was pro-privatization because it wanted to extend its market. The wine industry favoured privatizing the bottling plant. Finally, the opposition party (Parti Québécois) was pro-privatization but did not

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want to be seen to support the government moving ahead. The saq profitability and the consumer good were at the heart of arguments on each side. The debate was scarcely initiated when an election was called. A moratorium was placed on the issue and no political decision was made. Nevertheless, during the election campaign, the saq union set up a petition, “J’ai mon mot à dire [I have my own say],” against saq privatization, which received strong support from consumers, as was reported in La Presse (Anonymous, 13 July 1994). The Landry Project, 1997–99 The Liberals lost the election and the Parti Québécois returned to power with Quebec political sovereignty as its top priority. Armed with the consumer petition, the saq union pressured the government to remove the saq privatization from their political agenda. As unions were major allies on the sovereignty issue, we can speculate that it was not in the government’s interest to move ahead with privatization of the saq. This issue returned to the political agenda only after the November 1995 provincial referendum on Quebec sovereignty. The open window of opportunity. In 1997 the Quebec government, in a financial crisis accentuated by the hold put on budget issues during the referendum campaign, began the process of downsizing the state. The premier set up the Groupe de travail sur l’examen des organismes gouvernementaux (Working group on the examination of government agencies), chaired by his parliamentary assistant and including representatives from the executive council, the treasury council, and the finance ministry. This group’s mandate was to review the role and function of government agencies and to make recommendations to “trim the fat.” Thus the debate on saq privatization was reopened in this context. Regarding the saq, the working group recommended privatization of the wine bottling plant and relaxation of regulations on alcohol (wine and spirits) sold in grocery stores (Gouvernement du Québec 1997b, 71–2). However, the consumers were not calling for changes to the saq. In a survey conducted in February 1996, sponsored by the saq, 80 percent of consumers responded as having a very positive opinion of the saq (Société des alcools du Québec 1997, 21). The consultation process. Following this recommendation, the finance minister set up another working group (Groupe de travail sur le secteur des boissons alcooliques) and nominated the president of the saq as the chair (Gouvernement du Québec 1997a). This group’s mandate was to “examine and propose the most worthwhile options regarding administrative profit-

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ability and efficiency, while considering the consumers’ interests as well as those of the industries’ intervening parties” (Groupe de travail sur le secteur des boissons alcooliques au Québec 1997).7 This group was composed of representatives from the finance, industry and commerce, and science and technology ministries, and thereby could be seen as a governmental coalition. It is noteworthy that the ministry of health and social services was not part of this coalition. A private consultant was appointed to analyze the pros and cons of various options and to advise the committee. The working group first prepared a consultation document with various options, informed by a study on models developed elsewhere (Groupe de travail sur le secteur des boissons alcooliques au Québec 1997). This study was mainly based on data from the National Alcoholic Beverage Control Association (nabca), the organization of us state alcohol monopolies. The criteria used for analysis were related to: (1) finance (costs and benefits); (2) investments (new investments required, values of assets, and shares of the saq transition costs); (3) government revenue received; (4) customers’ interests (price, variety of products available, number of outlets); (5) quality of products and service; (6) employment (number of jobs and working conditions); and (7) other criteria (social, environmental, and legislative issues). Drawing on the Alberta experience (see Chapter 11), they acknowledged that privatization of the Alberta Liquor Control Board led to an increase in the number of outlets, a decrease in the variety of products offered in most stores, an increase in average retail price, no significant change in volume of alcohol sales, and no significant change in consumer satisfaction. In this document, four options were retained for discussion and four were discarded. The retained options were: (1) status quo, with or without the creation of a distinct entity for the saq bottling plant (with the saq as the sole shareholder, with a minority holding of the saq or a total privatization of the bottling plant); (2) partial or full privatization of the saq; (3) privatization of the saq network of retail stores; and (4) liberalization of the alcohol retail market while keeping the saq stores. The discarded options were: (1) closing the saq bottling plant; (2) transforming the saq stores into agencies; (3) selling the saq stores as separate units (as was done in 1985); (4) selling the saq stores in blocks (Groupe de travail sur le secteur des boissons alcooliques au Québec 1997). As a second step, representatives from the alcohol business (saq union, saq managers, alcohol industry, alcohol wholesalers, food retailers, hotel and restaurant associations, and Educ’alcool) were invited to provide feedback on this document. A broad consensus rapidly emerged around the status quo (saq employees unions; Association of saq Middle Managers; Association of saq Stores Directors; Association of Wine Merchants; Québec Association of Wine, Beer and Spirits Agencies; Association of Canadian Distillers), except with

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regard to the legal status of the bottling plant. The Alberta privatization experience was used by the union and middle managers’ coalition to support its position by pointing out the decrease in workers’ salaries. The full privatization option (Option 2) was supported only by the Canadian council of grocery distributors and the hotel and restaurant coalition, whereas the Association of Grocery Retailers of Québec supported the liberalization of retail regulations while keeping the saq retail stores (Option 4) (Groupe de travail sur le secteur des boissons alcooliques 1998). Defending the public good. Business and economic interests, including government’s fiscal interest, dominated the discussions. The public good was reduced to a consumers’ good issue and the social issue was reduced to an environmental issue. The private sector, the saq, and the union were all claiming to be the champion of the consumers’ good. It should be noted that no representative of the health constituencies was invited to participate (and few took the initiative to participate) in the debate. The sole defender of public health interests who was invited was Educ’alcool (a non-profit organization that develops prevention initiatives). Educ’alcool, formed in 1989 by the saq and the alcohol industry and financed by an added tax on wine and spirits, adopted a neutral position. One respondent’s reply to the question about the absence of public health authorities in this debate was, “we missed an opportunity ... If we put only economic actors in the discussion, it is sure that the social and sanitary issues will be ignored.” Another respondent replied, “It is commercial. Listen, it is simple, moreover in some countries the alcohol retail company is under the supervision of the health ministry. Here, it is under the supervision of the finance ministry. It is not for nothing. The main concern of the saq executive is not a public health concern. It does not have to [be concerned] because the level of consumption is what it is and because Educ’alcool is there to do the work.” The public health issue was introduced in the debate by the saq union and the middle managers coalition and by the Association des directeurs et directrices de succursales de la saq (addsqlc). Based on a review conducted by the chair of socio-economic studies at the University of Montreal (Fortin 1997) and sponsored by the saq union, the union and middle managers coalition argued that a government alcohol monopoly (i.e., the status quo) is the best warranty for public health, and it expressed concerns about the future of Educ’alcool should the saq was privatized. The addsqlc was referring to a paper published in Quebec, in French, on the monopoly and the public health issue (Room 1988). While this public health argument was one among many used to support its position, the main rhetorical emphasis remained on employment, the consumers’ good, and monopoly profitability. It is noteworthy that the public health issue was not considered

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by the working group in its recommendation to the minister of economy and finance. The political decision. The working group’s recommendation to the finance minister was not to privatize the saq, with the exception of the wine bottling division, which it recommended should be a distinct entity controlled by a partnership between the saq and private sector.8 These recommendations were accepted and a new entity was created in March 1999, controlled 35 percent by the saq, 35 percent by the Fonds de solidarité de la Fédération des travailleurs du Québec (ftq) (Workers’ Federation of Quebec), and 30 percent by two private entities – Vin Andrés du Québec Ltée and Société de Vin International Ltée (Gouvernement du Québec 1999). The privatization of the bottling plant, a peripheral saq activity, may seem paradoxical given recurrent calls for privatization from the private sector and the government’s general privatization policy. However, the private sector did not form a broad coalition on this issue. The saq, a complex organization, combines various functions and activities. Several actors with diverse interests from the private sector and from the government were at play in the privatization debate. When they lobbied for privatization or for some policy changes, it was always for changes that might be favourable for them. What was desirable for one actor was not necessarily desirable for others (e.g., what may be good for the food retailers was not good for the wine producers or consumers). Therefore, the form of privatization desired by the various actors differed. This was clearly stated by one informant, “They all agreed with privatization as a whole, they all agreed under the condition of being protected, which is the antithesis. If you liberalize, you don’t protect. They were saying yes to privatization, but under the condition of this ... they had to gain a sure benefit from it before opening the gate.”9 Hence, it was difficult to achieve a consensus on fundamental changes. For the alcohol industry, the issue is complicated by trade agreements and disputes (see Chapter 6). Quebec had achieved some protections regarding retail sales of Quebec wine in grocery stores that were conditional on a restrictive system. Breaking the status quo would be like opening a Pandora’s box, possibly affecting many sectors of the alcohol industry. For example, the development of the wine industry might be jeopardised by the relaxation of wine retailing in the grocery stores, which were a protected market for the industry. Hence, the privatization debate was complicated by external constraints. Even if the status quo was not the favourite option, it was the only one upon which it was possible to have minimal consensus.

the role of public health and research Our analysis of the three main periods of privatization debates in Quebec suggests that they were dominated by economic, fiscal, and commercial

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interests, although they appeared under different streams – the sovereignty project, privatization of government agencies, or state downsizing. No effort was made by the government to involve public health constituencies, and public health didn’t take the initiative to be heard. Finally, research findings did not seem to have a real influence in the debates or on the outcomes. Alcohol was treated like an ordinary commodity in these privatization proposals; economic, fiscal, and commercial policies regarding alcohol and alcohol-related health policies were developed in parallel, with no interaction. It is clear that when public health concerns were raised in the debate they were not of central or secondary interest as no changes to the regulations or in the particular privatization project were discussed to address them. Health issues were raised as part of a cluster of arguments to support the status quo position in the debate. The various economic actors involved in the debate tried to base their position on economic or social analyses; however, the research they used to support their position was selectively cited. Despite extensive research on the relationship between alcohol-related problems and alcohol regulation through a government retail monopoly, this issue was largely ignored in the debate. In these privatization debates, it seems that scientific knowledge about the impact of privatization on alcohol-related problems did not have a significant influence on policy makers.

notes 1 A chronology of privatization initiatives in Quebec is provided in Table 10.1. 2 “C’est dans la perspective de la majorité qu’il faut donc élaborer la nouvelle politique de surveillance et de commercialisation des boissons alcooliques, et non dans la perspective d’une frange marginale de cette population qui ne parvient pas à maîtriser sa consommation.” 3 “A wine maker’s permit entitles the holder to make wine and keep, sell and deliver the wine he makes” (Quebec Liquor Corporation Act, C.20, d.3.32). (Wine makers could use Quebec grapes or concentrated grape juice and were allowed a maximum of 20 percent of imported wine in bulk.) 4 Verbatim transcripts of all debates in the House and in committee are published in the Journal des débats (Hansard). 5 “Une cooperative est une corporation regroupant des personnes qui ont des besoins économiques et sociaux communs et qui, en vue de les satisfaire, s’associent pour exploiter une entreprise conformément aux règles d’action coopérative." 6 Décret ministériel no. 2653, 13 décembre 1985.

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7 “d’examiner et de proposer les options les plus valables en matière de rentabilité et d’efficacité administrative, tout en tenant compte des intérêts des consommateurs et des intervenants des industries." 8 Recommandation 1: maintien de la structure actuelle du secteur des boissons alcooliques et du rôle de la saq à l’exception de la fonction de mise en bouteille [maintenance of the present structure of the alcohol beverage sector and saq role except for the bottling function]; Recommandation 2: La création d’une entité disctincte pour l’usine de mise en bouteille dans la laquelle la saq serait co-actionnaire [Creation of a distinct entity for the bottling plant in which the saq would be co-shareholder] (Gouvernement du Québec 1998. Rapport du groupe de travail sur le secteur des boissons alcooliques, June 1998, 12-13). 9 “Ils étaient tous d’accord avec la privatisation dans l’ensemble, ils étaient tous d’accord à condition d’être protégés. Si tu libéralises, tu ne protèges pas, ce qui est l’antithèse. Ils venaient dire oui à la privatisation, mais à la condition que ... Il fallait qu’ils en tirent un bénéfice assuré avant d’ouvrir la barrière.”

references Anonymous. 1994. “L’express du matin: J’ai mon mot à dire.” La Presse, 13 septembre. Dubuc, A. 1983a. “Le commencement de la fin.” La Presse, 29 octobre. – 1983b. “saq: la vache et l’éléphant.” La Presse, 8 décembre. Fortin, J. 1997. Enjeux sociaux de la privatisation de la saq: de la facture économique à la fracture sociale. Montréal: Université du Québec à Montréal, Chaire d’études socio-économique. Godin, P. 1991. La révolte des traîneux de pieds. Montréal: Boréal. Gouvernement du Québec. 1983. Gazette officielle du Québec. vol. 115, no. 47. Québec: Éditeur officiel du Québec. – 1997a. Québec met sur pied un groupe de travail concernant l’organisation du secteur des boissons alcooliques. Communiqué de presse, Cabinet du Vice-Premier ministre et ministre d’État de l’Économie et des Finances. 17 février. – 1997b. Rapport du Groupe de travail sur l’examen des organismes gouvernementaux. Québec. – 1999. Nouvelle entreprise de production, d’embouteillage et de distribution de vins au Québec. Communiqué de presse, Cabinet du Vice-Premier ministre et ministre d’État de l’Économie et des Finances. 26 mars. Gouvernement du Québec, Ministère de l’Industrie, du Commerce et de la technologie. Direction des coopératives. 1993. Recueil de textes juridiques. Québec: Le Ministère, Direction des communications.

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Gouvernement du Québec, Ministère des finances (Ministre délégué à la privatisation). 1986. Privatisation de sociétés d’État: orientation et perspectives, by Pierre Fortier, Québec. Groupe de travail sur le secteur des boissons alcooliques au Québec. 1997. Document de consultation. Montréal: Groupe de travail sur le secteur des boissons alcooliques au Québec. – 1998. Rapport du groupe de travail sur le secteur des boissons alcooliques au Québec. Montréal. Monière, D. 1977. Le développement des idéologies au Québec. Montréal: Éditions Québec/Amérique. Nadeau, M. 1983a. “Biron veut donner la préférence aux employés.” Le Devoir, 1 décembre. – 1983b. “Un réseau de franchises prendra la relève des 360 succursales de la saq.” Le Devoir, 30 novembre. Noël, F. 1986. “La loi sur les coopératives au Québec.” Coopératives et développement 18 (1): 41–65. Prévost, R, S. Gagné, and M. Phaneuf. 1986. L’histoire de l’alcool au Québec. Montréal: Société des alcools du Québec, Stanké. Quebec Court of Appeal. 1985. No. 500–09–000551–945, 43. Montreal: Clerk Court Office of Montreal, March 1985. Room, R. 1988. “L’évolution des monopoles sur l’alcool et leur impact sur la santé publique.” In L’usage des drogues et la toxicomanie (vol. 2), ed. P. Brisson, 193–207. Montréal: Gaétan Morin. Société des alcools du Québec. 1980. Plan de développement quinquennal 1980–1985. Montréal: Société des alcools du Québec. – 1997. Rapport annuel 1996–1997. Montréal: Société des alcools du Québec. Thinel, L. 1971. Rapport de la Commission d’enquête sur le commerce des boissons alcooliques. Québec: Gouvernement du Québec.

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Table 10.1 Chronology of privatization initiatives in Quebec historical background 1921

Feb Mar

1922 1928

Jun

1940

May

1941

May

1961

Apr

1964

Sep

1964–65 1968

Dec- Feb Jun-Nov Nov

1971

Feb Jul

1972

May

1976 1978

Jul Jun

The Alcoholic Liquor Act (c.24): Created The Quebec Liquor Commission. The Alcoholic Liquor Possession and Transportation Act (c.25): Gave the exclusive right to the Quebec Liquor Commission (qlc) to import, distribute, and sell wine and spirits in the province, including the monopoly of the bottling of wine imported in bulk. Gave the Quebec Liquor Commission the responsibility of alcohol licences, and, in collaboration with the police, the control and surveillance of smuggling and other infringements of the law regarding alcohol beverages. Creation of the Quebec Liquor Commission bottling plant. The Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act (c.31, Federal): Gave the exclusive right to the provinces to import and sell alcohol. The Provincial Police Force and Liquor Police Force Act (c.56): Created the alcohol police. An Act to amend the Alcoholic Liquor Act (c.24, Provincial): Imposed more restrictions to alcohol access (opening hours, age, licensing). Abolished the limit on the quantity purchased. The Quebec Liquor Board Act (c.86, Provincial): Replaced the Alcoholic Liquor Act and the Alcoholic Liquor Possession and Transportation Act. Created two distinct administrations for the alcohol business (qlb) and the alcohol control. Acknowledgement of the union of the civil servants (office and store’s workers) and the union of the warehouse workers. Strike at the qlb. Strike at the qlb. Council decision of the Executive Council Chamber regarding an inquiry on the alcoholic beverage trade (#3715): Created and mandated the Thinel Commission (1) to investigate the alcohol beverage trade in Quebec since January 1st, 1964, and (2) to look for the most effective and economic means to ensure surveillance of this trade, to ensure order in its pursuit, and to provide Quebec’s government with essential revenues. Report of the Inquiry Commission on the alcohol beverage trade (Thinel Commission). Liquor Permit Control Commission Act (c.19) and Quebec Liquor Corporation Act (c.20): Creation of two distinct legal entities for alcohol business, Société des alcools du Québec (saq) and alcohol control. General strike in the public and para-public sector, including the saq. Strike at the saq. An Act to authorize the sale of certain wines in grocery stores and to amend the Quebec Liquor Corporation Act and Liquor Permit Control Commission Act (c.67): Authorized sale of wine and cider in groceries.

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Table 10.1 (continued) historical background 1979 1981

Aug-Oct

Strike of the saq workers. Re-election of the Parti Québécois (pq, the sovereignty party). During the electoral campaign the pq announce that they intend to transform the saq retail stores into co-ops.

the biron project (1983–85) 1982

Feb

1983

June

Dec 1984–85

Dec- May

1984

Jun

1985

March Apr May

Jun Jul Aug Oct

Dec 1986 1989

Jan

Oct

Coordination table grouping representatives of the government, unions, saq, alcohol industry, and food retail industry. An act to amend the act respecting the saq and other legislation allows the wine industry to bottle imported wine under their own brands and to sell this wine in grocery stores. Importing wine remains exclusively controlled by the saq. Premier announces that the saq privatization is on the political agenda. Debates in the legislature and committee on the co-op project for the saq. An act to amend the Cooperatives Act to be able to transform the saq retail stores into co-ops. Temporary injunction obtained by the saq union (retail stores and office workers) on the right of the saq to transform the retail stores into co-ops. Permanent injunction rejected in Quebec Court of Appeal. Finance minister announces in the budget the intent to sell the retail stores. The saq union proposes creating a joint company, 51% held by the saq and 49% by private investors. The government refused to discuss this project. Call for bids on 129 stores in the Montreal region to be sold as franchises. The saq union obtains a temporary injunction on the sale of saq stores. The union asks for a six-month moratorium on the privatization of the retail stores. The saq union request for a permanent injunction is rejected. The judge recognizes the right of the saq to privatize. The minister of industry and commerce announces a 90-day moratorium on the privatization process Provincial election is held. The Parti Québécois government is replaced by a Liberal government. The Liberal government stops the privatization process. The saq in collaboration with the alcoholic beverage industry create Educ’alcool. Provincial election: Re-election of the Liberal government saq

t h e b o u r b e au p r o j e c t ( 1 9 9 3 – 9 4 ) 1993

Sep

1994

Feb

Announcement of the government’s intent to sell the bottling plant of the saq. The warehouse workers’ union asks the premier to stop the privatization of the bottling plant.

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Table 10.1 (continued) historical background Mar May

Jul Sep

1995

Oct

The government is forced to pay $7 million in damages to the franchises adjudicated in 1985. In the budget, the government announces it will examine the privatization of all the activities of the saq and suspend privatization of the bottling plant. The pq party calls for a moratorium on the saq privatization during the election campaign. Provincial election: Liberal government is replaced by pq government. The saq union asks the pq government to stop the privatization process. Referendum on Quebec sovereignty.

the landry project (1997–99) 1997

Feb

Oct

1998

Jun

1999

Mar

The finance minister sets up a working group on the alcoholic beverage sector in Quebec, chaired by the saq president, with the mandate to examine various privatization options and to make recommendations by the end of 1997. Consultation document on four privatization options is submitted by the saq to the government. Consulting process on the four options. Final report of the working group on the alcoholic beverage sector to the finance minister recommends privatization of the bottling plant only. Sale of the bottling plant to a company (partnership between the saq, Fonds de solidarité des travailleurs du Québec, and two private enterprises).

11 The Alberta Experience with Privatization: An Exemplary Model or Cautionary Tale? BRONWYN MACKENZIE AND NORMAN GIESBRECHT

This chapter provides an overview of the privatization of alcohol retailing in Alberta: how it came on the agenda, the rationale behind it, and how it was implemented. The reactions of the media, politicians, unions, alcohol producers, and various retailers are explored. Last, it examines numerous assessments of this change by both supporters and detractors.

the pre-privatization period The Alberta Liquor Control Board (alcb) managed alcohol distribution and retailing and was responsible for all aspects of the control and monitoring of liquor in Alberta until the fall of 1993, when the Alberta government placed the retailing functions back into private hands. Prior to the announcement in September 1993 that the alcb was going to be privatized, the board had made several changes that were considered to have partially privatized it – changes that improved the retail system for consumers and brought revenues for the government. From 1985 to 1993 a mixed system of alcohol sales by both the alcb and privately licensed owners and retailers evolved by small steps. The rationale to allow privately owned and operated liquor outlets was that it would improve customer service. These private outlets (see Table 11.1) included retail wine stores, retail beer stores, hotels with off-premise sales of beer and “cold beer,” winery and brewery-based outlets, brew pubs, and agency stores (private franchises in remote areas and towns controlled by the alcb). Immediately prior to privatization, there were 202 alcb stores, 30 retail beer stores, 23 wine stores, 49 franchised agency stores, and 6 manufacturer-based outlets providing off-premise

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Table 11.1. Alberta retail liquor outlets, 1990–95

alcb Retail Liquor Stores Private Retail Liquor Stores Retail Wine d Stores Retail Beer e Stores Hotel g “off-sales” Stand-alone “cold beer” h off-sales Agency i Stores Total

Dec 31 1990

Dec 31 1991

Dec 31 1992

Sep 2 1993

Dec 31 1993

Sep 2 1994

Nov 29 1994

Mar 31 a 1995

212

209

208

202

–-

–-

–-

–-

–-

–-

–-

–-

486

535

13

22

23

23

22

6

0

17

18

23

30

0

0

0

497

516

529

532

548

538

556

10

17

–-

–-

–-

–-

–-

–-

–-

14

49

73

89

90

79

749

782

797

836

940

1,119

1,181

1,192

297

b

f

j

1,113

c

Notes: a As of 31 December 1995, license categories retail liquor stores, retail wine stores, off-sales, and manufacturer’s off-sales merged into one new licence category (i.e., Class D). b 277 of the 297 liquor stores were private-sector operated retail liquor stores. c As of 31 December 1995 only Class D licenses were reported. Class D licenses included Retail Liquor Stores, Retail Wine Stores, Off Sales, and Manufacturer’s Off Sales. d Prior to 2 September 1993, the retail wine stores sold wine only. The majority of these “wine boutiques” were winery owned and operated. e Retail beer stores sold beer only. The majority of these beer stores were brewery owned and operated. f The thirty former cold beer stores (1992) converted to full service retail liquor stores by 31 December 1993. g These hotel “off-sales” provided over-the-counter sales from inside licensed premises. These numbers do not include “cold beer” sales from stand-alone facilities adjacent to hotels. h Stand-alone cold beer facility licences (former “cold beer vendor” licences) and over-the-counter hotel off-licences (former “beer vendor” licences) were reported under the one category of “off-sales” after the new Class D licences came into effect in 1991. i Agency stores have been able to sell all alcohol products since 1993, when these outlets were first established in Alberta. Presently, all liquor outlets can sell any alcohol product. j The number of Class D licences reported for 31 December 1993 in the 1994–95 alcb Annual Report is 850. There is a small discrepancy between Class D licences reported in the 1994–95 alcb report (850) and the total reported in the 1994 alcb report. Sources: Alberta Liquor Control Board. A New Era In Liquor Administration: The Alberta Experience, 1994. Annual Reports of the Alberta Liquor Control Board for 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996.

liquor sales to Albertans (alcb 1994; Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission 2000). Also, 532 hotel outlets sold beer for off-premise consumption. This mixed system of retailing was considered successful by some accounts (Laxer, Green, Harrison, and Neu 1994), providing a remittance

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Table 11.2 Overview of Alberta Liquor Control Board financial activities, 1984–93 (in $Thousands) Year 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993

a

Sales $857,023 893,844 908,898 942,061 985,895 1,002,578 1,040,760 1,007,404 991,039 1,026,052

Cost of Goods Sold $489,694 505,943 518,864 513,767 527,670 536,027 551,634 507,168 498,783 519,002

Operating Expenses

Net Income

$69,288 71,594 72,922 73,509 77,580 82,746 88,899 94,509 89,477 83,451

$302,390 320,689 321,416 359,765 387,226 383,058 403,778 408,615 404,845 378,524

b

Remittances $299,500 323,000 312,000 366,500 365,000 379,000 400,000 439,000 434,500 454,500

Notes: a Refers to fiscal year (e.g., 8 January 1985 to 7 January 1986). Annual Reports typically provided information for two years. Where there was a discrepancy between reported amounts for the same period and item in two reports, the amount appearing in the most recent report was used, which was typically slightly higher. b Net income for the period does not include unremitted income at the beginning of the period. Sources: Alberta Liquor Control Board Annual Reports, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994.

to the Alberta government in 1993 of $439 million. However, a retrospective special report by the alcb (1994) pointed to such problems as duplication of efforts and direct competition between these two systems. Also, some key informants noted that the alcb had alienated suppliers and private retailers through bureaucratic rules regarding licensed premises, and some customers thought they were not providing service in keeping with current marketing practices. Nevertheless, in the late 1980s to early 1990s, the alcb made changes oriented to modernizing its network, providing better customer service, and increasing remittances to the provincial government. These included improving liquor store layouts, improving product presentations in stores, conducting a provincial customer survey (alcb 1989), and improving customer service (alcb 1990). In 1991 the new Liquor Control Act and Liquor Administration Regulation took effect, the latter involving reducing administrative procedures. Although revenues fell in 1991, remittances increased almost 9 percent (alcb 1992). Data for 1992, the last full year before privatization, show that sales declined by 1.2 percent, remittances declined by 1.0 percent, and operating expenses declined by about 5 percent (see Table 11–2) (alcb 1993).1

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developments and rationale for privatization: alcb on the chopping block The window of opportunity for the privatization of alcohol retailing opened in 1993 shortly after a provincial election, when a new premier, who had campaigned for increased privatization of government agencies, took office. Prisons, provincial health care, Alberta’s heritage savings fund (a trust fund created from oil revenues), and provincial parks were slated for privatization. So too was the retailing network of the alcb, a decision that may have been motivated in part by a perceived high probability for success. The decision to privatize the alcb was announced by the new Progressive Conservative government on 2 September 1993, and by March 1994 all the alcb stores were sold or closed. The original arguments for privatizing the alcohol retailing system were presented by the new premier, Ralph Klein, Deputy Minister Ken Kowalski, and Dr Stephen West (Minister responsible for the Alberta Liquor Control Board). With the election in 1993, the Klein government proposed a three-year fiscal plan for a balanced budget by 1996–97. In line with this larger agenda, Minister West projected saving the government $88 million by selling alcb properties (Laxer, Green, Harrison, and Neu 1994) while preserving the government profits from the sale of alcohol. West stated that the proposed privatization was “consistent with our overall direction of ensuring [that] the private sector continues to be the driving force in the province’s economic growth.” Similarly, the 1994 alcb report stated: “The decision to privatize liquor retailing was ... consistent with the position of the Government of Alberta that the business of running a business should be the role of the business community” (alcb 1994). Thus, the government’s agenda in changing alcohol retailing in the province appeared to be motivated by economic and ideological factors: to encourage small business free enterprise, to realize profits from the sale of government property (and thus contribute to efforts to reduce debt), and to provide a showcase of the generic benefits of privatization. As noted by one informant, the change was grounded in a general philosophy of the government’s role in the marketplace: “We said that if we did it right and the supply and demand in the marketplace ran it, there would be more people working in the retail liquor industry than ever.” The Transition Process In the initial weeks that followed the September 1993 decision to privatize the alcb, several issues emerged: the consultative process, the handling of alcb employees, the potential revenue loss to the province, and the likeli-

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hood of increased outlet density. By February 1994 the focus was on more pragmatic concerns, such as the tendering process and revenue controls, and, by March 1994, media attention had diminished as other privatization initiatives became more prominent. Rationale for a New Bill In early legislative debates (September 1993), the conservative rhetoric of free enterprise was common, as was the opposition parties’ objections to the government’s “one shot windfall” to reduce the provincial deficit through selling alcb properties. Minister West claimed that Bill 12 (Liquor Control Amendment Act) would not only privatize liquor stores but that it would also ensure provincial compliance with the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (gatt). Furthermore, the government suggested that opposition to this bill might be interpreted as opposition to free trade2 (Hansard3 9 Nov. 1993, 1442). In order to comply with the gatt ruling, the Alberta government closed all of these government liquor stores and converted them to full-service retail liquor stores by December 1993 (alcb 1994).4 However, other provinces did not find it necessary to privatize alcohol retailing in order to comply with free trade principles. Furthermore, Ontario has had a long-standing practice of protecting its domestic wine industry through winery-owned outlets (e.g., Jazairi 1994, 25). The Iowa Model Alberta’s privatization plans were partly modeled on Iowa’s experience of privatized retail sales (e.g., Wagenaar and Holder 1991; Mulford, Fitgerald, Wagenaar, and Holder 1996). According to Minister West, the situation in Iowa “closely mimicked Alberta. It had the same population. It had roughly the same number of stores, same number of employees.” A noteworthy difference was that Alberta would only privatize Class D licences,5 the Retail Liquor Stores licences, in order to protect new small businesses from competition with the larger grocery store chains (Hansard, 22 September 1993, 414). Dr West reassured the legislature that the privatization of the alcb would prove to be a success since, according to the Association of Canadian Distillers, “the private sector has demonstrated its ability as a reliable and competent retailer of liquor products” (Hansard, 2 September 1993, 40). However, not all members of the legislature measured the success of the proposed initiative by an increase in the number of retail outlets6 or the claims of successes in Iowa. One Liberal mla predicted an increase in retail liquor prices (Hansard, 22 September 1993, 414), which, for the first few years, proved to be the case at least among high volume and less prestigious brands (e.g., Consumers’ Association of Canada-bc 2003).

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Debate over the Consultation Process Liberal leader Laurence Decore demanded that a consultative process be instigated before the premier implemented the proposal to privatize and reminded the Conservatives that “privatization [of many government services], or the specifics of it, was not debated during the election” (Hansard, 2 September 1993, 40). In response to a Conservative member’s concern over the absence of public hearings, Deputy Premier Ken Kowalski concluded that “there is no greater plebiscite than what we have right here in this assembly” (Hansard, 10 October 1993, 948), and other Conservative members indicated that the public had already been heard when they “spoke loud and clear” on 15 June 1993, when “they gave our government a strong mandate to balance the budget” (Hansard, 8 September 1993, 102). Nevertheless, some conservative backbenchers and opposition members requested a consultative process that included local municipalities and the public. Although maintaining the public consultation process was one of four commitments made by the Progressive Conservatives during the election campaign, this process was not followed in this case. There is no evidence that public consultations or hearings were held, study groups organized, or reports by experts commissioned to examine the pros and cons of alternative scenarios. The decision to privatize the alcb was taken and implemented before opposition from public health, police, unions, and citizen groups could develop. It appears that neither the liquor board employees nor the public health constituency was prepared for such a dramatic move. ALCB

Employees

Members of the opposition also spoke in support of approximately 1,500 alcb employees (Hansard, 9 September 1993, 113), noting the need for a fair layoff process and adequate severance packages, considering that the average employee at that time was 41 years old and had worked at the alcb for 11 years (Laxer, Green, Harrison, and Neu 1994). The employees’ union was negotiating layoff procedures and provisions for severance while trying to raise public awareness and rally public support. The government focused on layoff conditions, and its message to former alcb employees was that they had a limited range of choices: they could buy a liquor store licence, get a new job at a private liquor store, or move to another sector in the workforce. The debate over the fate of the alcb employees and the future of the union was short-lived as disclosure of the distribution process of the new liquor licences hit the media and turned the attention of the legislature to the tendering process. The extent of future government involvement (par-

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ticularly in the liquor wholesaling network) remained an unanswered question, sparking skepticism from opposition mls’s about whether those who set up private liquor stores would be competing with a government operation (Hansard, 1 November 1993, 1163). A New Alcohol Taxation Policy In conjunction with the alcb privatization, a new taxation structure for alcohol was introduced: a “flat tax” replaced the historic “ad valorem” tax structure.7 One of the primary purposes8 of this change in tax structure was “to ensure sufficient incentive [is] provided to the private sector to participate in this new retailing initiative, while at the same time achieving alcb income neutrality” (alcb 1994). The flat tax resulted in higher prices for inexpensive spirits, such as rye whiskies or vodkas, and lower prices for more expensive products, such as cognac, scotch, and champagne (Consumers Association of Canada-bc 2003). Critics claimed the result of this new tax was savings for wealthier consumers and greater costs for all others. It was also criticized by businesses other than new alcohol retailers as providing unfair advantage to both the private-sector retailers and certain consumers. With privatization, the government also instituted a “revenue neutrality” policy to maintain an annual revenue of about $406 million (based on the average annual revenue for the three years before privatization). Minister West stated that the revenue neutral policy “was a commitment made to the industry that revenues to the province would remain consistent with sales, which have remained flat” (Johnsrude 1997c, A1). Despite the government’s proffered aim, by June 1997 this revenue goal had been exceeded by approximately $18 million. In response to this “dilemma,” the alcb issued a new tax structure, effectively dropping the rates for beer, wine, and lower alcohol spirits. However, the second tax cut, after a first in August 1994, was perceived to fly in the face of the government’s 20 percent funding cuts being made at the same time to health and education organizations like the Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission (aadac) (Johnsrude 1997c). Tax cuts at the wholesale level were also criticized (Johnsrude 1997b) since these savings were not passed onto the consumer. There were concerns about the indefinite extension of this revenue policy, with the government claim that past reductions have mostly gone to manufactures being refuted by a spokesperson from the Association of Canadian Distillers (Johnsrude 1997b). In light of the revenue neutral tax policy, profits from the increasing sale of alcohol in Alberta continue to be a complicated issue for the government. The increased revenues may have been a result of both changes in customer preferences and the increased efficiency of the new system, although both

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retailer and government have argued to the exclusion of the other (Johnsrude 1997a). Although a five-year review focusing on the revenue-neutral tax policy was promised by Economic Development Minister Pat Nelson in 1998 (Gray 1998, 5), to our knowledge this report was never released. Other Studies on Privatization Aside from the Iowa example, there is no publicly available evidence that the Alberta government examined research on privatization or information closer to home. There is no indication that research available in 1993 was considered (e.g., work by Bruun et al. [1975]; Mäkelä, Room et al. [1981]; Macdonald [1986]; Room [1987]; or Wagenaar and Holder [1991]). Some Liberal mlas continued to press the government for hard evidence of benefits and for reassurances that privatization would not create any long-term economic and/or social problems. In contrast, in British Columbia, when the government considered permitting beer and wine sales in grocery stores in the mid–1980s (prior to Expo ‘86), opponents reacted immediately, and in 1987 a full-scale public inquiry into liquor sales, with a focus on privatization, was conducted. This study, named the Liquor Policy Review (lpr), collected 400 briefs (from hearings held in sixteen communities across British Columbia) and over 1,200 written submissions and letters. From this information the study concluded that “beverage alcohol should not be retailed in food, drug, department or general merchandise stores beyond the existing rural agency store program” (Campbell 1997, 190). In response to the lpr, British Columbia shelved the idea of privatizing the provincial liquor store system, resolving that “a mix of existing liquor stores and a gradually expanding role for private sector liquor retailers is the way to serve the consumers of British Columbia” (Campbell 1997, 191).9 Importing and Wholesaling Arrangements Although the new government announced that it could give up its role as alcohol retailer, it promised to maintain its regulatory role as well as its role as importer and sole wholesaler of alcoholic beverage products in Alberta. On 9 September 1993 applications for new retail liquor store licences were circulated and advertisements were placed in newspapers across Alberta inviting proposals to purchase alcb properties. In March 1994 the sale or closure of all alcb stores was completed (see Table 11.3). In connection with this transition, Minister West outlined a plan to transform the wholesale function of the alcb (including the supply chain management and product ownership) and to ensure that alcb remained

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Table 11.3 Chronology of Events in Alberta p r e - p r i vat i z at i o n e v e n t s Year

Event

1985–89 The first 13 retail wine boutiques were established. Free standing cold beer stores now permitted alongside hotels. 1990 Wines and distilled spirits retailed from hotels. 1991 Nine additional wine stores were established. 25% of their sales could be to licencees. Max. hours of sale were 10:00 am– 2:30 am for beer, 10:00 am– 11:00 pm for wine and spirits (Monday to Saturday), and 11:00 am –11:00 pm Sunday for all products. 1992 The agency store program was established in response to isolated rural communities requiring liquor services. –





p r i vat i z at i o n a n d p o s t - p r i vat i z at i o n e v e n t s Year

Month

Event

1993

Jun 15

Provincial election – Hon. Dr. S. West is appointed minister responsible for the Alberta Liquor Control Board (alcb). Minister West announces the privatization of liquor retailing. alcb distributes applications for new retail liquor store licences, and ads in newspapers across Alberta invite proposals to purchase alcb properties. The first “flat tax” structure established. Cold beer stores now licensed to sell all liquor products. The government receives more than 650 bids to buy 212 properties put up for sale. City of Calgary sets strict criteria for operators to minimize the impact on residential areas. The Liquor Control Amendment Act is passed. alcb introduces new “flat tax” system of pricing of beer, wine, and liquor. Last alcb outlet in the province closes. In test case, the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees fails to unionize staff at privately owned Braeside Liquor Store in Calgary. The liquor industry is notified that Connect Logistics Inc., a division of Tibbet and Britten Group Canada Inc., will operate the alcb St Albert Warehouse and distribution facility. The conversion of wine stores only 75% complete due to protracted negotiations with respect to eliminating the discount provided to the wine stores. Independent Wine Retailers Association and six wine boutiques take government to court over alleged breach of pricing contract. Flat tax system adjusted downward for beer, wine, and liquor. alcb warns that the savings may not be passed onto consumers by retailers. All retailers paying wholesale prices.

Sep 2 Sep 9–30

Nov Mid-Oct Oct 10 Nov 8 Nov 10 Nov 26 1994

Mar 5 Apr 12

May 26

Jun 1

Jul

Aug 8

Oct 30

alcb

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Table 11.3 (continued) Chronology of Events in Alberta p r i vat i z at i o n a n d p o s t - p r i vat i z at i o n e v e n t s Year

Month Nov

1995

May

1996

Fall Jan Jul 15

1997

Mar 22

1999

Event Price hikes on alcohol are evident. 535 private retail licenses are in effect. Government decides that stores larger than 929 sq. metres are not permitted to create liquor shops on their premises (effectively prohibits grocery stores). Introduction of the Gaming and Liquor Act, Bill 52. Flat tax adjusted to restore “revenue neutrality”. The new Gaming and Liquor Act (Bill 6) and supporting regulations come into force. Pat Black (later named Pat Nelson) appointed minister of economic development and tourism and minister responsible for Alberta’s Gaming & Liquor Commission. Sale of liquor with food in grocery and convenience stores being considered.

the wholesaler in name only. It was proposed that Connect Logistics Inc., a division of Tibbet and Britten Group Canada Inc., would operate the alcb’s St Albert Warehouse and Distribution facility.10 For the first year, since the alcb retained ownership of the distribution warehouse, this arrangement consisted of “contracting out” the responsibilities of wholesale distribution rather than privatizing it. Today, the retailing of alcohol, product and purchase order registration, shipping, inventory management, and marketing is handled by the private sector.

actors and issues Despite the speedy privatization process, a number of actors became involved, focusing on topics such as the scope of the change, revenue generation, employee issues, and implications for public health and safety. Print Media Coverage In 1993, during the transition to the new retail system, media coverage was extensive, and then it was less so until 1997. Business, consumer, and economic interests won out over discussions of issues such as employment, public health, public opinion, and lack of research (Figure 11.1). The policy actors most prevalent in newspaper accounts were provincial government and alcb representatives (Figure 11.2). Other actors less frequently noted were from areas such as research, small business, and the alcb employees’ union; there was very low representation from public health and the alcohol industry.

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Fig. 11.1. Policy rationales reported in Canadian newspaper coverage on Alberta’s privatization of retail alcohol sales, 1985–1999 (N = 106) 40 30 20 10

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The Union A primary concern of the unions concerned the impact of privatized retailing on unionized liquor workers. One informant explained that the union knew about the possibility of privatization and was trying to negotiate different kinds of layoff procedures and provisions for severance and that they were told: “‘Don’t worry about it, it’s not gonna happen.’ And then sure enough, within months after signing that collective agreement [in May 1993], it happened. And there weren’t the severance provisions in there for the employees because there had never really been these kinds of mass layoffs in the history of the province and the existing collective agreements didn’t have the provisions in them that would cover this situation.”

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The government’s equivocation over the fate of the workers forced the union into a politically weak position, with the government making the moves and the union expending its resources reacting to them. Without the time to implement an effective counter-strategy, the union was unable to stop or even delay the dismantling of the alcb. According to former employment minister Jack Ady, the government planned to have the alcb workers absorbed into the private sector (Cunningham 1997). However, in July 1994, 44 percent of these people were still unemployed (Laxer, Green, Harrison, and Neu 1994), and a union representative indicated that, as of February 2004, only 100 of 1,500 former alcb employees were working in private alcohol outlets. They claimed that they had problems being rehired because private owners feared that they would try to organize a union in the private stores (Pommer 1994b). Although a number of Liberals spoke in support of the unions (Hansard, 9 September 1993, 110, 113; 25 October 1993, 1024; 1 November 1993, 1154), this did not stop the initiative. As one interviewee noted, the union itself was not strategically positioned without the assistance of a support network and without the economic resources to fight a costly court battle. It opted instead to accept the severance package that was offered to employees. The weakness of the union’s position was apparent in media accounts of the public’s apathy towards the union workers’ dilemma. One informant hypothesized that the apparent lack of public sympathy for the liquor employees may have been due to the public’s perception that they earned unrealistically high salaries; however, the average annual salary for a full-time alcb employee was only $27,000, without benefits (Laxer, Green, Harrison, and Neu 1994). One interpretation indicated that a speedy decision helped resolve the union issue: “It had to be done quickly. There was some concern with the speed at which it took place but the minister at the time felt that he had to act quickly ... primarily to deal with the union problem. The more you procrastinate on something like this, the harder it is to get done” (Gray 1998, 8). Thus the decision to privatize quickly may have been made, at least partly, so that the unions had no time to organize. The Alcohol Industry Responses of alcohol producers to privatization were mixed. Concerns revolved around prices, the role and place of small and big producers, and how importers would adjust. One informant noted that industry representatives “were both excited and scared to death. They initially saw a huge market of opportunity, but now they had to deal with the guys who were likely to be squeezing them in order to get the best prices from them ... The brewers and distillers probably were not unhappy with it [government control of the whole-

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sale level] and may have had some impact on that outcome.” Ron Veilleux, then president of the Association of Canadian Distillers (acd), claimed that, under the new agreement, competition had kept prices so low that it was “barely profitable to do business in Alberta” (Johnsrude 1997b, B5). These changes created a less than level playing field for industry players. With the new tax structure, and periodic discounts from the alcb on certain lines, advantages appeared for some industry players but not others (Johnsrude 1997b; Kellog 1997). However, it is noteworthy that government communication lines with the industry were apparently kept open via the industry roundtable known as the Alberta Liquor Industry Roundtable (alirt). Members of alirt (primarily liquor manufacturers and brewers) consulted with the government regularly. However, there were several points of controversy between the Alberta policies, importers, and bc producers. In an earlier conflict with the government (October 1994), wine stores lost their purchasing discount of 33.7 percent from the alcb. It was noted that, prior to privatization, liquor retailers could import products directly and order them through the government without paying a commission. Dennis Miller, president of the bc Wine Producers, also blamed later wine stores bankruptcies on government restrictions on direct importing by retailers (Stepan 1997a). Complaints were also reported from wine producers and merchants in British Columbia who claimed that they were unable to compete with Alberta’s prices for some brands as a result of the flat mark-up system in Alberta (Thorne 1997c). After privatization, retailers had to order products out of a limited government catalogue or through a liquor agent who received a commission and thus drove up the price (Stepan 1997a). By the fall of 1997 numerous distribution problems became evident (Cunningham 1997; Thorne 1997d, 1997e), and, for some stores, these were particularly frustrating at the high-volume Christmas season (Stepan 1997b). The Grocery Chains A major issue was whether to allow the “Superstores” and grocery chains to retail alcohol products along with the new small businesses. It had both the retailers and superstores jockeying for position. In the initial phase of the transition, Minister West said that Class D licences (retail stores licences) would only be granted selectively so that “no grocery stores, none of the large chains, or any other type of business will be allowed to retail these products” (Hansard, 22 September 1993, 414). The Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors11 (ccgd) met with the minister in February 1994 and complained about being left out of the policy-planning loop even though they represented 25 percent of all retail businesses in the province (Pommer 1994a). Later on, beginning in January 1997, the grocery chains

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began a stronger lobby for approval of liquor outlets close to their stores. The media charged “unfair protectionism” and “over-regulation” (Walton 1997) and suggested that to continually protect the small retailers would be “mitigating a true free market” (Edmonton Journal 1997). An additional challenge for liquor retailers emerged in July 1997, when the government approved licences for eight liquor outlets to the Superstores grocery chain; however, they had to be “stand-alone” stores (i.e., a building erected separately from, but adjacent to, the main store) (Thorne 1997e). Gordon Laxer, a political economist at the University of Alberta, claimed that denial of licences to Superstores was proof of government protectionism in that it did not allow a truly free market system to evolve, even though “privatization is the ideology of this government and liquor store privatization is their showpiece” (Johnsrude 1997c, A1). However, one informant noted that the strong lobby in the liquor retail network was also a factor: “I don’t think they’ll [Superstores] be successful at changing the rules ... 702 liquor stores in Alberta is a very strong lobby ... If you open it ... to convenience stores and supermarkets, a lot of those liquor stores are just gonna go out of business. They won’t be able to compete. You’re taking 75 percent of the [liquor store] sales and transferring them to some other outlets, so a lot of them are going to go out of business if you do that. The government has to be concerned about that.” Others were concerned about the government possibly changing its mind and the implications of supermarkets selling alcohol (Johnsrude 1997c). The vice-president of the Alberta Liquor Store Association (alsa), Greg Kriche, noted that privatization was a policy move originally designed to encourage small businesses, yet the Superstores could afford to put fullpage ads in newspapers. The unlimited buying power the grocery chains had was an advantage that smaller retailers did not have because they could not buy up stock to the same extent during sales (Kellogg 1997), as is illustrated by two informants, who said: “Safeway can sell vodka for $13 a bottle for a month, take the hit, because what they’re losing on the booze, when people go next door, they’re picking up on the food. That’s the fear”; and, “the reason the government kept supermarkets out was because at the time they privatized they were not quite sure what they wanted to do, and flip flopped on that issue. Originally they said no, but they said they would review it, and possibly yes, and then no.” In addition to promoting smaller businesses, another factor may have been the government’s consideration of what the public would accept with regard to alcohol retailing. Indeed, one informant suggested that public opinion polls, sponsored by the government, indicated that, while many citizens were not opposed to stand-alone private alcohol retail outlets, they were opposed to having alcoholic beverages in grocery stores (i.e., next to bread and milk, and in venues where families did their shopping).

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The Public Reports on public responses from various surveys were mixed and somewhat contradictory. Private polls sponsored by alsa apparently showed high consumer satisfaction with such features of the new system as higher density of outlets, longer hours of sale, and extensive selections in certain specialty stores. In April 1994 an Angus Reid opinion poll indicated that 34 percent opposed privatization, while 55 percent backed the withdrawal of the alcb from retail sales (Pommer 1994a). It also showed that the public considered that the service quality, price, and selection of products was either the same or worse than what it was before the transition. Based on their surveys, the retail liquor industry suggested high consumer satisfaction and concluded that consumers felt that this was a business the government really didn’t have to be in (Pommer 1994a). However, in contrast to these assessments, there might have been a “backlash” to some developments related to privatization. One study based on 1989 and 1994 surveys of representative samples of adults from all provinces (Giesbrecht and Kavanagh 1999) found a significant increase in support for shorter hours of sale among Albertans (in contrast to people from other provinces), whereas hours had in fact increased in 1993 with privatization and between the two surveys. Public Health and Safety Public health and safety concerns were seldom raised in connection with privatization. One exception was a report by Gordon Laxer and colleagues (1994) that criticized privatization on several fronts, including the impact on unionized workers, potential high density of sales outlets in inner-city areas, and reports of increased crime associated with longer hours and higher density. While there seemed to be no immediate evidence of a significant increase in consumption associated with the increasing outlet density, there were reports in the media, and by key informants, of increased store break-ins and thefts. In contrast, one informant reflected: “Privatization in fact occurred slowly. We started seeing stores popping up. The wave of crime did not occur as we had projected.” Increased outlet density has been correlated with increases in alcohol consumption and crime (e.g., Wagenaar and Holder 1991; Scribner, MacKinnon, and Dwyer 1995; Gruenewald and Ponicki 1995). Some politicians representing inner cities (Hansard, 1 November 1993, 1162) objected to implementing the system without addressing and discussing mechanisms to control outlet density, while those serving more rural communities were welcoming of interprovincial trade and small business opportunities (Hansard, 21 September 1993, 388) they expected would come in the wake of the new retail system.

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There were reports of an absolute increase in break and enter and commercial robbery events, possibly linked to increased store hours and higher density, particularly in Calgary and Edmonton. For example, comparing the pre- and postprivatization periods (first half of 1993 and 1994, respectively) Calgary liquor store offences went from 62 to 100 (Laxer, Green, Harrison, and Neu 1994, 16). The official response included the controversial approach of calculating rates on a per store rather than on a per-capita basis. In this approach the risk per store is considered lower in 1994 (0.8) than in 1993 (1.0) (Calgary Policy Service 1994, 41), although the rate of these crimes increased on a per capita basis. Concerns were also voiced about whether the private operators with a narrow profit margin would be tempted to sell to minors or intoxicated patrons, and whether there would be an increase in alcohol-related problems due to increased consumption under a privatized system (Laxer, Green, Harrison, and Neu 1994). Potential problems associated with increased alcohol abuse were reported in Iowa when privatization became a reality in Alberta. Members of the public health community in Alberta echoed the sentiments expressed by the police in Des Moines, Iowa (Johnson 1993). There was no organized public health constituency focusing on this issue. aadac was not critical of the move; for example, shortly after the provincial election in 1993 an aadac spokesperson is reported to have said that they did not expect an increase in consumption or abuse (Calgary Herald 1994, A17). More generally, the health system was operating under threat of layoffs in the early 1990s and reductions in services and wide-scale privatization in other sectors. In light of this situation, it is perhaps not surprising that changes in alcohol retailing, even major ones, were not seen to be among the highest priority in the public health sector. Privatization Experience as a Model or Warning In succeeding years, the Alberta privatization experience became a model for other groups ideologically committed to privatization. The Fraser Institute, a right-wing research and consulting organization in British Columbia, claimed that the newly privatized alcohol retailing system had achieved short-term successes in a report (a “government report card”) touting the economic benefits of privatization initiatives (Fraser Institute 1998). The Alberta government offered the alcohol store transition as an initial “showpiece,” along with other privatization initiatives, summarizing the rationale for the transition and positive outcomes in a 1994 report, “A New Era In Liquor Administration: The Alberta Experience” (Alberta Liquor Control Board 1994). Professor Douglas West, an economist at the University of Alberta, wrote several analyses of this transition that featured mainly positive interpretations, with some drawbacks. One positive outcome that

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was cited was lower transportation costs when purchasing liquor products (since there were more liquor outlets). One drawback, from a marketing perspective, was that retail prices were in fact higher for more popular and lower-priced brands. Another positive outcome was that employment in the alcohol retail industry had tripled under privatization; however, the average wage was half that made by the union workers prior to privatization. West also noted positive consumer satisfaction, pointing to private survey results. More recent analyses either focusing directly on Alberta’s experience (Flanagan 2003) or comparing British Columbia with Alberta (Consumers’ Association of Canada–bc 2003) concluded that privatization of alcohol retailing in Alberta may not be the showpiece that its creators have claimed. The Flanagan report (2003) notes that social costs have increased with privatization, and efforts to reduce the problems from alcohol are not adequately served under Alberta’s private alcohol retailing system. While revenues from alcohol sales have stayed constant in absolute dollars, when inflation, population growth, and growth in sales are taken into account, revenues declined between 1993 and 2001. The report also points to a number of inefficiencies and concludes that the Alberta government has lost effective control of the liquor industry, “which will continue to evolve into an oligopolistic market structure as chain stores get greater control” (Flanagan 2003, vi). The Consumers’ Association of Canada–bc (2003) analysis used sixty-nine Alberta liquor stores chosen at random as a comparison, and it focused on implications for consumers. It found that prices in bc are competitive with Alberta and that, based on the Alberta experience, it projected that bc consumers would pay 10 percent to 20 percent more for alcoholic beverages, that product access would increase, but that product selection would generally decline under bc’s privatization plan. The authors conclude: “Based on Alberta’s experience, effective municipal zoning, business license and public participation processes will be needed to satisfy consumer, business and community interests in British Columbia on the private liquor store issue” (Consumers’ Association of Canada–bc 2003, 6).

discussion The privatization of retail alcohol sales in Alberta, initiated in September 1993, produced a number of changes, generated low-key controversy, and left many questions unanswered. While the change was a showpiece used by the government for privatization in other arenas, it did not become an exemplary model for other provinces. The Alberta government moved very quickly to close and sell off liquor stores and to provide small business operators an opportunity to get into the alcohol retail business. This stands in contrast to the deliberations over privatization carried out later in other provinces. One informant contrasted

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the Alberta and Ontario experiences as follows: “I think the four different political regimes that have operated in the province of Ontario, are testament to the fact that if you talk about it [privatizing alcohol sales], it won’t happen. If you announce it, it will happen.” The decision to privatize, and to do so quickly, without extensive consultation, was based on ideological and economic interests, including the government’s eagerness to get out of the retailing business, to reduce the power of unions, to focus on fiscal interests, and to enhance short-term cash flow. A well known adage in Canadian politics, but one that proved to be pivotal in this case, is: privatization is possible but only if you act quickly and without public consultation. Roy Bricker (then the ceo for the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission [aglc]) explained: “This is a topic that you can get polarized on fast,” and he warned, “once public debate starts there will be so many conflicting stances that inertia will set in” (Thorne 1997c). From the perspective of the government, it appears that the speed of the change also had another advantage: it created barriers that prevented various special interest groups and public health organizations from presenting a coordinated and effective opposition to the move. The government undertook extensive efforts to manage information about privatization of the alcb so that the most favourable interpretation would emerge. The government had no public discussion before making its decision, and after this decision was implemented, it presented it as the provincial flagship of privatization initiatives. The view that alcohol retailing is not primarily a public health or safety issue was reinforced by the framing, speed, and management of the decision. It is not surprising that fairly rapid and dramatic change in alcohol retailing would generate a wide range of reactions and responses. Although there were negative reactions from a number of quarters, relatively few suggested a return to the former system. Convenience and grocery store owners were critical about being “locked out” of this opportunity. In contrast, the newly created alcohol retailer group was interested in protecting its interests and in keeping large grocery corporations out of the alcohol retailing business. Whether or not the new system represents a true “free market” is debatable: there appears to be a gap between the ideology and reality. The market that emerged with the 1993 transition is best described as a “managed market” or “government regulated private system” – one where the hand of the province in alcohol sales is only occasionally visible to the public. The results of this change in alcohol retailing were increases in density and types of stores, hours, days of sale, and prices, along with changes in shipping arrangements and the workforce. However, the government retained control of wholesaling and liquor licensing. Privatization also resulted in increases in the number of multi-product (beer, wine, and

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spirits) outlets to more than twice the pre-change density in just over one year. For the first few years, prices decreased for more expensive alcohol beverages but increased somewhat for lower price and higher volume products. Hours of sale were extended: stores, many of which were small family-operated businesses, were open seven days. Locations and sizes of stores also changed: many of the stores were in inner-city locations in Calgary and Edmonton, and the sizes ranged from small package stores in malls to more extensive outlets with a wide range of products. Although there have been numerous initiatives by the Alberta government to present the experience as an exceptional and untainted success story, a sharply contrasting interpretation is possible. To date, reports on the impacts of privatization point in different directions: some signal an increase in crime in certain jurisdictions, while some emphasize benefits to retailers and consumers. It is unclear that this change was of net benefit to the consumer as the average alcohol beverage prices of the most popular brands in fact increased, and the selection per store did not. However, the longer hours and higher density of stores resulted in greater convenience to consumers. Some problems that emerged initially had to do with shipment and distribution as well as workforce turnover as some businesses failed. More people were employed but at a lower average wage and with little job protection. The experience in Alberta also demonstrated that the distribution strategy served the needs of some better than it did the needs of others. The flat tax mark-up policy benefited consumers unequally, depending on which products they purchased, and created advantages for some industry players. Differential importation policies forced some storeowners into bankruptcy, while others flourished. Government policies, by amendment of the Liquor Control Act and the introduction of a new licensing structure for retailers, benefited some retailers while forcing other retailers out of the “free market” competition. Initially, Alberta’s experience was considered a model for Ontario. However, no other Canadian province to date has fully adopted a system of privatized retail alcohol sales, although there were efforts in both British Columbia (Thorne 1997a) and Ontario (West 1996) to promote the Alberta model. In this respect, Alberta has proved to be a better teacher than leader for the rest of Canada. The Alberta experience has had mixed assessments from alcohol industry players in other provinces. Distribution problems surfaced (at least in the first few months), and there were increases in shipping costs due to the increased outlet density in the private system. Furthermore, from a strictly commercial perspective, there was no initial major increase in alcohol consumption to help offset increased costs, although one study found there was a modest increase in fiscal 1993–94, using annual sales statistics and com-

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paring Alberta to Canada overall (Giesbrecht, Her, Room, and Rehm 1999). These initial outcomes likely resulted in an uneasy and unconvinced alcohol industry regarding the viability of a move to fully privatize liquor sales in other provinces. The approach exemplified in Alberta involved two highly significant and interrelated steps: first, it sought to separate the government from retailing alcohol; second, it separated the retailing of alcohol from the prevention of alcohol problems. This separation of alcohol retailing from social concerns is illustrated by one informant: As I said I tend to separate the social issue around alcohol [from] retailing of alcohol. [Take] madd – Mothers Against Drunk Drivers – Those [kinds of] groups are concerned with the abuse of the product. With drinking and driving. I support those groups and those groups have a very important role and the misuse/abuse of the product is a social issue that we deal with ... I think those are not to be overlooked but you work to address the problems of misuse and abuse of the product. On the other side, it’s socially acceptable to consume alcohol in this province if you choose to and you’re an adult and you can look at the statistics of ... what percentage of the population has a problem with alcohol. I really see those in two different ways and I think it’s somewhat unfair of community groups to mix these up.

Thus, a particularly noteworthy aspect of the change was that the policy makers defined it narrowly from a marketing and retailing perspective, without taking into account health and safety implications. However, a recent study by Trolldal (in press) examined fatal motor vehicle traffic crashes. Additional longitudinal analyses of aggregate trends in health and safety indicators associated with drinking would shed further light on other potential impacts emerging from this case study. A reasonable hypothesis emerging from international research (Edwards et al. 1994) is that the longer-term implications of these shifts in orientation and policy concerning how to deal with alcohol issues involve significantly greater risks for public health and safety than do the short-term impacts of privatization on outlet density, crime, or per capita consumption. The latter may be more visible, but in the long run the erosion of control systems and structures, and their replacement by arrangements that primarily facilitate market and commercial agendas (along with the establishment of new vested interests with a strong profit-motive agenda), will have more dramatic and serious implications. It is expected that this transition will have major implications for how alcohol management is viewed, the resources available to control problems, and the range of effective and legitimate responses that can be brought to bear on alcohol problems in a timely and effective way. Questions remain about the risks to health and safety where retailing and marketing decisions are truncated from the public health agenda, as was the

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case in Alberta. Reports of increased break-ins in liquor stores were disputed; however, on a per capita basis, they appeared to go up, at least in the downtown areas of the two major cities. The quantitative implications of the change described in this chapter have not been fully explored, even though it is over ten years after the event. For example, future research should systematically examine the impacts, if any, on a number of social and health indicators and should include tracking of consumption that takes into account changing density of outlets on a regional basis. Therefore, this “natural experiment” in alcohol policy offers opportunities for further analysis of the data from both a qualitative and quantitative perspective. It is not clear that the Alberta experience of sudden dramatic change, without consultation or public input, is a good model for other jurisdictions. A number of questions remain. In light of the nature of alcohol products and attendant risks to individuals and communities, should not extensive consultation and deliberation have preceded policy decisions of this importance? What are the risks of treating alcohol like any other commodity? Can a private retailing system and private retailers pay sufficient attention to health and safety issues (such as avoiding service to minors or intoxicated persons)? Will commercial interests and the profit motive reduce attention to these issues? What are the consequences of separating retailing of alcohol from considerations of public health and safety issues? Is increased alcohol abuse and other drinking-related problems a likely outcome of the privatization of alcohol retailing? Finally, should economic considerations outweigh public health concerns in an era that separates and polarizes these issues? The outcomes of the Alberta privatization are still being debated, and it is likely that the privatization agenda will continue to resurface in other domains and jurisdictions.

notes 1 The decline in alcohol sales during this time was common for most Canadian provinces. 2 The Liquor Board Panel of gatt originally found internal practices concerning listing/delisting requirements and availability of points of sale of goods to be “import restrictions” in violation of Article xi:1 of the gatt. By privatizing, and thereby replacing existing beer stores with full-scale liquor stores, the government could argue that it was in fact increasing the availability of points of sale and, arguably, was in greater compliance with gatt. In this context, from the government perspective, opposition to privatization might therefore be translated as “non-compliance” with gatt and opposition to the fta.

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3 Alberta Hansard legislative debates can be accessed on the Web at . 4 The amendments followed the gatt ruling of 1991. Prior to the amendments made at the Liquor Administration Regulation and Liquor Control Act of Alberta, 1993, existing manufacturer-owned retail and beer and wine stores disappeared the following year. The Liquor Control Amendment Act included provisions to remove perceived long-standing impediments to free trade of beer products between Alberta and provincial and international trading partners. However, the thirty cold beer stores in place in fiscal 1992 were closed and converted to full service retail liquor stores by December 1993 (alcb 1994). 5 Other licences included Class A (Food Primary), Class B (Convention Centre, Public Conveyance, Racetrack, Recreational Facilities, Sports Stadium, Theatre), and Class C (Canteens, Club, Institution, Travellers Lounge) (alcb 1994). 6 Since 1990 the number of alcohol retail outlets in Alberta had grown from just over 200 government stores to about 800 outlets. Just prior to privatization there were approximately 600 private outlets, including 532 hotel off-sale outlets, 23 retail wine stores, and 30 retail beer stores (Table 11.1). 7 The “ad valorem” taxation method is a “more complicated method used in provinces like British Columbia in which a sliding percentage of value sale is applied to each product based on its landed wholesale cost” (Consumers Association of Canada–bc 2003, 10). A more simplified flat tax system involves taxing alcoholic beverages on the basis of their alcohol content. 8 Other reasons for imposing a flat tax structure were noted as follows: (1) simplifying the system of calculating the markup; (2) removing any opportunity for “creative invoicing” to affect the amount of markup collected, the wholesale price of products, or the retail price of products; (3) removing all hidden or discriminatory cost elements to avoid future disputes under trade agreements (as occurred in 1991 with gatt findings on beer); (4) correcting an ever-widening price range among product categories caused by the ad valorem markup system; and (5) minimizing the alcb’s role in influencing wholesale prices to retailers and retail prices to consumers (alcb 1994). 9 However, the topic of privatization has resurfaced in British Columbia. For example, steps taken towards increasing access to alcohol in March 2002 included increasing the number of outlets, larger floor areas, and increasing the closing time to 4:00 am in bars and lounges (Kendall 2002, 5). Subsequently, a three-year plan was released in 18 February 2003, “targeting a minimum of 40 to 50 government stores to be closed in each of the next three years” (Consumers’ Association of Canada–bc 2003, 10). 10 West envisioned a two-tiered liquor wholesaling system much like the existing brewers already followed where the domestic brewers manufacture, warehouse and distribute their own products to licensees. The alcb collects the wholesale

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price and in turn remits to the brewer their portion of the wholesale price, called the landed cost, of the product (alcb 1994). 11 The Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors members represented Calgary Coop Ltd., Canadian Safeway Ltd., Save-On-Foods Ltd., and Westfair Foods Ltd. (which operated the Real Canadian Superstore – often referred to as the “Superstores” in print media).

references Alberta Liquor Control Board. 1989. Sixty-Fifth Annual Report. St Albert: Alberta Liquor Control Board. – 1990. Sixty-Sixth Annual Report. St Albert: Alberta Liquor Control Board. – 1992. Sixth-Eighth Annual Report. St Albert: Alberta Liquor Control Board. – 1993. Sixty-Ninth Annual Report. St Albert: Alberta Liquor Control Board. – 1994. A New Era In Liquor Administration: The Alberta Experience. St Albert: Alberta Liquor Control Board. – 1995. Seventy-First Annual Report. St. Albert: Alberta Liquor Control Board. Bruun, K., G. Edwards, M. Lumio, K. Mäkelä, L. Pan, R.E. Popham, R. Room, W. Schmidt, O.-J. Skog, P. Sulkunen, and E. Österberg. 1975. Alcohol Control Policies in Public Health Perspective. Helsinki: Finnish Foundation for Alcohol Studies. Calgary Herald. 1994. “Booze Idea Has Union Seeing Red.” 20 October, A17. (no byline.) Calgary Policy Service. 1994. Private Liquor Outlets Offenses: Second Quarter Report. Calgary: Calgary Police Service. Campbell, R.A. 1997. “Profit Was Just a Circumstance: The Evolution of Government Liquor Control in British Columbia, 1920–1988.” In Drink in Canada: Historical Essays, ed. C. Krasnick, W. Cherly, L. Krasnick, 172–92. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press. Consumers’ Association of Canada-bc. 2003. Privatization of BC’s Retail Liquor Store System: Implications for Consumers. A report by the Consumers’ Association of Canada-bc, May 2003. Cunningham, J. 1997. “Liquor Stores Reel over Late Deliveries.” Calgary Herald, 12 September, B1, B2. Edmonton Journal. 1997. “Liquor Sellers Don’t Need State Protection.” 29 June, A10. (no byline.) Edwards, G., P. Anderson, T.F. Babor, S. Casswell, R. Ferrence, N. Giesbrecht, C. Godfrey, H. Holder, P. Lemmens, K. Mäkelä, L.T. Midanik, T. Norström, E. Österberg, A. Romelsjö, R. Room, J. Simpura, and O.-J. Skog. 1994. Alcohol Policy and the Public Good. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Flanagan, G. 2003. Sobering Result: The Alberta Liquor Retailing Industry Ten Years after Privatization. Edmonton: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and Parkland Institute, June.

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The Fraser Institute. 1994. Alberta Mid-term Report: The Klein Government. Vancouver: The Fraser Institute. – 1998. The BC Government Gets an F on Their Report Card. . Giesbrecht, N., and L. Kavanagh. 1999. “Public Opinion and Alcohol Policy: Comparisons of Two Canadian General Population Surveys.” Drug and Alcohol Review 18: 7–19. Giesbrecht, N., M. Her, R. Room, and J. Rehm. 1999. “Reply to Commentaries on Her et al. Impacts of Privatization: What Do We Know and Where Should We Go?” Addiction 94 (8): 1146–1153. Gray, I. 1997. “Five-Year Review in ’98.” Vendor Magazine, Winter, 5–8. Edmonton: aagicomm Communications and Publishing. Gruenewald, P.J., and W.R. Ponicki. 1995. “The Relationship of Retail Availability of Alcohol and Alcohol Sales to Alcohol-Related Traffic Crashes.” Accident Analysis and Prevention 27 (2): 249–59. Jazairi, N.T. 1994. The Impact of Privatizing the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. Toronto: Department of Economics, York University. Johnson, A. 1993. “The Iowa Experience.” Calgary Herald, 8 October, A10, A11. Johnsrude, L. 1997a. “Critics Slam Liquor-Store ‘Subsidy.’” Edmonton Journal, 28 June, A2. – 1997b. “Drinkers Not Getting Tax Break.” Edmonton Journal, 20 September, B5. – 1997c. “It’s Happy Hour for Liquor Store Owners.” Edmonton Journal, 29 June, A1. Kellogg, A. 1997. “Discount Prices Take Glow off Private Liquor Dealer.” Edmonton Journal, 8 January, B1. Kendall, P.R.W. 2002. Public Health Approach to Alcohol Policy: A Report of the Provincial Health Officer. Vancouver: Ministry of Health Planning, Office of the Provincial Health Officer. Laxer, G., D. Green, T. Harrison, and D. Neu. 1994. Out Of Control: Paying the Price for Privatizing Alberta’s Liquor Control Board. Edmonton: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Macdonald, S. 1986. “The Impact of Increased Availability of Wine in Grocery Stores on Consumption: Four Case Histories.” British Journal of Addiction 81: 381–7. Mäkelä, K., R. Room, E. Single, P. Sulkunen, B. Walsh, with 13 others. 1981. Alcohol, Society, and the State. Vol. 1: A Comparative Study of Alcohol Control. Toronto: Addiction Research Foundation. Mulford, H.A., J.L. Fitzgerald, A.C. Wagenaar, and H.D. Holder. 1996. “What Happened to Wine Consumption in Iowa Following Elimination of Its Retail Wine Monopoly? Letters to the editor.” Journal of Studies On Alcohol 57 (5): 572–6. Pommer, D. 1994a. “Chains Promised Liquor Input.” Calgary Herald, 12 February, B5.

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– 1994b. “Drinkers in Low Spirits: But Private-Store Owners Toast Shutdown of Last alcb Outlets.” Calgary Herald, 3 March, A1. Room, R. 1987. “Alcohol Monopolies in the us: Challenges and Opportunities.” Journal of Public Health Policy 8: 509–30. Scribner, R.A., D.P. MacKinnon, and J.H. Dwyer. 1995. “Risk of Assaultive Violence and Alcohol Availability in Los Angeles County.” American Journal of Public Health 85 (3): 335–40. Stepan, C. 1997a. “Niche Wine Store Plonked.” Edmonton Journal, 22 May, E3. – 1997b. “Vendors Claim Shipments Too Erratic.” Edmonton Journal, 19 December, F1. Thorne, D. 1997a. “bc Gets Look at Liquor Privatization: Fraser Institute Conference in Vancouver Examines Alberta’s Experience.” Edmonton Journal, 25 June, A7. – 1997b. “Cheaper Alberta Booze Hurting bc Sales, Say Merchants.” Edmonton Journal, 26 June, A6. – 1997c. “Booze Middlemen on Grill over Foul-Ups.” Edmonton Journal, 13 September, B1. – 1997d. “Delivery Delays Leave Liquor Stores Dry.” Edmonton Journal, 20 September, B2. – 1997e. “Superstore Gets ok for 8 Liquor Outlets.” Edmonton Journal, 24 July, B3. Trolldal, B. In press. “An Investigation of the Effects of Privatization of Retail Sales on Alcohol Consumption and Traffic Accidents in Alberta, Canada.” Addiction. Wagenaar, A.C., and H.D. Holder. 1991. “A Change from Public to Private Sale of Wine: Results from Natural Experiments in Iowa and West Virginia.” Journal of Studies on Alcohol 52 (2): 162–73. Walton, B.D. 1997. “Let Consumer Make Liquor Decision.” Edmonton Journal, 5 January, A7. West, D.S. 1996. “The Privatization of Liquor Retailing in Alberta.” Presented at the Centre for the Study of State and Market, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, June 21. – 1997. The Privatization of Liquor Retailing in Alberta. Occasional Paper, Public Policy Sources, Number 5. Vancouver: The Fraser Institute.

12 Privatization Postponed? Ontario’s Experience with Convergent Interests and Extensive Alcohol Marketing NORMAN GIESBRECHT, GINA STODUTO, AND LYNN KAVANAGH The Liquor Control Board of Ontario (lcbo), an agency of the Ontario government, has played a leading role in matters concerning the production, distribution and sale of alcohol, as wholesaler and retailer of alcohol (spirits, wine and beer) and regulator of alcohol production and sales. As a major distributor and controller of alcohol in Ontario, the balance between its commercial role and its social or public health and safety role has shifted in recent years. This case study focuses on the proposal to privatize the lcbo introduced by the Progressive Conservative Party majority goverment in 1995. The factors and actors involved in the policy department process will be examined to determine their impact on the outcome of this proposal, which did not result in privatizing the lcbo. In particular, we will elaborate on the impact of Alberta’s experience with privatization and the contributions of the public health community and alcohol producers to the debate in Ontario.

recent changes to alcohol retailing The current alcohol off-premise (package) retail system in Ontario is a mixture of government and private sales outlets. All were authorized and controlled by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (lcbo) until the late-1990s, when several functions were transferred to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission (agco). The Ontario government, through the agco, now controls the sale of beer through privately run outlets (the Beer Store network) and domestic wine through Ontario wine outlets operated by individual manufacturers. In addition, the agco regulates the sale of alcohol at licensed

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establishments (e.g., bars and restaurants) and through Special Occasion Permit events and home delivery services. The lcbo is the only off-premise retailer (package store) of distilled spirits and imported wines. While the lcbo main stores, and smaller “agency stores,” offer all types of alcoholic beverages (beer, wine, and spirits), privately operated outlets sell only one particular type, such as beer or domestic wine. As of March 1995 the lcbo operated 621 retail liquor stores. In addition, in communities with populations too small to support a regular outlet, there were eighty-two agency stores, operated under contract by stores also retailing other products and services. At that time, the lcbo also regulated the sale of beer through the network of 436 brewers retail stores, which are 99 percent jointly owned by the two largest Canadian breweries. In 1995 there were 326 Ontario winery stores, some of which are located at the wineries, each selling only the products of a specific Ontario winery or company (lcbo 1995).1 Alcohol home delivery services were, and still are, allowed, although on-premise licensed establishments are not permitted to sell alcohol for off-premise consumption, as is the case in some other provinces. Since spirits are only sold through the lcbo and their agency stores, and given their high alcohol strength, the government-managed venues for off-premise sales still distribute the lion’s share of beverage alcohol in terms of absolute alcohol. In the twenty-five years prior to 1995, the structure and density of the off-premise network changed significantly. Figures for the 1970–71 fiscal year and 1995–96 fiscal year illustrate the increase in sales outlets: government liquor stores increased from 443 to 609; the number of agency stores, also managed by the lcbo, increased from 40 to 87; the number of brewers retail stores increased from 374 to 465; and the number of winery outlets increased from 51 to 328 (lcbo, Annual Reports). The number of “on premise” outlets, such as bars and restaurants, increased even more significantly, from 5,044 to 15,622 (lcbo, Annual Reports). Changes to retailing of alcoholic beverages in Ontario over the past twenty to thirty years have involved increased access to alcohol, greater convenience, and also an emphasis on social responsibility (Giesbrecht and Kruzel 1996; Giesbrecht and Kavanagh 1998; see also Table 12.2). These changes included self-service in liquor stores and some beer stores, increased options with regard to bottle sizes, promotion of extra-strength beers, expansion of Ontario winery and agency store networks, increased access through longer hours of sale, introduction of credit cards (beginning in 1994), extending closing hours to 2:00 am for licensed premises (in May 1996), and sales on Sunday for off-premise outlets (as of December 1997). By the mid–1990s all liquor stores and some beer stores employed the self-service format, and many contained vintage wine areas, attractive displays of products, and ancillary products for sale.

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Table 12.1 Chronology of events 1995 March June Summer

Fall

1996 Early Spring

Fall

1998 Feb Spring

– pc press release “An lcbo for the Twentieth Century” – Mike Harris, pc, Premier Elect (majority government) – Norm Sterling, minister of consumer and commercial relations, will oversee 6–8 months of consultations – Government will consider allowing variety stores to sell liquor B Privatization consultations to start in 2–3 months, plans should be in place within 6–9 months following public consultations – places ads for tenants to set up mini-stores in supermarkets – lcbo olbeu releases study “Impact of Privatizing the lcbo” – olbeu prepares advertising blitz – Alcohol Advisory Committee invites lcbo and public health to talk about privatization – Norm Sterling visits Alberta liquor stores – Alcohol Regulation/Privatization Task Group formed – Operational Agency Review process announced by government – Symposium on Alcohol Privatization/Deregulation – Parkdale Focus Community information night – lcbo’s Operational Agency Review undertaken – Norm Sterling says private liquor store owners will do a better job of not selling to underage kids – Ernie Eves, finance minister, to head new Cabinet Committee on Privatization – North York City Council adopts Board of Health recommendations (control should be handed to local communities) – Norm Sterling calls off the review of the lcbo – David Tsubouchi, new minister of consumer and commercial relations – Home-Grown Solution: The LCBO of the Future – report presented to David Tsubouchi by lcbo and olbeu – Secret report to be released late November, expected to recommend privatizing smaller stores and warehouses – Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario is created (merged lcbo and Ontario Gaming Control Commission) – olbeu president rounding up strike mandate, preparing employees to deal with Tsubouchi who is about to get a report recommending selling or franchising 322 smaller lcbo outlets to private operators

Thus, the lcbo, an agency of the Ontario government, has played a leading role in the production, distribution, and sale of alcohol, as wholesaler and retailer of alcohol (spirits, wine, and beer), and as regulator of alcohol 2 production and sales. As the major distributor and controller of alcohol in Ontario, the balance between the lcbo’s commercial role and its social responsibility role has shifted in recent years. In the last two decades there have been several calls for the expansion of beer and wine sales through private venues in Ontario. For example, selling beer and wine in convenience stores (grocery or corner stores) was an elec-

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tion promise of the Ontario Liberal Party in the early 1980s. In 1985 a coalition of grocery and corner storeowners proposed the introduction of beer and wine into 6,000 to 10,000 additional private venues in Ontario (Coalition for Ontario Private Enterprise 1996). This proposal received cautious alcohol industry support. However, there was opposition from many quarters, including municipal health departments, police forces, social services, and interfaith groups, as is described below. Although a legislative bill was tabled, it failed to pass. This chapter focuses on the failed proposal to privatize the lcbo introduced by the Progressive Conservative (pc) Party majority government in 1995. The effect of various factors and actors involved in the policy development process is be examined. In particular, we examine the views of the alcohol industry on the issue, responses by the lcbo management and employees’ union, the impact of Alberta’s experience with privatization, and the contributions of the public health community to the debate.

privatization proposal, 1995 In June 1995 the Progressive Conservatives defeated the incumbent New Democratic Party government (the pcs were subsequently elected to a second term in June 1999, see Table 12.1). During the 1995 election campaign, in a document entitled The Common Sense Revolution (pc Party of Ontario 1994), the pcs, led by Mike Harris, presented a proposal to privatize Ontario’s system of retail alcohol sales. Three months before the election their press release noted that, while “the Ontario public will always require that government play a critical role in the control of licensing, the regulation of distribution and the monitoring of quality of alcoholic beverages ... It is the belief of the pc Party of Ontario that the historic rationale for the government to own and manage the sale of liquor should be updated to reflect today’s society.” Party documents offered a commitment to “shortly after election, establish an Independent Commission to study the modernization of liquor retailing in Ontario, including a full examination of an increased role for the private sector” (pc Party of Ontario 1995). In the week prior to the election, Mike Harris held a news conference on the steps of the lcbo headquarters to highlight the pc’s privatization plans: “The proposed privatization of certain lcbo functions is not ideologically motivated (but) is driven by our Party’s belief, shared by the majority of Ontario consumers, that increased competition in liquor retailing will lead to the type of services and price improvement evidenced in every other sector of our economy when competitors strive to meet consumer demands” (pc Party of Ontario 1995).

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Fig. 12.1. Number of newspaper articles on issue of Ontario’s privatization of retail alcohol (N = 78) 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 85

87

86

88

89

90

92

91

93

94

96

95

97

98

99

Year

Media Coverage There was extensive print media coverage, especially during 1995 (Figure 12.1), although there was no dominant collective position either for or against this proposal. There were reports that the minister of consumer and commercial relations, who oversees the activities of the lcbo, would undertake six to eight months of consultations (Gadd 1995), promises to “test the waters” by allowing grocery or convenience stores to sell alcohol, and warnings that privatization was imminent (Wright 1995b). However, even during the first few months some articles signalled a more cautious approach (Mayers 1995a; Israelson 1995a, 1995b, 1995c; Canadian Press 1996). Fig. 12.2. Policy rationales reported on the issue of Ontario’s privatization of retail alcohol in Canadian newspaper coverage, 1985–1999 (N = 190) 60

40 20

other

lack of research

cultural

legal

employment

public opinion

health

consumer

business

economic

0

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Fig. 12.3. Policy actors represented on the issue of Ontario’s privatization of retail acohol in Canadian newspaper media coverage, 1985–99 (N = 234) 80 60 40 20

er ot h

io n un

es s in bu s

a

liq u bo or ar d

ed i m

en tiz ci

al in coh du ol str y re se ar ch

th he al

pr ov g

ov t

0

Media accounts seemed to reflect the diverse views of various interest groups (see Figures 12.2 and 12.3). The main groups appearing in newspaper articles were the provincial government, the alcohol industry, the lcbo, the liquor store employees’ union, and Ontario citizens. In the majority of articles, economic, business, consumer, and other rationales were primarily given as positions. One article, written by the president of the Ontario Liquor Board Employees’ Union (olbeu), expressed concern with the lcbo’s structural changes and decreased revenue generation in recent years (Coones 1995). Another article described deregulation proposals, both past and present, as well as current stands held on the privatization issue by politicians, the federation of grocery stores, and the lcbo union (Wright 1995a). More articles appeared after the pcs won the election in June 1995. The benefits and drawbacks of privatization were outlined, and when the government seemed to backtrack from appointing a commission and a full-scale move to privatize, there was criticism of this change in priorities (e.g., Mayers 1995c; Watson 1997), with a number of commentators being supportive of the privatization proposal (e.g., Feschuk 1995a, 1995b, 1996; Lawrason 1997; Mayers 1995b; Nolan 1997).3 Nevertheless, in contrast to the mid–1980s, the print media accounts in the mid–1990s were generally not as supportive of dismantling the government retailing system. A number of people commented on the negative consequences of such a move (Blackwell 1996; Coyle 1997; Henton 1995; Mussio and Rawlinson 1996; Riley 1997; Toronto Star 1995, 1997). These accounts also noted how the lcbo was moving to reduce the likelihood of privatization (e.g., Robin 1995) by modernizing stores and introducing marketing initiatives (see also Table 12.2).

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Table 12.2 lcbo modernization initiatives 1990–91

1991–92

1992–93

1993–94

1994–95

1995–96

Store renovations and upgrades, including one replacement store. Tasting counter in one newly renovated store. New display called “Express Selections” allows consumers to make quick and informed decisions on wines and foods that complement one another. Product management divided all products into five categories: imported & domestic spirits, European & Eastern country wines, New World wines, and Special Markets. Four thematic promotions: 2 for Ontario wines, 1 each for Spanish and Australian wines. Wine Council of Ontario featured first ever in-store contest. Increased availability of product information. Opening of second full-service store. image Program created: new look of stores, upgraded, more responsive to consumer needs and preferences. Express Selections Program continued. Increased product selection: more products with lower alcohol content made available. Suggestion Card Program. image Program: increased sales in stores after make-overs. Two new full-service stores. Promotions: “World of Spirits,” InterVin Wine Competition “The World Winning Wines of Ontario” (promotion of Ontario wines, in-store tastings). Environmental initiatives: new method of disposing waste, reusable package for Christmas gift items. First non-duty-free store at Pearson International Airport, Toronto. “Meet the Wine Writers” series held in two full-service stores (Toronto and Ottawa). Wine exchange between British Columbia and Ontario to promote wines in other provinces. “Wine and Dine” Promotion featured special menus pairing Ontario wines with interesting food creations. Classics and Holiday Catalogue announced Promotion of Australian wines entitled “What’s up from Down Under?” Changed consumer publication name from “lcbo Today” to “Food and Drink” to reflect the content more accurately and to heighten consumer interest. lcbo was a corporate sponsor of Waste Reduction Week. From mid-October to mid-November, Wine Council of Ontario’s annual promotion of Ontario wines was mounted at the lcbo. In November 1993 the 1992 ice-wines were launched. “Shop the World” Program is initiated, launch of special products for “niche market,” e.g., for the Passover Season. “Shop the World” first promotional event, Festivale Italiano. Promoting Ontario wines first Classics Catalogue. Acceptance of credit cards and debit cards in liquor stores. Environmental initiative and promotion with ministry of natural resources. “How to Talk about Alcohol” educational guide for parents, teachers, and others. Promotions at Christmas. Increased advertising by lcbo in newspapers and magazines. “Shop the World, Help Save the Animals,” a merchandising promotion with a socially responsible environmental campaign to draw public attention to endangered species and their habitats, both in Canada and around the world, and to help raise money for their cause. First ever Sunday store opening, 24 December 1995. Retail training programs to increase staff knowledge of products. Three new mini-stores opened. Manulife Centre, Toronto store renovated (won Retail Council of Canada’s Excellence in Retailing Award for store design and layout, large store category). Merchandising improvements, in-store tastings, recipes, information displays, food-matching demonstrations. Installation of credit card and

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Table 12.2 (continued) 1995–96 debit card complete. Limited Time Offers. Increased value-adds (bonus (cont’d.) offers). Longer store hours. Doubled number of product consultants in store system. Classics Catalogue continued with new editions. “Shop the World, Help Save the Animals” continued. 1996–97 “Shop the World” continued. Marketing changes: closed 3 stores, relocated 5 stores, opened 3 new mini-stores, major store renovations. Continued Limited Time Offers, Value-adds, Classics Catalogue. New look, services and amenities in urban image stores. Increased training of staff on products. 1997–98 Sunday shopping. air miles Reward Program. Bottle-Your-Own: consumers can fill bottles with red or white bulk wines from Ontario, Chile, or California. Credit card payment offered to owners and operators of licensed establishments. Limited Time Offers and Value-adds continued. Extended hours, more stores stay open later. “Shop the World” continued. Product Knowledge Correspondence Course mandatory for all retail employees. Source: Liquor Control Board of Ontario, Annual Reports for 1990–91 to 1997–98.

main actors and developments There were a number of participants in the deliberations on this topic. These included alcohol production and hospitality industries, the lcbo, the union of liquor workers, and, of course, the Government of Ontario. The public health and research communities also took an active part, something that was not evident in Quebec and Alberta. Public Health: Relevance of Networks and Agenda With the Progressive Conservative pronouncements in 1994 and 1995, members of the public health community raised concerns about erosion of alcohol control, with possible privatization and the consequent implications for health and safety. These activities included submitting letters to the premier and ministers of the government, organizing community workshops and symposia, submitting reports to the ministers of finance and consumer and commercial relations, and passing resolutions (e.g., Municipal Boards of Health; McKeown 1995, 1996a, 1996b).4 These organized activities or events also provided an occasion for dialogue and, at times, convergence of views between public health workers and representatives of the alcohol industry. A key example of this dialogue involved the Alcohol Advisory Committee set up by the Toronto Board of Health, which had a general focus on alcohol issues and which also discussed privatization. It was co-chaired by a staff member of the Board of Health and a member of the Brewers Association of Ontario, and it brought together persons with expertise from health, community action, labour, and alcohol distribution and production (Giesbrecht and Neves 1999). In this committee there was evidence of increased under-

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standing among participants concerning how different “players” approach a policy event, an appreciation that common ground could be found on some specific alcohol policy issues, and the notion that alcohol retailing priorities and health and safety agendas were not always incompatible. On privatization there was some convergence of views, even though underlying rationales differed (Giesbrecht and Neves 1999). Another timely and noteworthy event was the Symposium on Privatization/Deregulation of Alcohol Sales and Distribution. It was held in Toronto on 20 November 1995, with approximately 200 persons participating. Panel presentations included one that had representatives from distilling, brewing, Ontario wineries, and the hospitality sector. Another focused on the community and featured speakers from faith communities, education, impaired driving advocacy, research and treatment sectors, and neighbourhood associations. This event provided a forum for a variety of stakeholders to share information, perspectives, and concerns about the health, social, and economic implications of privatizing or deregulating the existing system. A primary message was that a cautious approach and careful study were needed in order to understand the potential implications of any changes to alcohol retailing in Ontario (McKeown 1996a). The symposium offered a springboard for communicating concerns to policy makers. For example, it established a connection between the organizing committee and the Ministries of Finance and Consumer and Commercial Relations, and it allowed members of the organizing committee to channel information reflecting health and safety concerns to ministry staff after the symposium (Giesbrecht and Kruzel 1996). Several other symposia and community meetings held in southern Ontario also included representatives from community groups, public health departments, researchers, and the alcohol industries. During these forums a number of concerns were voiced about the possible effects of privatization, including increased numbers of alcohol outlets, increased sales to minors and intoxicated individuals, and increased crime. The participants also noted competition among retailers, reduced pricing to attract business, the overall perceived negative impact on neighbourhood residents and other businesses, and a general decline in a control mandate and activities (Ontario Neighbours for Responsible Alcohol Sales and Service 1996). Privatization was also discussed in other contexts. The issue encouraged some organizations concerned about impaired driving and youth to develop position papers.5 It was discussed before the health boards of the cities of North York (since merged into Toronto) and Toronto (Yaffe 1995; McKeown 1995, 1996a, 1996b; City of Toronto Board of Health 1995, 1996) and generated recommendations. These emphasized a number of points: the need for careful study, for health and social policy experts to be

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on the Independent Commission (promised by the Progressive Conservatives), for wide public consultation in the review process, and for active community participation in decision making on a number of topics.6 Direction was also given to local authorities’ legal and planning departments to proactively develop zoning provisions so that, in the event privatization did occur, there would be mechanisms in place to limit locations and numbers of retail outlets (Giesbrecht and Kruzel 1996). Last but not least, the Toronto Board of Health also sponsored resolutions for consideration at the Annual Conference of the Association of Local Official Health Agencies, an association representing all boards of health and medical officers of health across the province. By mid-April 1996 resolutions in opposition to privatization, or at a minimum calling for a careful and cautious deliberation, had been passed by forty-four municipal councils, and by May only three had refused to consider a resolution on this topic (Giesbrecht and Kruzel 1996). Therefore, individuals and organizations – with a wide range of interests – offered their views or were drawn into deliberations about privatization through symposia, committee work, resolutions, and (more directly) via letters or informal meetings with government staff or politicians. The Alcohol and Hospitality Industries The alcohol producers and hospitality industry did not signal broad intersectoral support for privatization. It is true that the hospitality industry (hotels, bars, and restaurants) indicated that it wanted changes to the existing system of alcoholic beverage distribution, retailing, and pricing, which it viewed as outdated. Hospitality operators wanted to be able to shop around for the lowest prices and to have a variety of payment options, including credit cards. The latter was a proposal that was eventually implemented. The Ontario brewing and wine producing industries, while not fully satisfied with the existing system, nevertheless were not enthusiastic about dramatic changes. Representatives participated in various panel discussions and symposia, as noted above, and voiced their concerns, in a guarded way, about dramatic changes in the system. They noted that the producer groups had learned to work with the current system, and their preference was for fairly minor adjustments rather than for dramatic changes that might have unpleasant surprises for the alcohol producers. Wine producers seemed more negative about privatization (Wine Council of Ontario 1994; Canadian Wine Institute 1994), possibly reflecting on their negative experiences with Canada-us disputes on alcohol trade issues in the 1980s (see Chapter 6). One informant describes some alcohol industry positions in the following terms:

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I think the brewers were concerned about it. They were afraid of getting the bri [Brewers Retail] sucked down with it. So I think they spent a lot of time figuring out how to argue that bri is really a private part of the system [laughs]. We had a lot of conversations with them and with the distillers, and I am not sure they had really a very carefully thought through position on it. I am not sure the distillers reached any meeting of the minds amongst themselves about what would be better for them. So, any time we went to a symposium with them ... they were kind of, “Well, on the one hand, then on the other.” Or [a distiller representative] would go to meetings and say, “I am not talking for the Association of Distillers, these are just personal opinions.” So I think they were trying really hard not to look like they were on one side or the other so they didn’t tick off the liquor board if they lost, and then tick off the government if it looked like privatization was going. So, I think that was a funny game.

However, the president of the Association of Canadian Distillers was quoted in the Calgary Herald as being opposed to privatization: “Since privatization [in Alberta], competition has kept prices so low that it’s barely profitable to do business in Alberta” (Johnsrude 1997b, B5). Another account referred to a major brewer (Molson) indicating its opposition to privatization (Deverell 1996). Modernizing the LCBO for Profit, Revenue, and Politics It is likely that lcbo management was not fully taken by surprise by a privatization proposal. In the years leading up to 1995 the lcbo had initiated several changes, and, after the 1995 election, these efforts to upgrade their stores, enhance customer convenience, promote their system, and generate revenue likely continued with greater persistence (Table 12.2). These included various promotional and advertising campaigns, in-store modifications and modernization efforts, and specialty services for the connoisseur of wines and spirits. Social responsibility continued to be an important lcbo function, a role that was expected by some to be neglected with privatization, and was claimed to be popular with the public (Brandt 1998). In order to reduce sales to minors and intoxicated persons, there was an extensive increase in challenges and service refusals by liquor store employees. In the fiscal year 1991–92 there were 160,000 challenges and 57,000 refusals. This increased to 648,000 challenges and 81,427 refusals in the fiscal year 1997–98 (Liquor Control Board of Ontario, Annual Reports 1992–98). The most dramatic increase in the number of clients “challenged” was in 1996–97 (lcbo 1997), the year after the 1995 threat of privatization was widely discussed. The lcbo management paid special attention to their revenue-generating contributions to government. It is likely no coincidence that the

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1995–96 annual report (lcbo 1996) bears the title Our Best Year Ever, while the 1997–98 report (lcbo 1998) bears the title Our Third Record Straight Year – a theme that is repeated in subsequent annual reports. One informant describes the lcbo’s strategy as follows: Previous annual reports had different themes, but then the financial draw for the province was emphasized. “Look at how much money we are giving to you! How could you do this anywhere else? By the way, you know that whatever million you thought you were going to get, well here’s five million more!” Brilliant strategy. And the other focus I think, the change that they made, which they pound at us all the time now is, “It’s all customer focused. At the end of the day, we are just doing what 7 our customer wants,” and I think that plays really well to this government.

Ontario Liquor Board Employees’ Union The Ontario Liquor Board Employees’ Union (olbeu) used a variety of strategies to campaign against privatization, including presentations, media campaigns, and commissioning research and a public opinion survey (olbeu 1996). The union made presentations across the province to organizations, local politicians, and other officials. It also sponsored a multi-part print, radio, and television media campaign, “The lcbo. It’s worth holding on to.” One tv commercial showed pleasant lcbo stores in contrast to dingy, crowded or crime-ridden stores to illustrate private retailing venues. Another illustrated the roles of lcbo staff in refusing to serve minors or intoxicated patrons. One television commercial showed parents being interviewed by a reporter at a teen baseball game making statements against private liquor stores because they would be much less likely to refuse sales to underage drinkers. The revenue-generating contributions of the lcbo was also evident in the union-sponsored advertisements. The olbeu commissioned a York University economics professor, Nuri Jazairi, to study the consequences of Alberta’s privatization. His report (Jazairi 1995), released at a press conference in Toronto, presented a very negative picture of Alberta’s privatization experience and predicted negative consequences for Ontario should it follow Alberta’s lead. The union also explored the perceived pros and cons of alcohol retailing systems through a commissioned public opinion survey of 307 Ontario adults that was released in April 1996. It found that the perceived disadvantages of publicly run alcohol retailing centred on issues of customer convenience (hours and locations) and prices (olbeu 1996). Support for continued public ownership of alcohol retailing increased from 51 percent in July 1995 to 71 percent in April 1996. Concern over the negative consequences of private retailing included perceptions that sales to minors and to the intoxicated would increase, as would drinking and driving.

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There are indications that the activities by lcbo management and union of liquor workers were coordinated. One interview respondent described the lcbo and olbeu activities as follows: “They had enough time to start doing some fabulous things in some stores that they already had under development ... get the union to run ads, [because] I am sure they were all engaged in that together, and to develop a really heavy-hand[ed] defensive strategy that ‘we’re just going to look like the best darn retailers in the world’ ... and I think they accomplished it brilliantly.”

pro-privatization initiatives Support for privatization came from within the Progressive Conservative Party, a grocery store coalition, and promoters of the Alberta model. In April 1996 a coalition representing 75 percent of the 8,000 grocery stores in Ontario proposed a variation on privatization (Coalition for Ontario Private Enterprise [cope] 1996). The organization urged the government to change the Liquor Control Act to allow the sale of wine and beer in food stores. cope then circulated draft legislation that would meet its requests. Certain aspects of the draft legislation revealed that the coalition had been studying the concerns voiced by health and community organizations. Its proposal included requirements for a mandatory, self-funded training program for food store staff on responsible service, and the restriction of beer and wine sales to 8:00 am to 11:00 pm. The draft legislation also included penalties such as licence suspension and fines for contraventions. cope recommended these changes regardless of the government’s decisions around privatization (Giesbrecht and Kruzel 1996). Privatization proponents held two noteworthy events designed to highlight the potential economic and consumer-oriented benefits of privatization. In June 1996 Douglas West, a University of Alberta economist, accompanied by staff from the Alberta government, provided an economic analysis of Alberta’s privatization (West 1996) at a forum organized by the Centre for the Study of State and Market in the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto. This forum drew a diverse audience that included Ontario government staff, academics, liquor industry representatives, lawyers, and researchers associated with the Addiction Research Foundation. A second event, organized by the free-enterprise-oriented Fraser Institute, based in Vancouver, was a day-long conference entitled “Liquor Retailing: Options for the Province of Ontario” and held in Toronto. It was attended by alcohol industry representatives, the acting ceo of the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission, and Douglas West. Most presentations focused on the perceived economic benefits of privatization from the alcohol industry’s perspective.

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government actions Following the initial announcements just before and after the 1995 election, the government showed increasing ambivalence about the privatization question. The new minister of consumer and commercial relations, Norman Sterling, enthusiastically took over the lcbo privatization project. Media accounts and interview respondents indicate that he visited Alberta’s private liquor stores. However, by 1996 talk of the privatization issue subsided. In May 1996 the finance minister, Ernie Eves, was appointed chair of a special cabinet committee to review the privatization of a number of government holdings. The Cabinet was shuffled in late 1996, and David Tsubouchi became minister of consumer and commercial relations. This new minister demonstrated a less enthusiastic approach to the issue than had been shown by Norman Sterling – a perspective likely more in accord with the views of the alcohol industry and public health groups. Several developments signalled that a dramatic change in alcohol retailing in Ontario was not imminent. A special cabinet committee on privatization was designated to review and assess government operations considered for privatization. The government developed a new process for setting beer prices – one intended to be more responsive to market forces. The minister of consumer and commercial relations expressed a willingness to look at inequities in the tax structure. And changes to retail operations were introduced, including longer hours of licensed premises and Sunday openings. Arthur Andersen, a us consulting firm, was hired to look at options. It was commissioned by the minister of consumer and commercial relations and the lcbo Modernization Committee to produce an internal report for the minister who would then decide what recommendations, if any, to take forward to Cabinet. Some commentators suggested that the proposals under consideration included: contracting out lcbo warehousing and distribution facilities in Thunder Bay, London, Ottawa, Whitby, and Toronto; replacing a number of liquor stores in smaller communities with franchises or agency stores; and allowing grocery stores in larger communities to sell a full line of alcohol products alongside the lcbo (Deverell 1998a, 1998b). It is unlikely that a social impact assessment was undertaken (Giesbrecht et al. 1999). Furthermore, to date the Arthur Andersen report has not been made public, and therefore the options were not accessible to many groups who might have a stake in the topic. However, the olbeu responded to this consultation initiative by voting 81 percent in favour of a strike (Toronto Star 1998), although the strike mandate was not initiated. Thus, in the second half of the government’s 1995–99 first term of office, the privatization proposal slipped to lower priority (see Toronto Star 1997). About three years after the announced intention to consider the privatiza-

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tion option, the media reported that the government no longer considered privatization of liquor stores a viable option (Mackie 1998). There was no clear statement from the government as to a decision on privatization, and the proposed Independent Commission had still not been established even after several years had passed. Andrew Brandt, chairman and ceo of the lcbo, was appointed to a third term (Mallan 1997). Mr Brandt had led the way in modernizing and commercializing the system and generating more revenue for the government than had existed before the 1995 threat of privatization. What some expected, based on the privatization of Alberta’s retail alcohol system in 1993, was apparently not under active consideration among policy makers (Mackie 1998). One informant describes the politics regarding alcohol issues this way: Liquor comes up from time to time, not because it made sense to raise alcohol issues, but because it is very newsworthy in terms of the consumer. I will give you an example. During the 1985 election, [Ontario Liberal Party leader] David Peterson needed to distinguish himself from other people. They had a little discussion inside. I know this because I had the guy tell me directly. In 1985, David Peterson’s advisor ... said, “Why don’t you throw out the idea of selling beer and wine at corner stores. I don’t know if we will do it, we will look at it later, but boy, will it ever have everybody talking.” So David Peterson threw out the idea about selling beer and wine in corner stores. Do you remember that debate? All of a sudden people said, “Who is this guy? That’s interesting.” And issues like that tend to get raised, alcohol issues, because they give politicians profile. Privatization, if you remember in the original Common Sense Revolution, it was half a line in a book that was thirty pages, but Harris was not unaware of the potential. So in March 1995, four months before the election, he had a press conference standing in front of the lcbo, talking about privatization, why this government had to be in it. Entirely political. And now you can go beyond that, but that tends to be what it is.

However, the June 1999 provincial election – which resulted in a second term of office for the Progressive Conservatives – briefly rekindled some interest in the privatization issue. The olbeu claimed in 1999 that the debate about options was now taking place behind closed doors, where critics cannot share their knowledge or express their views (see Canada Newswire 1999a, 1999b, 1999c; Ibbitson 1999). Media reports were again mixed: some suggested it was definitely back on the agenda (Ruimy 1999b), while others suggested that increased lcbo profits was a signal that privatization was unlikely (Ruimy 1999a; cbc Newsworld Online 1999a 1999b). One journalist implied that the mixed message on privatization issues might reflect the orientation of key players and indicated that the unelected “whiz kids” around Premier Mike Harris

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were in favour of wholesale privatization, while the “pragmatists” (mostly elected mpps, including the finance minister and other Cabinet members) preferred a “slow and steady” approach, which included good economic management (Urquhart 1999). A recent development followed the change in provincial government in October 2003. The Liberal majority, under Premier Dalton McGuinty, had not pointed to privatization of the lcbo in their election platform. Nevertheless this topic resurfaced briefly a couple of months after the election, when there was speculation by the government and the media about options available to help reduce the $5+ billion deficit the new government faced upon taking office.

research in the debate The most influential research information, while it was sketchy on the impact on health and social issues, was derived from the Alberta privatization experience. It was used to support the positions of both proponents and opponents of privatization. Several papers by Professor Douglas West who, as has been mentioned, is an economist with the University of Alberta, examined the marketing, retailing, and economic sides of the Alberta experience from 1993 and produced papers commissioned by the Fraser Institute (West 1996, 1997, 1998). The research commissioned by the olbeu (Jazairi 1995) supported the positions of those who were against privatization. Gordon Laxer, a sociology professor at the University of Alberta (Laxer, Green, Harrison, and Neu 1994),8 asked why the Alberta government is “subsidizing the private retailers” and asserting that “workers are making less. Liquor prices have gone up. Everybody is benefiting but the public” from the Alberta experience (Johnsrude 1997a, A7). Research summaries were presented at the November 1995 symposium by American and Canadian researchers with regard to the potential risks of privatization; in some cases, they drew on experiences in the United States and other countries.9 Research documents were also sent to the finance minister, following a meeting with his staff. However, there is no concrete information as to whether or not the policy makers or their advisors paid much attention to the findings. There are also no indications that they sought out the views of researchers on the topic, with the possible exception of contacting Professor Douglas West to get his analysis about the Alberta experience.

public opinion: an under-utilized resource Public opinion surveys about alcohol policy show that most adults favour the status quo with regard to the sale and control of alcohol rather

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than increased access to alcoholic beverages (e.g., Ferris, Templeton, and Wong 1994; Bondy 1994; Giesbrecht and West 1994; Anglin 1995; Paglia 1995; Room, Graves, Giesbrecht, and Greenfield 1995).10 The majority were not supportive of increased access to alcoholic beverages, as represented by decreased taxes, longer hours of sale of retail stores, or sales of alcoholic beverages in corner or convenience stores. A summary of these findings from the mid–1990s were made available in various symposia and distributed to members of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Substance Abuse (Giesbrecht 1995) and the Ministry of Finance. From time to time the results were noted in the media and in lcbo annual reports (lcbo 1996, 7). The topics most relevant to the privatization proposal were opinions on beer and liquor store hours, the availability of alcoholic beverages in corner stores, and service to intoxicated customers.11 The findings on these topics indicate support for current policy, and, for some measures, there is support for an increase in the controls.12 In 1992, 74 percent of Ontario adults thought beer and liquor store hours should remain the same, and only 31 percent thought alcoholic beverages should be available in corner stores (Ferris, Templeton, and Wong 1994). In 1998, 72 percent of respondents thought hours should remain the same (Anglin, Kavanagh, and Giesbrecht 2001). In 1992, 83 percent of respondents thought efforts to prevent service to drunken customers should be increased – a result that was also reflected in a subsequent survey in 1994 (Giesbrecht, Ialomiteanu, Room, and Anglin 2001). Responses to other questions indicated that geographic access to alcoholic beverages was not an issue for most Ontario adults. In a 1995 survey 79 percent indicated that they were ten minutes or less away from the nearest beer or wine store, and 88 percent indicated that it was ten minutes or less to the nearest restaurant, bar, or tavern. Furthermore, 62 percent said it was very convenient to get from their home to the nearest beer or liquor stores, with only 12 percent indicating it was somewhat or very inconvenient (Anglin 1995). Between 1992 and 1996 there was an increase in the proportion of the public that was opposed to sales of alcohol in corner stores. In 1992, 48 percent somewhat or strongly disapproved of wine being sold in corner stores, while a majority disapproved of corner store sales of beer (56 percent) and spirits (77 percent). It is noteworthy that, in 1996, the percentage disapproving of corner store sales showed a significant increase: to 59 percent for wine, 65 percent for beer, and 82 percent for spirits. Thus, one year after a government proposal to look into the feasibility of privatization, a majority opposed selling alcoholic beverages at corner stores. In 1998 only 22 percent favoured selling alcoholic beverages in corner stores. Furthermore, the majority indicated that the number of lcbo stores and brewers retail stores was appropriate and that they expected increased drinking if corner store sales were introduced (Anglin, Kavanagh, and Giesbrecht 2001).

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In the 1999 survey provincial respondents were asked whether the Ontario government should close all lcbo (government) liquor stores and allow privately run stores to sell alcohol: 73 percent disagreed or strongly disagreed and 27 percent agreed or strongly agreed (Anglin et al. 2003a). The identical question was asked in the 2002 survey with comparable results (72 percent disagreed and 28 percent agreed) (Anglin et al. 2003b). These survey findings suggest that dramatic changes in the alcohol retail distribution arrangements in the province – at least in the short term – are likely to prove unpopular with many Ontario adults. However, this proved to be a largely under-utilized resource. Possibly the results were not disseminated effectively, or perhaps they needed to be translated into short executive summaries for politicians or bureaucrats.

discussion Several factors and developments contributed to the outcome, thus far, of the privatization debate in Ontario. The health and safety actors in the policy arena collaborated with union interests on several occasions. The fact that wine and beer producers in Ontario were opposed to the initiative, and distillers were at best ambivalent about it, were significant factors. Possibly the most effective single campaign against the proposal was the television and radio advertisements sponsored by the olbeu, which stressed two pillars of a monopoly alluded to by Edwards et al. (1994) – the retailing of alcohol and social responsibility. Some of these advertisements focused on the profitability and revenue-generating contributions of the current system and others highlighted the orientation of trained staff to refusing service to minors and intoxicated patrons. The union-funded media responses to the privatization proposal also emphasized the unique strengths of the current system and appealed to the pride of Ontario residents. The experiences in Ontario were contrasted with stereotypical views of other jurisdictions. Furthermore, some analysts noted that the Ontario system was superior to the high-density and crime-ridden retail systems in some United States. The lcbo also played a major role in counter-acting the privatization sentiments. This included promotion of their revenue-generating record, the many roles of the current system in marketing alcohol and satisfying what were perceived to be consumer wishes, and a persistent emphasis on modernization. These initiatives converged with producer opposition, which was based on the unknown implications of major changes and concerns raised by health and safety communities, with the latter factors likely playing a supporting rather than decisive role in the outcome. Although no formal public hearings were introduced and a promised independent commission with public hearings was not appointed, a num-

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ber of interested parties were consulted or were able to make their wishes known. The outcome thus far appears to also reflect public opinion as indicated in the surveys sponsored by the Addiction Research Foundation and then the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, even if these results were not widely disseminated or discussed. While commercial and economic expertise was sought in the deliberations, the favourable accounts from Alberta by Professor Douglas West (1997) and others did not have a dominant influence on the policy makers. It is possible that the greatest influence from an economic perspective came from among the lcbo management and staff, and from supporters of the system within the government bureaucracy. The ongoing modernization of lcbo sales and service arrangements (see Table 12.2) and the revenuegenerating record of the organization, with increasing volumes in recent years, have to date likely carried particular weight in the deliberations about privatization (see Ruimy 1999a). Therefore, during the privatization discussions, parallel concerns emerged that were not limited to interest groups that have traditionally held common goals but, rather, involved unexpected informal and issue-oriented alliances of health, safety, and community groups with brewers and vintners. This synergy was likely facilitated by the existence of certain associations, committees, networks, and public events that provided opportunities for the discussion of privatization (Giesbrecht and Kruzel 1996). The media campaign by the union is also reported to have been particularly successful. Furthermore, the fact that wine and beer producers were, at best, ambivalent about the idea, and that sectors from the public health policy community showed coordinated opposition, demonstrated that, even if their motives weren’t identical, there were convergent views from the commercial and harm reduction communities on some key aspects of alcohol retailing. These developments signalled both the extent of support for the existing retailing system and the strong opposition to privatization from several quarters. Nevertheless, a number of changes were and still are being introduced that steer the lcbo towards a more commercial orientation and perceived customer friendly agendas (e.g., lcbo 2003). For example, while grocery store chains and convenience stores are still not allowed to sell alcohol, Ontario wine is sold in wine kiosks in large supermarkets, and in one instance a regular liquor store, while separate, is part of a supermarket envelope (at Queens Quay, Toronto). In recent years the lcbo has initiated a plan to expand the agency store network in several parts of the province by adding over 100 stores to the network. As part of their modernization agenda, introduced some years ago but dramatically enhanced with the threat of privatization, the lcbo now uses a wide range of in-store and media marketing techniques to draw customers’

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attention to the main aspects of the system and to stimulate alcohol sales. These include glossy advertising inserts in daily newspapers, transit shelter advertisements, and radio and television advertisements. Thus, one interim outcome of the unfolding of Ontario’s retailing experiences in recent years is that there has been more aggressive and pervasive marketing of alcoholic beverages, including significant initiatives by the lcbo. This is driven partly by the threat of full-scale privatization and the apparent mandate, at least in the mid–1990s, to generate more revenue each year for the provincial government. The long, slow decline in per capita consumption rates from the late 1970s seems to have ended, and since about 1997 per capita consumption has increased in Ontario (Statistics Canada 2002). As has been shown in international studies (e.g., Bruun et al. 1975; Edwards et al. 1994; Babor et al. 2003) and research focusing on Canada (e.g., Seeley 1960; Schmidt 1977; Ramstedt 2003; Skog 2003; Norström 2004), this will likely increase the risk of population-level damage from alcohol. Whether alcohol marketing specifically has been a contributing cause to this turn-around in population drinking rates in Ontario has not been demonstrated. Nevertheless, it is ironic that, while dynamics in Ontario may have facilitated at least a temporary postponement of privatization, these very developments, whose purpose was to forestall privatization, might have contributed to increased levels of risk from alcohol. Perhaps the initiatives to stop full privatization, especially strategies involving aggressive retailing of alcohol via the public system, have been too successful.

notes 1 Breweries and distilleries are permitted to offer their product for sale at on-site production outlets, and, in 1995, the former had twenty-seven outlets whereas the latter had two. In addition, ten land border-point duty free stores were in operation as well as privately operated duty free stores in two airports. 2 During this time the ministry of consumer and commercial relations oversees the lcbo as well as the Liquor Licensing Board of Ontario (now the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario [agco]). 3 One story noted that, since January 1996, the lcbo had turned down every Brewers Retail request to open a beer store in rural areas currently served by an lcbo combination store (Menzies 1998). This suggests that, at this time, the lcbo was competing for consumer purchases with parts of the private systems in order to demonstrate their value to the government and the consumer. 4 Of particular note are the Association to Reduce Alcohol Promotion in Ontario (1993), City of Toronto Alcohol Advisory Committee (Kendall 1995), Alcohol Policy Network (1995), residents groups under the umbrella of Ontario Neigh-

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bours for Responsible Alcohol Sales and Service (1996), Concerns Canada, and Mothers against Drunk Driving (Solomon, Burford, and Bates 1995). 5 For example, it was a focus at the Ontario Community Council on Impaired Driving at the annual conference of February 1996 (Giesbrecht and Kruzel 1996). 6 For example, the number, size, and location of retail outlets; retail staff training; and support for challenge and refusal programs were among those noted. 7 This strategy continues to this day, as is evident, for example, by extensive marketing of the lcbo and its products in newspaper advertising, inserts, billboards, and a number of in-store promotions. 8 This report by Laxer, Green, Harrison, and Neu (1994) was sponsored by the National Union of Public and General Employees (nupge). 9 Holder et al. (1995) published conclusions of an analysis of projected impacts on levels of consumption and damage arising from deregulation of alcohol retailing in Sweden and other Nordic countries, in response to European Union decisions and mandates. 10 These surveys were conducted by the Addiction Research Foundation and then, after 1998, by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (administered by the Institute for Social Research, York University), using random digital dialing methods and a representative sample of Ontario adults. 11 Studies of changes in alcohol policy indicate that partial or complete privatization results in longer hours of sale, higher outlet density, and reduced attention to social responsibility issues (see Her, Giesbrecht, Room, and Rehm 1999; Holder et al. 1995). 12 For a comparison of Ontario with other provinces on several policy topics, see the analysis of 1989 and 1994 national surveys by Giesbrecht and Kavanagh (1999, Table 1).

references Alcohol Policy Network. 1995. Statement of Goals and Objectives. Toronto: Alcohol Policy Network. Anglin, L. 1995. The Ontario Experience of Alcohol and Tobacco: New Focus on Accessibility, Violence and Mandatory Treatment. arf Internal Document No. 122. Toronto: Addiction Research Foundation. Anglin, L., N. Giesbrecht, A. Ialomiteanu, L. Grand, R. Mann, and J. McAllister. 2003. Public Opinion on Current Alcohol Policy Issues: International Trade Agreements, Advertising and Access to Alcohol – Findings from a 2002 Ontario Survey. camh Research Document Series No. 201. Toronto: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Anglin, L., N. Giesbrecht, A. Ialomiteanu, J. McAllister, and A. Ogborne. 2003. “Public Perception of Alcohol Policy Issues Relating Directly or Indirectly to

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Privatization: Results from a 1999 Survey.” Canadian Journal of Public Health 94 (3): 201–6. Anglin, L., L. Kavanagh, and N. Giesbrecht. 2001. “Alcohol-Related Policy Measures in Ontario: Who Supports What and to What Degree?” Canadian Journal of Public Health 92: 24–8. Babor, T., R. Caetano, S. Casswell, G. Edwards, N. Giesbrecht, K. Graham, J. Grube, P. Gruenewald, L. Hill, H. Holder, R. Romel, E. Österberg, J. Rehm, R. Room, and I. Rossow. 2003. Alcohol, No Ordinary Commodity: Research and Public Policy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Blackwell, T. 1996. “Groups Warn against Selling Off Liquor Stores.” Ottawa Citizen, 7 January, A5. Bondy, S. 1994. Attitudes and Experiences with Treatment of Alcohol and Tobacco Problems: A Report of the Ontario Alcohol and Other Drug Opinion Survey, 1993. arf Internal Document No. 119. Toronto: Addiction Research Foundation. Brandt, A. 1998. Today’s LCBO. Toronto: lcbo, 27 February, . Bruun, K., G. Edwards, M. Lumio, K. Mäkelä, L. Pan, R.E. Popham, R. Room, W. Schmidt, O.-J. Skog, P. Sulkunen, and E. Österberg. 1975. Alcohol Control Policies in Public Health Perspective. Helsinki: Finnish Foundation for Alcohol Studies. Canada Newswire. 1999a. “Harris Reneges on Decision to Retain lcbo in Public Hands.” 16 February. – 1999b. “Media Alert: Ontario Liquor Boards Employees’ Union.” 23 February. – 1999c. “Harris flip-flops on lcbo privatization.” 26 May, C19. Canadian Press. 1996. “Selling lcbo Bad Idea, Critics Say.” Globe and Mail, 6 January, A9. Canadian Wine Institute. 1994. The Impact of Privatization on the Distribution and Sale of Beverage Alcohol in Alberta. Mississauga: Canadian Wine Institute. cbc Newsworld Online. 1999a. “Won’t Rule Out Privatizing Crown Assets: Harris.” 26 May. – 1999b. “Could Sell off lcbo: Harris.” 27 May. City of Toronto Board of Health. 1995. Resolutions sponsored for the Semi-Annual Meeting of the Association of Local Health Agencies of Ontario, December. – 1996. Resolutions sponsored for the Annual Meeting of the Association of Local Health Agencies of Ontario, April. Coalition for Ontario Private Enterprise. 1996. Press Package, 9 April. Coones, J. 1995. “Don’t Privatize Alcohol Sales: Alberta Experience with Private Stores Has Been Sobering.” Toronto Star, 8 February, A19. Coyle, J. 1997. “Blair Victory Tells Harris: Don’t Privatize.” Ottawa Citizen, 4 May, A14. Deverell, J. 1996. “Molson Proposes Sell-Off of lcbo.” Toronto Star, 8 March, C3. – 1998a. “Tories Mixed on Booze Agency Future: Seem Concerned lcbo Sale Might Not Go Down Well.” Toronto Star, 21 February, C2. – 1998b. “Profits Put lcbo in Good Spirits but Board Still Faces Threat of Privatization.” Toronto Star, 15 April, E5.

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Edwards, G., P. Anderson, T.F. Babor, S. Casswell, R. Ferrence, N. Giesbrecht, C. Godfrey, H. Holder, P. Lemmens, K. Mäkelä, L.T. Midanik, T. Norström, E. Österberg, A. Romelsjö, R. Room, J. Simpura, and O.-J. Skog. 1994. Alcohol Policy and the Public Good. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Ferris, J., L. Templeton, and S. Wong. 1994. Alcohol, Tobacco and Marijuana: Use, Norms, Problems and Policy Attitudes among Ontario Adults – A Report of the Ontario Alcohol and Other Drug Survey, 1992. arf Research Document Series 118. Toronto, Canada: Addiction Research Foundation. Feschuk, S. 1995a. “Some Liquor Retailers Ruled Less Equal.” Globe and Mail, 15 May, A4. – 1995b. “Ontario Liquor Board Gets Competitive Spirit.” Globe and Mail, 15 December, B4. – 1996. “Why the Grocers Should Sell Booze.” Globe and Mail, 28 February, B7. Gadd, J. 1995. “Tories Nursing Decision on Liquor Reform: Privatization or Overhaul of lcbo Will be Studied for at Least Six Months.” Globe and Mail, 12 July, A3. Giesbrecht, N. 1995. “Proposed Privatization of Retail Alcohol Sales in Ontario: Health, Social, Economic and Safety Implications.” Presentation at the Addiction Research Foundation, 13 December. Giesbrecht, N., M. Her, R. Room, and J. Rehm. 1999. “Impacts of Privatization: What Do We Know and Where Should We Go? Response to Commentaries.” Addiction 94: 1146–53. Giesbrecht, N., A. Ialomiteanu, R. Room, and L. Anglin. 2001. “Trends in Public Opinions about Alcohol Policy Measures, Ontario, 1989–1998.” Journal of Studies on Alcohol 62 (2): 142–9. Giesbrecht, N., and L. Kavanagh. 1998. “Access to Alcoholic Beverages, Consumption Rates and Public Opinions in Ontario: Implications for Health-Oriented Public Policies.” Presented at the Alcohol Policy 11 Conference, Chicago, 10–13 May. – 1999. “Public Opinion and Alcohol Policy: Comparisons of Two Canadian General Population Surveys.” Drug and Alcohol Review 18: 7–19. Giesbrecht, N., and E. Kruzel. 1996. “The Proposed Privatization of Retail Alcohol Sales in Ontario: An Analysis of Research, Public Discussion and Policy Deliberations.” Presentation at the Kettil Bruun Society, 22nd Annual Alcohol Epidemiology Symposium, Edinburgh, 3–7 June. Giesbrecht, N., and P. Neves. 1999. “A Canadian Perspective on Preventing Alcohol-Related Problems through Policy and Community Action.” Presentation at the National Prevention Network Research Conference, Buffalo, 13–15 September. Giesbrecht, N., and P. West 1994. Alcohol Policy, Consumption Patterns, and Related Harmful Effects of Drinking: A Preliminary Report Based on the Ontario Alcohol and Other Drugs Opinion Survey, 1994. Toronto: Addiction Research Foundation. Henton, D. 1995. “What’s in Store for Liquor Prices? They’ll Likely Rise if We Follow Alberta’s Lead.” Toronto Star, 27 August, A1, A7.

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Her, M., N. Giesbrecht, R. Room, and J. Rehm. 1999. “Privatizing Alcohol Sales and Alcohol Consumption: Evidence and Implications.” Addiction 94: 1125–39. Holder, H.D., N. Giesbrecht, Ø. Horverak, S. Nordlund, T. Norström, O. Olsson, E. Österberg, O.-J. Skog. 1995. “Potential Consequences from Possible Changes in Nordic Retail Alcohol Monopolies Resulting from European Union Membership.” Addiction 90: 1603–18. Ibbitson, J. 1999. “Privatization Will Be Priority if Tories Win Again: Harris.” National Post, 26 May. Israelson, D. 1995a. “Sober Second Thoughts.” Toronto Star, 24 June, C2. – 1995b. “Last Call for Ontario Liquor?” Ottawa Citizen, 28 June, B7. – 1995c. “A Profitable Haul Includes Cases for Liquor Control Board of Ontario.” Toronto Star, 26 November, D1, D3. Jazairi, N.T. 1994. The Impact of Privatizing the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. Toronto: Department of Economics, York University, . Johnsrude, L. 1997a. “It’s Happy Hour for Liquor Store Owners: Private Retailers Could Get $18M Refund from Government because Consumers Paid Too Much Tax.” Edmonton Journal, 19 June, A1, A7. – 1997b. “Drinkers Not Getting Tax Break: Government Seems to Ignore Advice from Civil Servants.” Edmonton Journal, 20 September, B5. Kendall, P. 1995. Update on the Alcohol Advisory Committee. arf Memo. Toronto: Addiction Research Foundation. Lawrason, D. 1997. “Privatization Means More Wine Choices for All.” Globe and Mail, 31 May, D8. Laxer, G., D. Green, T. Harrison, and D. Neu 1994. Out of Control: Pay the Price for Privatizing Alberta’s Liquor Control Board. Ottawa: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Liquor Control Board of Ontario. 1991. LCBO 1990–1991 Annual Report. Toronto: lcbo. – 1992. LCBO 1991–1992 Annual Report. Toronto: lcbo. – 1993. LCBO 1992–1993 Annual Report. Toronto: lcbo. – 1994. LCBO 1993–1994 Annual Report. Toronto: lcbo. – 1995. LCBO 1994–1995, Annual Report. Toronto: lcbo. – 1996. LCBO 1995–1996, Annual Report. Toronto: lcbo. – 1997. LCBO 1996–1997, Annual Report. Toronto: lcbo. – 1998. LCBO 1997–1998, Annual Report. Toronto: lcbo. – 2003. LCBO Five Year Strategic Plan, 2003–2008. Executive Report. Toronto: lcbo. Mackie, R. 1998. “Unloading Key Assets Not Harris Priority: lcbo Has Done Well and Won’t Be Sold – Future of tv Network Remains in Doubt.” Globe and Mail, 27 May, A5. Mallan, C. 1997. “Brandt to Serve 3rd Term at lcbo.” Toronto Star, 12 March, C3. Mayers, A. 1995a. “No Real Benefit in lcbo Sell-Off.” Toronto Star, 17 July, B1. – 1995b. “Beer Competition Would Improve Service.” Toronto Star, 4 September, C2.

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– 1995c. “lcbo May be First of Broken Promises.” Toronto Star, 23 October, C2. McKeown, D. 1995. Update on the Privatization/Deregulation of the Alcohol Retail System in Ontario. Toronto: City of Toronto Public Health Department, 12 October. – 1996a. Follow-Up Report on the Information Symposium on Alcohol Privatization/Deregulation. Toronto: City of Toronto Public Health Department, 15 January. – 1996b. Proposed Privatization of the Sale of Alcohol in Ontario. Toronto: City of Toronto Public Health Department, 15 February. Menzies, D. 1998. “Beer Bully: Why Is Mike Harris Using His Monopoly Powers to Squeeze Out Ontario Brewers?” Canadian Business 71 (3): 15. Mussio, L., and G. Rawlinson. 1996. “Liquor Issue Packs Punch in Ontario Politics: History Offers Cautionary Tale for Today’s Privatizers.” Toronto Star, 3 January, A13. Nolan, D. 1997. “Privatization of lcbo Still Possible.” Ottawa Citizen, 22 November, A4. Norström, T. 2004. “Per Adult Alcohol Consumption and All-Cause Mortality in Canada, 1950–98.” Addiction 99: 1274–8. Ontario Liquor Board Employees’ Union. 1996. “Advertising Recall and Public Attitudes toward Private Retailing.” Executive summary, April. Ontario Neighbours for Responsible Alcohol Sales and Service. 1996. Statement of Goals and Objectives, January. Paglia, A. 1995. Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drugs: Dependence, Problems and Consequences of Use – A Report of the 1994 Ontario Alcohol and Other Drug Opinion Survey. arf Internal Document #121. Toronto: Addiction Research Foundation. pc Party of Ontario. 1994. The Common Sense Revolution. Toronto: pc Party of Ontario. – 1995. Setting the Rules: A Common Sense Approach to the Modernization of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. Toronto: pc Party of Ontario. Ramstedt, M. 2003. “Per Capita Alcohol Consumption and Liver Cirrhosis Mortality: The Case of Canada.” Addiction 98: 1267–76. Riley, S. 1997. “Privatization Is a Discredited Fad, Even in Ontario.” Ottawa Citizen Online, 1 August, . Robin, L. 1995. “Glitz Hits Ontario Liquor Stores – And It Pays.” Ottawa Citizen, 21 December, A1, A2. Room, R., K. Graves, N. Giesbrecht, and T.K. Greenfield. 1995. “Trends in Public Opinion about Alcohol Policy Initiatives in Ontario and the us, 1989–91.” Drug and Alcohol Review 14: 35–47. Ruimy, J. 1999a. “Tories Trying to Have It Both Ways.” Toronto Star, 1 May, E1. – 1999b. “McGuinty Seeks Knockout but His Time Is Running Short.” Toronto Star, 27 May, A1. Schmidt, W. 1977. “Public Health Perspectives on Alcohol Problems with Specific Reference to Canada.” Canadian Journal of Public Health 68: 382–8.

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Seeley, J.R. 1960. “Death by Liver Cirrhosis and the Price of Beverage Alcohol.” Canadian Medical Association Journal 83: 1361–6. Skog, O.-J. 2003. “Alcohol Consumption and Fatal Accidents in Canada, 1950–1998.” Addiction 98 (7): 883–94. Solomon, R., F. Burford, and J. Bates. 1995. “Looser Alcohol Policies Exact a Bloody Price.” Toronto Star, 27 July, A19. Statistics Canada. 2002. The Control and Sale of Alcoholic Beverages in Canada. Fiscal year ended 31 March 2002. Catalogue no. 63–202-xib. Ottawa: Statistics Canada. Toronto Star. 1995. “Reasons to be Wary of Tory Privatization.” 5 June, A16. – 1997. “Tory Privatization Plans Lack Logic.” 4 May, F2. – 1998. “Union Gets Strike Mandate.” 11 March, A7. Urquhart, I. 1999. “Axe-Man or Big Spender? Harris Still an Enigma.” Toronto Star, 4 June, A1. Watson, W. 1997. “Canada’s Neo-Cons Never Had a Chance.” Ottawa Citizen, 3 January, B5. West, D.S. 1996. The Privatization of Liquor Retailing in Alberta. Toronto: Centre for the Study of State and Market, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto. – 1997. The Privatization of Liquor Retailing in Alberta. Occasional Paper, Public Policy Sources, Number 5. Vancouver: The Fraser Institute. – 1998. “The Privatization of Liquor Retailing in Alberta.” Presented at conference entitled “Liquor Retailing: Options for the Province of Ontario,” Toronto, 28 March. Wine Council of Ontario. 1994. The Privatization Experience in North America: An Overview. St Catharines: Wine Council of Ontario. Wright, L. 1995a. “Raising a Glass to Easier Wine and Beer Sales: Liberals, Tories Would Have Them Available in Grocery Stores.” Toronto Star, 1 April, A2. – 1995b. “lcbo Privatization in 9 Months.” Toronto Star, 13 July, A2. Yaffe, B. 1995. Symposium on Privatization/Deregulation of Alcohol Sales and Distribution. North York: North York Public Health Department, 17 October.

13 Discussion of Alcohol Retail Privatization Initiatives in Three Provinces

Modern alcohol retail monopolies have clear potential for curtailing availability and preventing the increase in consumption (Wagenaar and Holder 1995; Holder et al. 1995). As noted by Edwards et al. (1994, 131), “there are some characteristics of monopolies which appear to bear down on consumption.” In principle, compared to a private system, a government alcohol monopoly is better able to resist pressures to increase the number of outlets and hours of sale or to expand the location or type of outlets (e.g., in grocery stores) in order to increase demand. An alcohol monopoly with a substantial interest in public health agendas will be less interested in responding to market forces than will a privatized system. Nevertheless, if monopolies are operated with commercial sale as their central and overriding function, then the effect of their operations may be similar – with regard to health and safety risks for the population – to private retailing arrangements. While the situation in Canada in the 1980s and 1990s demonstrated some aspects of the historic control system discussed in Chapter 2, these have been gradually eroded. By the 1980s all provinces had a mixture of private and public distribution systems, with a significant proportion of beer or wine being distributed by private systems. As noted by Edwards et al. (1994, 132): “Monopolies as they are commonly operating at the end of the twentieth century may sometimes have changed their original emphasis on control and drinking discouragement, and become more commercially oriented. Sometimes they have been motivated to respond to consumer demand and have opened outlets to increase consumer convenience. As such, they may not have reduced the saturation of alcohol outlets.”

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A seemingly logical next step with this drift towards a mixed system, also taken by several US states since the 1970s, was to move to a fully privatized retail system for alcoholic beverages. The advantages, as seen by some proponents, were more at the forefront in most public debates than were the disadvantages. The perceived advantages included short-term profits from the sale of government property, reduction in labour costs, and the insertion of the promotion of free enterprise and competitive ideology into the alcohol retailing business. The known disadvantages from a public health and safety perspective are that privatization tends to increase alcohol sales – likely due to a combination of factors such as a dramatic increase in the number of outlets, longer hours of sale, and enhanced promotional measures (e.g., Her, Giesbrecht, Room, and Rehm 1999). A related development is that the new system creates a new vested interest group – namely, retail storeowners, who are active supporters of the new system, who have their own market interests, and who would resist going back to a monopoly arrangement. The three case studies we have just looked at point to some common and divergent themes with regard to how the topic of privatization was handled (see Table 13–1). Quebec and Ontario can be contrasted with Alberta along several dimensions. Quebec and Ontario – with the longest standing debate on this topic – still retain liquor boards with strong commercial agendas. In Alberta a move to a mixed private and public system in the late 1980s was quickly followed by a rapid move to retail privatization in the early 1990s. The Alberta case is a classic illustration of a quick decision – one not slowed down or blocked by extensive debate, task force activities, or extensive examination of alternative scenarios. Comparing the Alberta case with the Quebec and Ontario cases, it appears that offering the topic up for public debate is likely to stall the initiative. The range of actors was relatively narrow in the Alberta case. Other than legislators and their agents (who pushed the changes through) the only other players were the union and members of the opposition parties, neither of which was able to provide an effective opposition. For the most part the public health and safety communities were silenced. The alcohol producers were interested observers who had some concerns, but these proved insufficient to create a major challenge for the government. In Quebec and Ontario the liquor board employees’ unions played a significant role in opposing privatization. The union leadership in each province undertook public campaigns. In Ontario highly effective television and radio advertising, promoting the virtues of the lcbo and risks of privatization, likely contributed to the outcome. There were unique developments in each province. In Quebec, the over-arching debate about Quebec’s independence from Canada served to stall the privatization agenda. And the perceived benefits from existing trade agreements was another factor in favour of keeping the existing

Table 13.1 Comparison of developments in case studies on several dimensions Retail Privatization Of Alcohol Sales chapters

Quebec

Alberta

Ontario

dimensions Time Period

Key Issues

Key Actors

Mid–1980s–99: 1983–85 1993–94 1997–99 Drive for sovereignty. Privatization of government agencies. Government downsizing and fiscal crisis.

Quebec government. Opposition parties. Provincial liquor board (saq). Provincial liquor store union. Quebec Cooperation Council. Grocery stores association. Distillers. Vintners. Brewers.

1993–94

1995–97

Privatization goal of new government leads to privatization of retail liquor stores. Private system results in lower alcohol prices, more points of distribution, lower wages. Keep government revenue neutral from alcohol sales. Health and safety issues. Alberta government. Opposition parties. Provincial liquor store union. Private liquor stores association. Grocery stores.

Expanding points of alcohol sales. Privatization goal of new government leads to proposal to privatize retail liquor stores.

Ontario government. Provincial liquor board (lcbo). Provincial liquor store union. Alcohol Advisory Committee. Public Health advocates. Hospitality industry. Distillers. Vintners. Brewers and union. Grocery stores association.

Table 13.1 (continued) Retail Privatization Of Alcohol Sales chapters

Quebec

Alberta

Ontario

dimensions Retail Privatization Of Alcohol Sales Alberta government.

Ontario government. lcbo Modernization Committee. Symposium on privatization.

New Conservative government, Premier Ralph Klein, new minister West.

New Conservative government, Premier Mike Harris, new minister Sterling.

Government announcement Precipitating Event and Dynam- (1983–85). Report of the working group on the ics privatization of government agencies (1993–94). Report of the working group examining the alcohol sector (1997–99).

Decisive action by a newly elected government, one of many of similar scope. No public consultation and reflection.

Constraints

Oriented to small business; therefore, not full-blown free enterprise (e.g., alcohol not sold in grocery chains or supermarkets).

Government announcement. Many committees, forum, and opportunities for groups to convey and debate views. Ideology of divestment of government in retailing. Process not transparent (e.g., consultants produced scenarios report that was not made public). Aggressive marketing, modernization and promotion by lcbo and increased government revenue. Effective ads by liquor store union. Vintners and Brewers opposed to privatization.

Key Forum

Policy Entrepreneurs

Quebec government. Quebec court. Working group on privatizing government agencies. Government working group on the alcohol sector. Quebec government: Minister of Industry and Commerce & Finance Minister.

Table 13.1 – (continued) Retail Privatization Of Alcohol Sales chapters

Quebec

Alberta

Ontario

dimensions Instruments

Wholesale. Retail. Distribution.

Media Reporting

Balanced but did not comment on truncated process or call for impact assessments. Influenced by Iowa model. Alberta politicians called for evidence and research. Fraser Institute and ccpa. No review of literature on changes in access to alcohol and consumption and problems. Divergent reports by economists (e.g., depending on whether funded by Fraser Institute or liquor store union).

Role of Research

Few studies on economic issues commissioned by the Quebec government.

Privatization by stealth. (lcbo expand agency store and winery store network, Sunday sales, longer hours.) Initially favourable reports on Alberta experience; later more critical and favourable to lcbo. Consultation with Albertans, reviewed at Nov. 1995 forum. No review of literature commissioned.

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arrangements. In Ontario, the opposition of the domestic beer and wine producers, and the organization of public health and safety events (supported by public health departments from Toronto and elsewhere) were noteworthy developments. Privatization moved onto the agenda for different reasons in each province. Nevertheless, ideological and cultural factors were common underlying themes. With the trend towards conservative governments in many countries during these years, there were many incentives to transfer what was seen as basically a retailing operation to the private sector. Alcohol retailing systems, which were profitable, had reasonably well paid government employees, and included fairly expensive real estate, became prime targets for conservative governments interested in privatization. Privatization was thus offered as a cure for government-run systems that were considered by some to be overly bureaucratic and unresponsive to perceived consumer demands and wishes. It was also seen as a way to provide opportunities for entrepreneurs, especially small businesses, through alcohol retailing. And, of course, there were fiscal considerations. Selling government property and licensing alcohol retailing to private groups would realize at least short-term income. However, it is not always certain whether profits over time would rise or fall with privatization. For example, the revenuegenerating role of the lcbo was used by the agency’s leadership and some Cabinet members (e.g., the finance minister) to either counter the privatization proposal or to at least take a cautious approach. Ideological, political, and fiscal agendas pointed towards privatization, but closer analysis showed that privatization was not the only way to address key issues. No particular crisis or problems were identified that privatization would easily solve. In Quebec and Ontario, the more closely one looked at the government alcohol retailing systems in place – with strong revenuegenerating track records and evolving marketing and commercial agendas – the less privatization seemed to be attractive to policy makers. The Alberta case, therefore, appears to be unique, and the change there was largely due to a new, strongly ideological government that was willing to make dramatic decisions quickly. The decision with regard to alcohol retailing was taken within a context in which this move was to be the flagship of subsequent privatization in other sectors and in which effective opposition was absent. Privatization initiatives are fuelled, in part, as a counter to the stereotypical staid image and control mandate of liquor boards. To counter these threats and these images, some liquor boards have actively taken on commercial and marketing agendas. Thus, the irony is that, in order to forestall privatization, the government agencies appear to have further downgraded their policy and alcohol control functions and to have emphasized many aspects of retailing carried out by private corporations. In either case, it seems that public health and safety agendas may be the losers, whether the

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outcome is privatization through sudden change or commercialization as the answer to the threat of privatization. This topic is of recurring interest. For example, in British Columbia discussions of alcohol retailing and possible privatization have contributed to regulatory changes involving relaxation on hours of sale for on-premise outlets, removal of density restrictions, and extension of square footage restrictions for certain types of outlets. Other provinces (e.g., Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia) have considered the privatization option but so far have not proceeded to implement full-scale privatization. Unfortunately, the basic question of how governments should effectively regulate the retailing of a toxic product with a record of great personal and social damage often gets lost in many discussions focusing on revenue, perceived consumer wishes, and the promotion of commerce and business. During the past few decades in North America, many alcohol policy decisions related to the distribution, sale, and promotion of alcoholic beverages have been made in contexts in which business, fiscal, and commercial interests have tended to dominate (Room 1999) and have typically not been subjected to extensive public debate. In an international context, research data have typically not played a central role in decisions relating to many changes involving access to alcohol, although examples from Nordic countries are noteworthy exceptions. Changes that involve lower taxes, longer hours, more selling days, higher liquor store density, or enhanced alcohol promotion may involve last minute consultations with those with expertise on drinking-related hazards or the public health implications of increased access to alcohol. There are a number of ways in which these perspectives can be drawn into the decision-making process. One model is represented in Sweden, where the retail monopoly commissioned a study to look at the implications of several scenarios for rates of drinking and certain drinking-related complications (Holder et al. 1995; Room 1999). In Ontario, for example, a number of public forums, symposia, and media events, in which vested interests with different perspectives were drawn together, provided important vehicles for conveying information and perspectives on the privatization issue. Should the topic again become prominent, as was recently the case in British Columbia, it remains to be seen whether another process will become evident, whether the questions addressed will include health and safety issues, or whether the outcome will be different from the three cases presented here.

references Edwards, G., P. Anderson, T.F. Babor, S. Casswell, R. Ferrence, N. Giesbrecht, C. Godfrey, H. Holder, P. Lemmens, K. Mäkelä, L.T. Midanik, T. Norström, E.

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Österberg, A. Romelsjö, R. Room, J. Simpura, and O.-J. Skog. 1994. Alcohol Policy and the Public Good. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Her, M., N. Giesbrecht, R. Room, and J. Rehm. 1999. “Privatizing Alcohol Sales and Alcohol Consumption: Evidence and Implications.” Addiction 94: 1125–39. Holder, H.D., N. Giesbrecht, Ø. Horverak, S. Nordlund, T. Norström, O. Olsson, E. Österberg, and O.-J. Skog. 1995. “Potential Consequences from Possible Changes in Nordic Retail Alcohol Monopolies Resulting from European Union Membership.” Addiction 90: 1603–18. Room, R. 1999. “The Idea of Alcohol Policy.” Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drug 16: 7–20. (English supplement.) Wagenaar, A.C., and H.D. Holder. 1995. “Changes in Alcohol Consumption Resulting from the Elimination of Retail Wine Monopolies: Results from Five us States.” Journal of Studies on Alcohol 56: 1–7.

14 Introduction to Regulation of Alcohol Marketing

Product advertising and labelling are currently of concern with respect to a wide range of consumer products. Issues of control of advertising and other types of promotion have been prominent in the public discourse on many occasions during the last century. Indeed, the twentieth century witnessed fervent, and often successful, efforts by consumer advocates to promote a host of regulations for all types of advertising and for putting information labels on many consumer products. The strict regulation of advertising directed towards children and the labelling of processed food, drugs, and tobacco products are examples of the success of consumer advocacy in these areas. Concerns about the need for the state to regulate advertisements for alcohol have been prominent among alcohol policy advocates and reflect assumptions about the motivations of the industry and the potency of advertising. At the extreme, the industry is believed to be capable of using subliminal, intentionally misleading or powerfully seductive means to recruit new drinkers and to entice current drinkers to increase their consumption. State regulation is thus seen as necessary to protect consumers from the presumed negative effects of advertising of alcoholic beverages – especially those consumers thought to be particularly vulnerable to such effects, such as children and adolescents. Many policy advocates have also been concerned about the need for warning labels on alcoholic beverage containers, the assumption being that consumers are otherwise ill informed about alcohol or need constant reminders of the risks of drinking. Although the evidence for the potency of alcohol advertisements and the effectiveness of warning labels is mixed, these topics have considerable

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significance in the alcohol policy arena. Advertisements are highly visible and warning labels can be made as visible as desired. Both can convey important messages about drinking behaviours and drinkers. Advertising invariably shows drinking, and drinkers, in a positive light and thus denies many realities about the consequences of drinking for those who indulge most often or at inappropriate times. Advertising can also convey information about when drinking should occur and creates associations between drink-related and other symbols. One example is the advertisement that linked beer to everything Canadian, including the name of the beer – “Molson Canadian.” Warning labels, on the other hand, can reinforce the reality of alcohol as a potent psychoactive substance and caution against general and specific types or levels of use. The state regulation or prohibition of advertising and state-mandated warning labels are thus favoured objectives for policy advocates. This is not only because warning labels are believed to be effective and contribute to there being fewer alcohol-related problems but also because they are presumed to signify that the state is serious about alcohol problems and prepared to limit and control the actions of the alcohol industry. Advertising is of significant concern for the alcohol industry. Alcohol producers value advertising and claim that it is necessary to inform consumers of new products and to increase the sales of particular products relative to those of their competitors. However, the industry is certainly aware that a large proportion of the population has concerns about alcohol advertising, and this may limit the types of advertisement that are produced. Industry codes for alcohol advertising have, in fact, been very similar to those developed by federal and provincial governments, although these are open to a variety of interpretations. The industry has also used advertising to promote responsible drinking and to warn about the dangers of drinking and driving. This may have had some success in raising awareness, but it has also been good for public relations and has served to reinforce the view that alcohol problems are caused by drinkers and not by the drink. Responsible drinking messages also tend to present a taken-for-granted image of drinking as well as drunkenness as components of young people’s lifestyle (DeJong, Atkin, and Wallack 1992). Alcohol producers are not in favour of warning labels because such labels suggest (quite rightly, of course) that alcoholic beverages themselves may cause problems. This is not the message that the alcohol industry wants to convey because it could influence some consumers to drink less or not at all. The industry also fears that promoting the view of alcohol as a drug that can cause problems strengthens the hands of health policy advocates and risks greater state regulation of all aspects of the alcohol business. The following two case studies (discussed in Chapters 15 and 16, respectively) are thus both concerned with matters that might be expected to

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attract considerable attention from two important players in the alcohol policy arena – the alcohol industry and health policy advocates. We are dealing with the federal level in these two case studies, whereas the provincial level has primary responsibility for controlling alcohol distribution. How the state responds to the concerns of these and other interested parties tells a great deal about the role of alcohol in society and the prospects for future directions in alcohol policy making.

references DeJong, W., C.K. Atkin, and L. Wallack. 1992. “A Critical Analysis of ‘Moderation’ Advertising Sponsored by the Beer Industry: Are ‘Responsible Drinking’ Commercials Done Responsibly?” Milbank Quarterly 70 (4): 661–78.

15 Warning Labels on Alcoholic Beverage Containers: Public Support and Policy Failure? ALAN OGBORNE, GINA STODUTO, AND LYNN KAVANAGH There is a general consensus that public education should be a component of a comprehensive alcohol policy. This is evident from both the rhetoric and activities of diverse groups, including government agencies, health agencies, schools, and special interest groups. Alcohol producers have also shown support for public education and have worked closely with other agencies on campaigns focused on drinking and driving, and other “responsible drinking” issues. With regard to other consumable products that can cause harm, one widely accepted component of public education is product labelling. In some cases additional information is available at the point of sale or on request from manufacturers. However, this has not generally been so for alcohol. Most countries that permit drinking tend to demand little in the way of labelling on alcoholic beverage containers. In Canada the federal government requires that alcoholic beverage containers carry a “proof” (alcohol content) rating, but there are no requirements on alcohol producers to interpret this rating or to alert consumers to the risks associated with alcohol consumption. Labelling of alcoholic beverage containers has, however, been discussed in several countries, and a few, including the United States, have enacted legislation requiring that beverage containers carry a label that warns about the general and/or specific risks of alcohol consumption. Since 1992 the governments of Canada’s Northwest Territories and Yukon have required retail alcohol stores to affix a printed warning label on all wine and spirit bottles, all cardboard packing cases and all six-can packs of beer. Warning labels have been proposed by public health and safety advocates in other

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regions, but no Canadian province currently requires alcohol warning labels and no relevant federal legislation has been passed. This case study concerns federal developments pertaining to warning labels from the late 1980s to 1996 and, specifically, the development and fate of a private member’s bill on warning labels that reached the committee stage and attracted verbal and written submissions from diverse interested groups and individuals.

chronology of events Table 15–1 presents, in chronological order, key events pertaining to federal discussions of alcohol beverage warning labels. Federal interest in the labelling of alcoholic beverage containers was evident in the late 1980s and occurred within the context of health concerns about alcohol and other drugs. Four private member’s bills on alcohol warning labels were presented to the federal Parliament under a Progressive Conservative government between 1988 and 1991, but none received a second reading. In 1992 there was some discussion in the House of Commons of a federally sponsored pilot project on warning labels following a report on foetal alcohol syndrome (fas) by a House of Commons standing committee on health. However, the issue was set aside as the government prepared for a leadership race and a general election. The debate continued in the provinces, and in the 1993 federal election campaign several mps from the winning Liberal party expressed some interest in the use of warning labels. In June 1995 a private member’s bill (Bill C–337), which later reached the committee stage, was presented in Parliament. The bill proposed to amend the Food and Drugs Act to require that all alcohol beverage containers carry the following message: “Consumption of alcoholic beverages impairs a person’s ability to operate machinery or an automobile and may cause health problems or birth defects during pregnancy.” Initially the bill was supported by all parties and, in accordance with parliamentary procedure, it went to a parliamentary subcommittee for clause-by-clause debate and public discussion. The subcommittee met between April and May 1996 and, at the final meeting, members voted to recommend that the bill be withdrawn and that the issues be discussed within the context of Canada’s drug policy, with particular attention to fas. In November 1996 the politician who introduced the bill (Paul Szabo, Liberal, Mississauga South) reported to the media that the bill was “stuck” in committee. The bill died on the order paper at the end of the parliamentary session. The same politician has introduced identical bills in subsequent parliamentary sessions (e.g., in October 1999). Opposition members have on occasion introduced similar bills, although none has reached the committee stage.

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Table 15.1 Key events pertaining to warning labels on alcoholic beverage containers, 1987–96 1987

1988

1989 1991

1991

1992

1993

1995

1996

3rd parliamentary session of the Progressive Conservative government (Prime Minister Brian Mulroney). House of Commons Standing Committee on Health recommends that alcoholic beverage advertisers be required to provide appropriate education messages in a report entitled “Booze, Pills and Dope.” Health Minister Jake Epp (pc) rejects recommendation for warning labels, saying that there is no consensus that they would work and that they might violate trade agreements. Bill C–212 (Nelson Riis, ndp). Bill dies on the order paper. Provincial health ministers vote in favour of warning labels. Speech by Sheila Copps (Liberal, opposition health critic) indicates support for warning labels. us Congress warning labels bill passed (21 October 1988). A second bill (C–212, Nelson Riis, ndp) introduced. Bill dies on the order paper. Yukon approved a policy that resulted in warning labels being affixed to alcoholic beverage containers. Bill C–225 (Peter Milliken, Liberal). Bill dies on the order paper. Bill C–248 (Svend Robinson, ndp). Bill dies on the order paper. June – Health Minister Benoit Bouchard (pc) indicated the government was working with provinces and community organizations to develop awareness of fas but not yet ready to make any commitments on labelling. December – Health minister says no to warning labels. Says that the federal government cannot move on this without provincial support and only bc and pei showed interest. Alcohol industry says it’s opposed to warning labels. Northwest Territories approved a policy that resulted in warning labels being affixed to alcoholic beverage containers. Report of the Standing Committee on Health and Welfare, Social Affairs, Seniors, and the Status of Women recommends warning labels as part of an overall strategy to prevent fas. June – Brian Mulroney, prime minister, steps down, replaced by Kim Campbell. Mary Collins (pc) is appointed minister of health. Subcommittee of Standing Committee on Health tables report on fas recommending warning labels. November – Conservative government defeated by Liberals. Jean Chrétien new prime minister, Dianne Marleau new minister of health. April – Provincial/territorial health ministers unanimously agree that federal government should pursue warning labels. June – Bill C–337 (Paul Szabo, Liberal) unanimously passes second reading. Passed to House of Commons Standing Committee on Health. March – Bill C–337 reintroduced as Bill C–222. April – David Dingwall (Liberal), new minister of health. Subcommittee on Bill C–222 (of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health) meets April to May. May – Health minister is opposed to warning labels on the grounds that there is no evidence for their effectiveness and the costs to industry will be $10 million. Subcommittee on Bill C–222 votes to recommend that the bill be withdrawn and that the Standing Committee on Health consider it in the context of Canada’s drug policies, with particular attention to fas. Bill C–222 dies on the order paper.

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Alcoholic Beverage Warning Labels and the Federal Agenda During the period of interest, warning labels were discussed in two major parliamentary committees and in Parliament. A special committee established to consider a private member’s bill (which reached the committee stage by a process described below) paid the greatest attention to warning labels. The other committee that discussed warning labels was a standing committee on health. This committee produced a report that specifically called for warning labels to appear on alcohol beverage containers (Standing Committee on National Health and Welfare 1987). This report strongly suggests that health and social service professionals, parents, and educators had influenced the committee and contributed to its various recommendations for warning labels and other initiatives aimed at increasing pubic awareness of alcohol problems. In the House of Commons backbench mps initiated almost all discussions or statements about warning labels. During the period of interest four backbenchers introduced bills calling for warning labels, and a number of others asked questions of government ministers. The sponsor of the bill that passed second reading also formally presented a large number of petitions in support of the bill. In accordance with parliamentary procedures, ministers of health responded to these petitions with a written statement of their view of the issues raised by petitioners. At no time during the period of study did an acting government minister initiate any discussion of warning labels in the House of Commons or make any statement to the House, except in response to questions for other members. Ministers’ views were otherwise only known from statements made to the press or parliamentary committees. The most senior mp to speak in the House of Commons in favour of warning labels was the Opposition health critic (Sheila Copps, Liberal) during a period of Conservative government (1987–93). This was in a major speech in which she criticized the government for failing to support warning labels and challenged the health minister’s (Jake Epp, pc) claim that warning labels might violate international law: “Obviously the much-touted Americans who will be entering into the trade agreement think they can carry warning labels without violating any international agreement” (Sheila Copps, 19 August 1988). Backbenchers have introduced all federal bills on warning labels (at least ten since 1985) and, in the case of the bill that passed second reading, the sponsor was initially acting alone and seeking to find an issue worthy of attention. He reported coming across a recommendation for alcohol beverage warning labels in a federal health committee report on fas and learned that this had received widespread support in several public opinion polls. He also reported seeing the bill as “a nice well defined project” compatible

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with Canada’s drug strategy and with his personal interest in children’s issues. The process of developing and gaining support for a private member’s bill is very demanding and time consuming, and both supporters and opponents of the bill under discussion acknowledged that its development and initial success owed much to the energy and skills of its sponsor. In general, backbenchers’ bills have little chance of passage. During the thirty-fifth session of the House of Commons (1996–97) only six private member’s bills were passed and only eight were passed during the five years of the last Conservative government (1987–93). One respondent for this study said that the federal minister of health has a major influence over the fate of health-related private member’s bills. The minister looks at all private member’s bills to see if they fit with the current agenda of the department or whether they supersede, compete with, duplicate, or contradict department policy/strategy. After the formality of first reading in the House of Commons all bills are printed. Through a lottery process, bills from private members are chosen to move forward at the discretion of their original sponsor. In some cases a sponsor may have several bills in the lottery and must chose which to move forward. There are 300 mps and thirty bills are selected in each lottery. According to Paul Szabo, “So the bill after first reading got into the lottery. It got selected, then I had to go before a committee of my peers to make an argument why this one should be votable because of the thirty private member’s items on the order paper. Only ten of them can be votable and the other twenty are non-votable.” A bill’s votability is assessed during an in-camera process that considers such issues as frivolity, constitutionality, previous parliamentary debate, and costs. “So the first hurdle, and it’s a significant hurdle, is to get it votable and when you consider that the committee of your peers is made up of all parties they want their members to have their bills votable. Okay. So there’s a lot of negotiation” (Paul Szabo). Votable bills go for second reading, receiving three hours of time for debate. Those that then pass a House of Commons vote go to a House of Commons committee for clause-by-clause analysis. Those recommended by the committee go for third reading and, if passed, proceed to a similar process in the Senate. Although private members rarely expect their bills to become law, they can draw attention to important issues and stimulate interest in new legislation. As one key informant said, “even if you fail in getting the bill passed, you do have a measure of success simply by advancing the issue, educating more people, garnering support and maybe somebody else will be able to pick it up and build on it.”

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The private member’s bill on warning labels was not debated for a full three hours at second reading because the sponsor negotiated an all-party agreement to allow debate to collapse after the first hour and to have a vote taken at that time. This agreement was possible because members on all sides of the house supported the bill. The high level of support for the bill also allowed it to survive through two sessions of Parliament. After second reading the government prorogued (i.e., ended that parliamentary session) but passed a motion that allowed the bill to be reinstated in the new session. This is very unusual for a private member’s bill and was considered as “a big victory” by the bill’s sponsor. Thus, one colleague attributed the initial success of the bill to its sponsor’s “doggedness,” and a representative of the alcohol industry said of the sponsor that “he’s very skilful ... very effective ... good at what he does ... he drove the issue high on the agenda.” The bill received all-party support at its second reading, although, as is often the case, very few members were actually present at the time of the vote. One respondent who opposed the bill referred to this: “He delighted in going on radio shows. We were frequently put on these talk shows. And saying ‘my bill was given unanimous reading by the House of Commons on second reading and now the industry is attempting to derail the will of parliament.’ We pointed out that he timed it. There were only nineteen people in the House [laughs] and he’d slipped it through.” Active lobbying by the bill’s sponsor may have contributed to its successful second reading, but one key informant considered that the initial lack of opposition to it had to do with the fact that it dealt with “motherhood issues” and had the support of various respected advocacy groups and agencies. “So there ... was the special interest and the public health community were in favour of this legislation, which I think partially explained why. The fact that it was brought forward by a Liberal backbencher also, of course, did not hurt and certainly did help.”

media coverage Data on newspaper coverage presented in Figure 15.1 shows two peak periods, 1991–92 and 1996. For the peak periods (1991–96), stories that were primarily on the warning labels issue (n = 26) most often mentioned the federal government, health advocates, and private citizens (see Figure 15.3). The majority of articles reported pro warning labels positions (92.3 percent), although many (65.4 percent) also reported positions against warning labels. A variety of issues were mentioned in connection with warning labels, but most often (88.5 percent) these concerned the health consequences of alcohol abuse (see Figure 15.2).

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Fig. 15.1. Canadian newspaper coverage of warning labels issue, 1985–99 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 85

86

87

88

89

92

91

90

93

94

95

96

98

97

Year

key groups and factors The subcommittee established to review the bill after its second reading heard presentations from thirty individuals representing themselves or one of seventeen agencies or groups. The committee also received written submissions from other individuals and agencies, but these were not sought for the present study. Of the five presenters who represented themselves as individuals, four (one married couple) specifically mentioned that they had adopted children with fas. The other individual presenter was a law professor who had written extensively about Canada’s alcohol and drug laws. Some of those making presentations were selected by the subcommittee to ensure coverage of the three main aspects of the bill: (1) drinking during pregnancy, (2) drinking while driving or operating machinery, and (3) Fig. 15.2. Policy rationale reported in Canadian newspaper coverage of warning labels (n = 26) 30

20

10

r ot he

l

ra l la c re k se of ar ch

cu ltu

le ga

t en ym pl o

em

um ns

he al th pu op bl in ic io n

er

s es co

sin bu

ec on

om

ic

0

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Fig. 15.3. Policy actors mentioned in Canadian newspaper coverage of warning labels

25

20

15 10

5

er ot h

n ze ci ti

ar ch se

al c in oh du ol str y

th al he

ov t pr ov g

fe

d

go vt

0

drinking and health. Others were groups or individuals who had requested leave to appear before the subcommittee. Table 15.2 identifies presenters and their positions on warning labels. The main positions were as follows: 1 Pro: Labels are needed to increase public awareness of the risks associated with drinking alcohol. Alcohol is a drug/poison/toxic substance, and alcoholic beverage containers should carry a warning, as is the case with other products whose use poses risks. Such labelling is generally effective, and governments and producers have an obligation to respect consumers’ rights to know. The use of labels does not preclude other efforts to prevent alcohol abuse and should be one component of a comprehensive approach. 2 Pro: Labels can be justified from a “consumers’ right” perspective, but their effects on those most vulnerable to alcohol problems are uncertain. If used, labels should be part of a comprehensive strategy to promote abstinence or low-risk drinking. Other methods are also needed to reach high-risk drinkers. 3 Against: Labels are not needed because the risks of drinking are well known and those at risk will not take any notice. There are better ways of reaching high-risk groups. Labels are simplistic and may be alarmist. Labels would be costly for the alcohol industry and could result in job losses and cutbacks in other, industry-sponsored health campaigns. 4 Against: The proposed labels will not be effective and their use could jeopardize other initiatives, such as “standard drink” labelling (e.g., one stan-

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dard drink of wine equals five ounces), or more effective alcohol control policies. Position 1 was most fully articulated by the bill’s sponsor in an opening speech to the parliamentary subcommittee: “If alcohol were invented today it would not be a legal product under our current laws. It would require special consideration, either licensing or prescription or something. It is a poison; ethyl alcohol is a poison. Indeed you will find from some of the witnesses, particularly the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, that Canadians need these labels because they have a right to know that they are drinking poison. That is the issue. Anyone who has experienced the so-called hangover is experiencing the effect of toxicity or poison in the system. That’s what a hangover is.” The government of the Northwest Territories (nwt), which introduced a policy to affix warning labels on alcohol beverage containers in 1992, was also strongly supportive of the bill (position 1). Its labelling program is the responsibility of the nwt Liquor Commission and is carried out through arrangements with private owners and operators of liquor stores. The store personnel stick labels onto bottles of wine and spirits and the cardboard case, or one on each six-pack of beer, before these items are placed on the shelf. Their experience with labelling was positive; they felt that it had increased awareness of risks associated with alcohol. They felt that the bill would make labels consistent throughout Canada and would shift the onus for providing the message to the alcohol industry, where it belonged. They alluded to the research evidence on the effectiveness of warning labels and felt that at best the research was inconclusive. They also had concerns about generalizing the results of studies of liquor labelling practices in the United States. Health advocates also tended to strongly support Position 1 and were less concerned than were health professionals and researchers about the evidence for the effectiveness of labels. Health professionals and researchers generally spent more time than did others discussing the research evidence and the need for a comprehensive approach to the prevention of alcohol problems (position 2). Position 3 was firmly adopted by representatives from the alcohol industry and the unions. They believed that the consumers’ rights to know were satisfied by present arrangements and presented results from industry-sponsored surveys that showed a high level of awareness of common risks associated with drinking (e.g., drinking-driving, drinking when pregnant). Industry representatives also maintained that existing labels already provided consumers with essential information (i.e., percentage proof of the alcohol in the container). The alcohol industry representatives also argued that their own alcohol education programs were more effective than were

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warning labels and indicated that these would be jeopardized if they were required to bear the costs of the latter. The strongest advocate of Position 4 was a law professor and advocate for more effective alcohol policies. Although Health Canada representatives indicated support for the bill in principle, they also stated a preference for the use of other approaches, including “standard drink” labelling. A spokesperson for the Native Physicians Association of Canada had no specific policy position on warning labels. However, he felt that simply placing a warning label on a bottle is not likely to prevent someone from using or abusing alcohol; rather, he wanted to see an expansion of prevention programs targeted to high-risk groups in partnership with private funders. He also felt that community involvement was extremely important for such initiatives and that the message should be culturally appropriate. During the course of the subcommittee hearings a new minister of health, David Dingwall, was appointed. Initially, he signed standard responses to petitions in favour of the bill presented to Parliament by the sponsor and others. However, before the last subcommittee meeting he told the parliamentary standing committee on health that he did not believe that warning labels would be effective. Some possible reasons for the health minister’s opposition are discussed below. It is not clear if the minister’s opposition influenced the views of members of the parliamentary subcommittee established to consider the bill. Two informants denied that this was the case. One who did not support the bill indicated that he was initially in favour but changed his mind as the hearing proceeded and as he became convinced that the bill would not do any good for those at greatest risk: “I thought, ‘Gee, that’s just a middle-class response to a problem that is significantly not a middle-class problem.’” From the start, another committee member was in favour of a graphic warning label, a position maintained until the end of the subcommittee hearings: “Native groups who have either their own language or are illiterate in English, they’re not gonna pay any attention to a big warning label that says, you know, ‘be careful,’ and so I’ve always favoured something that was very, very graphic. Very easy to understand.” Questions and comments from subcommittee members during the course of the hearings suggest that they were attentive to the views of presenters, and none clearly declared in favour or against warning labels because each represented a particular political party or interest group. The bill’s sponsor and one other member declared that they were not swayed by the alcohol industry “threats” to take away funding for education. However, at various times two other members indicated that they were impressed by the industry’s educational initiatives. Statements at the last subcommittee meeting indicate that one member did not recommend passage of the bill because he preferred graphic rather

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than text labels. Other members indicated that they were not convinced that the proposed labels would be effective and that the issue of how best to address problems of fas/fae needed further discussion. It is noteworthy that the subcommittee did not actually vote against the bill but, rather, recommended that the issues be considered within the context of Canada’s drug strategy. However, in effect, the subcommittee’s failure to support the bill as written meant that it was doomed. At various times during the parliamentary committee discussion of the warning label bill, there were references to the fact that health-warning labels were mandatory on tobacco products. To some alcohol policy advocates these labels were seen both as effective and as setting a clear precedent for mandatory warning labels on bottles of alcohol. However, others were not convinced that any such precedent had been set, and, to those who did not support the alcohol warning labels bill, the case of tobacco was quite different. Thus tobacco was viewed as a product whose normal use poses significant health risks – and not only when used in excess or at inappropriate times, as in the case of alcohol. The intent of warning labels on tobacco was also seen as clear and uncontentious: to discourage smoking. In contrast, the intent of the proposed warning labels on alcoholic beverage containers was less clear than the intent of putting such labels on tobacco products, especially in the case of the effects of alcohol use during pregnancy. Was this to discourage all drinking during pregnancy or only heavy drinking? If the former, could this be justified by research? If the latter, what was meant by heavy drinking? Perhaps because no clear answers to these questions emerged in the deliberations, appeals to precedent set by warning labels on tobacco did not appear to advance the case for warning labels on bottles of alcohol. Research Between 1985 and 1996 many research publications included data on the effects of warning labels in the United States, and there were a few articles on the development of standard drinking labels in Australia. There were also numerous editorial or review articles concerning the value of warning labels and several reports of experimental studies designed to assess the effects of particular types. And there were numerous research reports on alcohol-related foetal damage and on warning labels on cigarette packs. Research on the effects of maternal drinking on a developing foetus has clearly motivated those who have proposed using warning labels and has contributed to the debate at the federal level. The sponsor of the bill indicated in an interview and in statements to the subcommittee that research evidence for the effects of maternal alcohol consumption on the developing foetus influenced his decision to develop and promote the bill. The main

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findings of research on foetal alcohol effects (fae) were also summarized for the parliamentary subcommittee in various verbal and written submissions. Subcommittee members did not question the evidence that heavy drinking during pregnancy can cause foetal damage. However, some were concerned about the lack of clear evidence for the risks associated with low-level or social drinking. This led to concerns that the proposed label, which implied that any alcohol consumption during pregnancy might cause foetal damage, was needlessly alarmist. The member from the Native Physicians Association provided some information on the high-risk population of Aboriginals. This population is relatively young (40 per cent under age of fourteen); therefore, a significant proportion will be within childbearing age over the next ten years. The infant mortality rate is twenty-two per 100,000, roughly twice the Canadian rate. Estimated rate of substance abuse is between three to five times greater than is the Canadian average, and teenage pregnancies are three times the Canadian rate. A health promotion program, Caring Together, was developed by and for Aboriginals and was designed to emphasize care and responsible behaviour during pregnancy. More attention, however, was paid to research on the effects of warning labels and, particularly, to the research conducted in the United States. The results of this research were presented to the subcommittee by representatives from the Addiction Research Foundation (arf) and were discussed at various times. The Brewers Association of Canada also cited this research and argued that it failed to support the view that warning labels influence behaviour. Much of the discussion concerned the impact of warning labels on the behaviours of women at risk of having children with fas/fae. Very little attention was paid to the effects of labels on those at risk for alcohol-impaired driving or alcohol-impaired use of machinery. The consensus seemed to be that the risks associated with the use of alcohol while driving or operating machinery were already well known. The bill’s sponsor saw the us research as providing some evidence that warning labels increased awareness of alcohol problems. He also argued that the low cost of labels made them cost-effective even if their effects were modest. The sponsor also argued that the us research was far from complete and that the potential effects of warning labels should not be judged on the basis of experiences in the United States, where the labels were often very difficult to read. The sponsor also questioned the need for evidence that warning labels would affect the behaviours of those at risk for alcohol problems (especially pregnant drinkers). He considered it unrealistic even to expect that warning labels would in themselves modify behaviour in large numbers of cases, and, in the context of discussions of research on warning labels, he reaffirmed his view that they were needed because alcohol was a toxic substance. Some subcommittee members did, however, focus on the

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lack of clear evidence for the behavioural impacts of warning labels, and at the last meeting three clearly stated that this contributed to their decision not to support the bill. Public Opinion In a 1994 public opinion survey, over 70 per cent of Canadians agreed that alcoholic beverage containers should have warning labels, and the highest support for warning labels was in the Maritimes and British Columbia (Giesbrecht and Kavanagh 1999). This high level of public support for warning labels was cited by the bill’s sponsor as a sign that the bill was needed: “It was something that Canadians would generally support and ... there was a linkage to children, which is an issue that I’ve been very involved in as well.” Public support for warning labels was also mentioned at the subcommittee hearings but was not discussed in any detail, and there were no indications in the minutes or in interviews that public opinion was considered at the time of the final subcommittee vote. The Brewers Association of Canada presented the subcommittee with its own research on public opinion, bringing questions apparently designed to support its own views. Thus members of the public were asked about the comparative effectiveness of warning labels, mass advertising campaigns, and programs that targeted high-risk drinkers. The brewers interpreted the results as showing that the public favoured targeted programs over warnings for educating pregnant women, reducing drunk driving, or reducing alcohol-related health problems. The brewers also claimed that their research showed that the vast majority of the general public was aware of the specific risks to be indicated by the proposed labels (drinking during pregnancy, health problems, and drinking while driving or operating machinery). This high level of awareness of the risks of drinking during pregnancy was also noted in the presentation by a representative of the arf. The brewers argued that this high level of awareness indicated the need for programs that target alcohol misuse among high-risk populations. It is not clear whether this “public opinion” research influenced the subcommittee. The brewers’ study of public perception of warning labels was not specifically cited in any comments recorded in the minutes or by subcommittee members interviewed for this study. It may, however, have served to reinforce concerns about the likely effects of warning labels and to raise concerns about the loss of industry-sponsored educational programs if warning labels were made mandatory (see section below). Health Canada specifically raised this latter concern, and the alcohol industry’s educational programs were noted favourably in statements made by some subcommittee members.

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The brewers’ study showing a high level of awareness of the risks of drinking may have reinforced concerns about the need to find alternative ways to influence the minority of drinkers who are unaware of the heath or other risks of drinking and those who are unable or unwilling to moderate their alcohol consumption to minimize these risks. This was a general concern at the subcommittee hearings, and several members raised doubts about the influence of warning labels on this minority of drinkers. Alcohol Industry The brewing industry actively lobbied against the warning labels bill. In a Toronto Star article the bill’s sponsor was quoted as saying that the industry had undermined passage of the bill and this article reported that the industry can “submerge mps in letters, pamphlets, meetings and telephone calls from constituents who make their living in the industry, even offering them a free ticket to a minor league baseball game in Ottawa” (Harper 1996b, A1). This article also reported that the alcohol industry had hired (for $15,000) a private research group to ask women leading questions about drinking during pregnancy and had spent $12,000 on pamphlets for mps. The article also indicated that the bill’s sponsor had raised a point of privilege in the House of Commons and accused the alcohol industry of interfering with the integrity of Parliament. Two other mps were also quoted as being “offended” or “horrified” at the lobbying efforts of the industry and as seeing other mps as being “manipulated” by, or as “caving in” to, industry interests. Industry representatives interviewed for this study agreed that they had lobbied mps and indicated that this was legitimate and consistent with democracy. The brewers’ representative was quoted as saying: “Mr. Szabo has an interesting interpretation of democracy if he thinks we shouldn’t have any communications with our elected representatives” (Harper 1996b, A1). Among the messages the alcohol industry most clearly attempted to convey in all its communications around warning labels was that it was opposed to alcohol abuse and was engaged in efforts to reduce it. In presentations to the parliamentary subcommittee on warning labels representatives from both the brewers and the distillers spoke of their educational programs and their partnerships with health agencies. The Brewers Association of Canada specifically mentioned collaborations with the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Health Canada, the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (ccsa), and the Native Physicians Association. The Association of Canadian Distillers mentioned their work with the ccsa and its support of alcohol education in Quebec. Another message the brewers sought to convey to mps and others is that it would withdraw $5 million from its alcohol education campaign if warning

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Table 15.2 Presentations to the parliamentary subcommittee on Bill C–222 Type of agency/group Medical association

Alcohol producer

Labour organization

Health/safety advocacy group

Federal government Other government fas support group

Substance abuse agency

Specific agency/group Canadian Medical Association Native Physicians Association of Canada Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health for Canada Association of Canadian Distillers Canadian Wine Institute Brewers Association of Canada Teamsters of Canada Brewery, General and Professional Workers’ Union bc Coalition on Warning Labels Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Canada Health Canada Justice Canada Northwest Territories government bc fas support groups fas support group of Mississauga Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse Addiction Research Foundation

No. of representatives

Position on warning labels

2

Pro

1

Neutral

1

Pro

2

Against

1 4

Against Against

2 1

Against Against

2

Pro

2

Pro

3 1 3

Pro (in principle) No position Pro

1 1

Pro Pro

1

Pro

2

Support alternative “tested” labels

labels were made mandatory. This, it was claimed, would be needed to compensate for the costs of labelling and the need for new types of bottles to accommodate the proposed labels. An industry spokesperson was quoted by the Toronto Star as saying that this was not a threat but “rather a statement of fact ... This is a time of choice ... If we weren’t involved in alcohol awareness programs we wouldn’t have a case. But we do have a case and we took our case to mps” (Harper 1996b, A1). The brewing industry also appears to have sought to mobilize opposition to the bill among unionized workers. One union representative affirmed to the parliamentary subcommittee that the union had received letters from employers pointing out the high costs of warning labels. This union assumed that the

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costs would lead to cutbacks in job training and employment. This, and doubts about the effectiveness of warning labels, was the main reason this union cited for its opposition to them. Another union opposed warning labels because it was concerned that the labels might needlessly contribute to reduced alcohol consumption among social drinkers and that this could reduce industry profits and lead to job losses. The bill’s sponsor and several others interviewed for this study were quite certain that industry’s lobbying efforts contributed to the minister of health’s loss of support for the bill. However, in the previously noted newspaper report (Harper 1996b) two mps who voted against the bill at the subcommittee stage were quoted as being uninfluenced by industry lobbying. One was, however, quoted as echoing the industry’s view that it would cost $5 million to retool bottles for labels. This mp was also reported as receiving campaign money from a major brewery and as being proud to have it in her riding. Some policy advocates had not expected the brewers’ aggressive opposition to warning labels and attributed it to their sense of vulnerability in the light of discussions about restriction on advertising and changes to taxes on liquor. Public Health Policy Advocates During the development and discussion of the warning labels bill, policy advocates submitted petitions or wrote letters of support. Further research is needed to identify specific groups involved in petitions and letter writing, but it is known that the bill’s sponsor received letters of support from a coalition on warning labels in British Columbia, the Ontario Public Health Association, the North York Public Health Department, and coalitions of health agencies in Toronto and Quebec. As is shown in Table 15.2, madd Canada, the Canadian Medical Association, and the Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health for Canada also supported the bill. The bill’s sponsor encouraged petitions and letters of support, and many submissions were directed to him. However, according to two informed sources, letters in support of the bill were also written to other mps and to the minister of health. Petitions were filed in Parliament and each required a response from the minister of health. There was, however, no national coalition of alcohol and health advocacy groups and no evidence that the efforts of particular groups were coordinated. One informant indicated a muted level of support for the bill: “We supported [the bill] ... we had a lot of discussions. We don’t have a lot of really good research that says that its worthwhile to have these warning labels ... A better way to go, a more effective way to go, would be to have standard drink labelling on alcoholic beverages. I think to some extent we are reacting, some of us anyway ... against the mp who championed that bill ... It was [also] very much focused on women ... And that chastising of women

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and, you know, ‘thou shall not drink. And it’s your fault that the child, blah, blah, blah’ ... [Also] right off the bat it was a private member’s bill, and it was probably not going to go anywhere.” The arf did not clearly support the bill as written and may have reinforced concerns about its likely effectiveness and the need for alternative ways to influence high-risk drinkers. The bill’s sponsor felt that the arf did the bill more harm than good. Health Canada indicated support for the bill “in principle,” while raising concerns about the effectiveness of warning labels and the need for alternative types of label. Health Canada also indicated that the labels could cost taxpayers up to $10 million for regulatory activities and research and to compensate for the loss of industry supported awareness programs. Other Factors Further analyses of the case study materials suggest that, in addition to those considered thus far, a number of other factors may have limited or undermined federal support for warning labels in Canada. These and other factors already discussed are identified in Table 15.3. It is worth noting that several factors that appear to have contributed to the passage of the us bill on warning labels were absent in Canada. In particular, there were no successful Canadian lawsuits citing alcohol producers for a failure to warn about alcohol use. The burden of proof to meet legal requirements for product labelling is also higher in Canada (see note, Table 15.3).

discussion This case study suggests that federal support for warning labels in Canada was undermined by industry opposition and by a lack of clear support from some prominent experts and advocates. Industry opposition seems very likely to have contributed to the loss of support from the minister of health since this occurred during the course of the subcommittee hearings and when industry lobbying was most intense. This was clearly the view of several of those interviewed for this study. However, this could not be confirmed directly. One of the alcohol industry’s main objections to warning labels was that they would be ineffective. This was to some extent reinforced by experts from arf and Health Canada, and this likely contributed to lack of broader support for the warning labels bill. The industry also objected to warning labels on the grounds that they would be expensive. This did not clearly factor into the final decision of the parliamentary subcommittee on warning labels, and, at the time, it was clear that the industry estimates of the costs of

Table 15.3 Factors that may have influenced support for warning labels in Canada during the period of greatest activity, comparisons to the United States Factor

Canada, 1988–96

United States, 1979–88

Research evidence for the effects of warning labels

Results from studies of warning labels in the us considered inconclusive by some key decision makers and researchers.

No directly relevant studies at the time the bill on warning labels was passed.

Research on health benefits of drinking

Wine producers suggested wine bottles indicate the health benefits of drinking. However, not clearly a significant concern to key decision makers.

Research only beginning during this period. Health benefits of drinking not a significant concern during debates on alcohol warning labels.

Research on risks of foetal damage at low levels of alcohol consumption

Challenged by more recent studies and analyses (reviewed by Kaskutas 1995). Concern by some key decision makers that the proposed warning labels could be alarmist.

Considered sufficient by key decision makers to warrant warning labels.

Research on public awareness of alcohol-related risks

Some surveys showing high level of public awareness of alcohol-related risks (drinking during pregnancy, health problems, and drinking while driving or operating machinery). Much discussion of the need to reach the minority of the population that was either unaware of risks or unable/unwilling to modify drinking behaviours.

Polls showed that up to 57% of population had not heard of fas. Seen by supporters of the bill as evidence of low public awareness of risk of drinking.

Research on public opinion with respect to warning labels

Various polls showed high levels of support for warning labels. However, a survey by Brewers Association of Canada showed that public believed that more targeted interventions by health professionals would be more effective. This research not challenged or discussed by key decision makers.

Various national polls showed 42% to 68% in favour of warning labels. Seen by Kaskutas (1995) as showing that the public would not object to warning labels.

Table 15.3 (continued) Factor

Canada, 1988–96

United States, 1979–88

Influential federal department initiated discussion of warning labels

No. Backbench mps have initiated all bills.

Yes. Federal Drug Administration asked Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to initiate procedures to inquire about warning labels.

Bill sponsored by influential Parliamentarians

No. Sponsor was backbench mp. No federal minister or senator spoke publicly in favour of the bill, and the minister of health spoke against it during the subcommittee stage.

Warning labels supported by federal committees

Yes. Standing Committee on Health.

Yes. Bill sponsored by highly influential congressman (Thurman) and supported by Senator Al Gore. Senator Gore was also a strong advocate of reducing fas and supported warning labels as one means to this end. Yes. Senate Committee.

Support of federal departments, agencies, and high officials

Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse. Supported only “in principle” by Health Canada. Minister of health not supportive.

fad niaaa Surgeon General

Mandated warning labels provide protection against failure-to-warn lawsuits

No

Yes

Support from nationally respected state/provincial agencies

Yes. Ontario Addiction Research Foundation. However, it raised concerns about the wording of the proposed labels and indicated the need for more research and alternative types of labels. Supported by provincial health ministers.

Not known

National groups supporting warning labels

madd Canada Canadian Medial Association Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health for Canada Native Physicians Association took no position

madd American Medical Association rid American Academy of Paediatrics National Council on Alcoholism Centre for Science in Public Interest

Table 15.3 (continued) Factor

Canada, 1988–96

United States, 1979–88

Provincial/state groups supporting warning labels

bc and Ontario coalitions for warning labels. Several public health units. Several community groups.

Not known

Opposition from industry

Significant. Threatened to cut back on public education and threatened unions with job losses. Lobbied members of Parliament.

Opposition from labour unions

Brewery workers maintained that warning labels would result in job losses associated with the costs of labelling and reduced per capita consumption due to labelling.

Industry didn’t make presentations at Senate Hearing. Kaskutas (1995) suggests that industry opposition may have been weakened by lawsuits and pending state legislation. Industry may have also seen labels as providing protection against lawsuits. Not known

Local by-laws requiring warning labels at point-of-sale

By-law drafted in Toronto.

New York

Provincial/state legislation mandating warning labels

None, although governments of Yukon and the Northwest Territories require labels to be affixed at the point-of-sale.

Proposed in California

Successful lawsuits citing failure to warn against alcohol producers

No

Yes

Support of media

No coverage in main national newspaper. Minimal 2 coverage by other influential papers. No editorials for or against. No

Not known

None with significant national profile.

Emergency Right to Know Act passed in 1986.

Warning labels legislation linked to other bills Recent federal laws supporting consumer rights

Yes. Eventually passed under the umbrella of an Omnibus Drug Act.

Table 15.3 (continued) Factor

Canada, 1988–96

United States, 1979–88

Costs to federal government

Health Canada estimated $10 million, including costs of replacing education programs run by brewers

Not known

Trend in per capita alcohol consumption

Declining.

Declining

Notes: 1

2

Canadian civil law liability is under provincial jurisdiction, and this allows failure-to-warn suits to be filed even against manufacturers who comply with federal regulations concerning packaging, advertising, and labelling. This is not the case in the United States, where the concept of federal pre-emption protects manufacturers of products that carry federally mandated labels against failure-to-warn litigation. There is also a difference between Canada and the United States regarding laws pertaining to commercial free speech. In Canada, producers have the right to refuse to carry a label unless it is attributed to the government and unless the proper evidential basis has been laid to show it is the least intrusive means of infringing on their free speech. The onus to meet legal requirement is much higher in Canada than it is in the United States. No articles in Globe and Mail, Ottawa Citizen, or Calgary Herald. The Edmonton Journal had one short article (Canadian Press 1996). This was reproduced in the Toronto Star, which also had four related short articles (Harper 1996a, 1996b; Vienneau 1996a, 1996b).

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labelling were highly exaggerated. Indeed, Canadian brewers did not find it necessary to retool to meet us requirements for warning labels on beer bottles for export. Also, the necks of beer bottles have at times carried special labels advertising games of chance. At the time the us warning label requirements were enacted, a Canadian industry spokesperson was quoted as saying that these were easily met: “We’re using the same neck label in Canada without the warning. That affords us the opportunity of doing this [adding warning labels] if the warning comes here” (Toronto Star 1989). One telling criticism of the industry’s assertions about cost came from a representative of the Northwest Territories government, who reported at a subcommittee meeting that the territorial government spent a mere $57,000 per year on labels (about $0.002 per bottle) using an inefficient system that it felt could be improved with the participation of the industry. The industry claimed a right to object to warning labels on the grounds that it was already supporting educational programs in partnership with various government and non-government agencies. This is indeed the case, and the industry has earned credits in some quarters for its efforts to prevent drinking and driving and to encourage other responsible drinking behaviours. However, the industry has traditionally made no effort to make the public aware that alcohol is a potent, psychoactive drug that can have acute toxic effects and contribute to a host of alcohol-specific medical, psychological, and social harms; rather, the industry has sought to market alcohol as a pleasure-giving beverage and to define alcohol problems as a consequence of poorly informed drinking decisions. This post-prohibition perspective on alcohol has served the alcohol industry well. While some alcohol advertising may suggest risk-taking activities, industry members are aware that attempts to portray alcohol as a dangerous drug with serious health or safety consequences is not good for business and may inhibit sales. The industry’s intense opposition to warning labels was surely a sign of its extreme sensitivity to this issue. It is possible that public and professional public health opinion helped put warning labels on the federal agenda and contributed to the decision to have the warning labels bill considered within a broader context. However, strong support for warning labels in the general public and from significant advocacy and professional groups was not sufficient to ensure the bill’s passage. This is consistent with the results of other case studies of alcohol control policies (reviewed in Chapter 3). None of these studies has shown a conservative (proalcohol control) public opinion as having a direct impact on the development of new, conservative alcohol control policies. However, at least in Australia and North America, a conservative public may have set limits to the relaxation of alcohol control policies. Research on foetal alcohol effects and the effects of alcohol warning labels was cited in discussions of the warning labels bill, and this attention to

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research supports the view of research as contributing to the “enlightenment” of decisionmakers. However, both types of research had some significant limitations, and the results did not clearly support the proposed labels or suggest that they would be effective. Thus, because the research did not point in any clear directions, the key decision makers cannot be accused of ignoring it. The us research on warning labels was, however, used to support different ideological positions – a phenomenon noted by Bruun (1973) and other observers of the alcohol policy field (Room 1984; Giesbrecht et al. 1990; Gordis 1991; Room 1991; Holder 1993). In this instance the bill’s sponsor claimed that the us results supported the bill, while the alcohol industry claimed that the us research showed warning labels to be ineffective.1 Unlike in the United States, in Canada there were no clear legal advantages to alcohol producers should they carry government warning labels. Canadian alcohol producers have not, in any case, been threatened with lawsuits citing a failure to warn against the risks of alcohol consumption. Also, in contrast with the United States, where some states require warning signs in premises where alcohol is sold, no Canadian province required alcohol producers to affix warning labels on containers or warning signs in licensed premises, and the industry was not facing the prospect of having to comply with a host of different labelling requirements.2 The us warning labels bill enjoyed the support of some very influential legislators and was passed only after a recurrent campaign lasting more than ten years (Kaskutas 1995); however, in Canada, the only clearly visible spokesperson was a backbench mp. No government minister or senator has ever spoken publicly in favour of warning labels. Also, in the years before the bill considered in this case study, several ministers of health stated that they were opposed to warning labels. This is, of course, both an indicator and a cause of the subsequent lack of federal support for the warning labels bill. The success of the us bill on warning labels may also be due to a social climate that favoured consumer rights and was increasingly attentive to the issues of drug use by pregnant women. However, the bill may also have benefited from being brought forward under the umbrella of a successful 700+ page Omnibus Drug Act. This, and the limited opposition to the bill, may have been a critical factor in its eventual passage. The authors are aware of efforts to continue the debate about warning labels in Canada. These are especially evident in British Colombia, where a local coalition has been active for many years. The Canadian Pediatric Society has also made a recent recommendation for warning labels on bottles of alcohol. However, there is no evidence of any national advocacy coalitions forming around warning labels, and such labels were not specifically recommended in a recent joint statement on the prevention of fas/fae signed by seventeen major health and social advocacy groups. Although a few private

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member’s bills have been introduced in the House of Commons, all have failed to gain support. There is no evidence that the alcohol industry has softened its opposition to warning labels, and the industry continues to present itself as an active agent in the prevention of alcohol abuse through education.

notes 1 For studies evaluating warning labels in the United States, see, for example, Greenfield, Graves, and Kaskutas (1993); Greenfield (1997); Hilton and Kaskutas (1991); and Kaskutas (1995). 2 Retailers affixed the labels in the Northwest Territories and Yukon. The governments in these territories have not passed labelling regulations that affect alcohol producers.

references Bruun, K.E. 1973. Social Research and Social Policy in Action: The Epidemiology of Drug Dependence. Copenhagen: World Health Organization. Canadian Press. 1996. “Liquor Warnings Win Support.” Edmonton Journal, 7 January, F5. Eliany, M., N. Giesbrecht, M. Nelson, B. Wellman, and S. Wortley. 1992. Alcohol and Other Drug Use by Canadians: A National Alcohol and Other Drugs Survey (1989) Technical Report. Ottawa: Health and Welfare Canada. Giesbrecht, N., P. Conley, R.W. Denniston, L. Gliksman, H. Holder, A. Pederson, R. Room, and M. Shain, eds. 1990. Research, Action and the Community: Experiences in the Prevention of Alcohol and Other Drug Problems. Rockville: us Department of Health and Human Services. Giesbrecht, N., and L. Kavanagh. 1999. “Public Opinion and Alcohol Policy: Comparisons of Two Canadian General Population Surveys.” Drug and Alcohol Review 18: 7–19. Gordis, E. 1991. “From Science to Social Policy: An Uncertain Road.” Journal of Studies on Alcohol 51: 101–9. Greenfield, T.K. 1997. “Warning labels: Evidence of Harm-Reduction from Long-Term American Surveys.” In Alcohol: Minimizing the Harm, ed. M. Plant, E. Single, and T. Stockwell, 105–25. London: Free Association Books. Greenfield, T.K., K.L. Graves, and L.A. Kaskutas. 1993. “Alcohol Warning Labels for Prevention: National Survey Findings.” Alcohol, Health and Research World 171: 67–75. Harper, T. 1996a. “Dingwall Puts Cork in Alcohol Label Bill.” Toronto Star, 1 May, A12.

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– 1996b. “How Alcohol Lobbyists Bottled Up One mp‘s Bid for Warning Labels.” Toronto Star, 21 May, A1, A20. Hilton, M.E., and L.A. Kaskutas. 1991. “Public Support for Warning Labels on Alcoholic Beverage Containers.” British Journal of Addiction 86: 1323–33. Holder, H.D. 1993. “Changes in Access to and Availability of Alcohol in the United States: Research and Policy Implications.” Addiction 88 (Suppl.): 67S–74S. Kaskutas, L.A. 1995. “Interpretations of Risk: the Use of Scientific Information in the Development of the Alcohol Warning Label Policy.” The International Journal of the Addictions 30(12): 1519–48. Room, R. 1984. “Alcohol Control and Public Health.” Annual Review of Public Health 5: 293–317. – 1991. “Social Science Research and Alcohol Policy Making.” In Alcohol: The Development of Sociological Perspectives on the Use and Abuse. ed. P. Roman, 315–39. New Brunswick, nj: Rutgers Press. Standing Committee on National Health and Welfare. 1987. Booze, Pills and Dope: Reducing Substance Abuse in Canada. Ottawa: House of Commons. Toronto Star. 1989. “Canadian Beer, Spirits Get Warning Labels – in us,” 20 November, A21. Vienneau, D. 1996a. “mp Crusades for Liquor Warnings; Szabo Says Abuse of Alcohol Ruined His Own Father.” Toronto Star, 17 April, A2. – 1996b. “Liquor Warnings Get Support.” Toronto Star, 19 April, A11.

16 Changes in Federal Regulation of Broadcast Advertisements for Alcoholic Beverages ALAN OGBORNE AND GINA STODUTO

Advertisements for alcohol appear frequently on Canadian television and represent a major source of revenue for the Canadian broadcast industry. In 1989, the mid-point of the present study period, brewers spent $74.9 million on broadcast advertisements, and most of this was for advertisements on television. During the same year wine producers spent $5.3 million on broadcast advertising, again mostly for television advertising (Media Measurement Services Inc. 1989). In addition, brewers, especially, sponsor many sporting and cultural events that generate revenue for the broadcast industry. Since the early days of broadcasting, broadcast advertisements for alcoholic beverages have been regulated with the aim of ensuring that they do not encourage alcohol consumption or abuse. Both the federal and provincial governments have clear constitutional authority to regulate broadcast advertisements for alcohol, and they do so through over 100 pieces of legislation (Hovius and Solomon 1996; Wright, Winter, et al. 1984). Regulations initially developed for radio advertising were later applied to television, and all subsequent regulations have applied equally to all types of broadcasting. Since 1968 the federal agency responsible for the regulation of broadcast advertisements for alcohol is the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (crtc). This is one of three major federal independent regulatory agencies with nation-building mandates (others are the National Energy Board and the Canadian Transport Commission). The crtc has decision-making powers in the broadcast sector and is responsible for licensing broadcast undertakings and for developing and regulating policies consistent with the federal Broadcasting Act (Doern, Hill, Prince, and Schultz 1999).

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Broadcast advertisements for alcohol are also subject to a variety of general and specific provincial regulations. In Quebec, British Columbia, and Ontario provincial approval has always been required for all new alcohol advertisements intended for broadcast, including those approved by the crtc. Both New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island generally prohibit alcohol advertising in locally controlled radio and television and, for a time, broadcast advertisements for alcohol were also prohibited in the local media in Saskatchewan (Ogborne and Smart 1980). Various codes for self-regulation by the alcohol and advertising industries have also been developed. Advertisements that promote the general use of alcohol or encourage non-drinkers to drink have never been permitted under federal or provincial regulation, but a number of early restrictions on alcohol advertisements have been removed in both jurisdictions. For instance, at one time no reference to a beer sponsor or its product was allowed, except for a twelve-second sponsorship mention. Moreover, beer bottles could not be shown. Commercial messages of up to sixty seconds in length have been permitted since 1963, but, under federal regulations, an early prohibition against on-camera consumption of alcohol by characters in advertisements remains to this day. Originally only beer and wine could be advertised. Cider advertising was permitted by the crtc in 1971 and, at least in Ontario, advertisements for spirits have been permitted since 1990. The crtc first permitted advertisements for spirits in 1995. The crtc’s regulations concerning alcohol advertising in the early 1990s were largely inherited from the previous broadcast regulatory body, the Board of Broadcast Governors. Guidelines to assist advertisers and broadcasters were developed in cooperation with breweries, wineries, and cider houses. An advisory committee composed of representatives of the crtc and provincial liquor licensing agencies (normally Ontario and Quebec) was established in 1964, and representatives from the federal health and welfare department joined the advisory committee in 1977. By the beginning of the 1990s the provinces had mostly stopped attending this advisory committee. In 1985–87, and again in 1995–97, the crtc engaged in a major review of its policies and activities concerning alcohol advertising. In the later period it made two major policy changes: the first was to remove the prohibition on broadcast advertisement for distilled spirits; the second was to delegate responsibility for ensuring compliance with the code for broadcast advertising to an industry supported agency, Advertising Standards Canada (asc). We focus on the issues surrounding these two policy changes.

time frame and chronology of events Table 16.1 chronicles the main events surrounding the two changes of concern. During the period of study the crtc also considered a number of

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Table 16.1 Chronology of events regarding federal regulation of broadcast advertisements on alcohol, 1985–97 1984 1985

1986

1987

1990

1991

1993

1995

1996

1997 1997

Election of a Conservative government with a strong commitment to deregulation. crtc issues a public notice giving a history of broadcast advertising of alcohol and invites comments on whether it should retain its regulatory role regarding alcohol advertising. Comments received from over 330 agencies, groups and individuals. crtc invites comments on various proposals including discontinuance of pre-clearance requirements and industry self-regulation. Association of Canadian Distillers requests equal treatment of all alcoholic beverages. Based on comments received crtc decides to continue to pre-clear all advertisements for alcoholic beverages. crtc undertakes a review of broadcast regulations with the intention of streamlining its regulatory procedures. crtc issues guidelines to encourage greater self-regulation of the broadcast industry. Canadian distillers launch an appeal to the Federal Court of Canada with respect to the ban on broadcast advertisements of distilled spirits. crtc invites comments on proposal to allow distilled spirit advertising. Based on comments received, crtc decides to maintain the status quo with respect to spirit advertising and to await the outcome of the Federal Court decision. Conservative government soundly defeated by Liberals; however, the new government continues policies of fiscal restraint and reduced government regulations. The Federal Court of Canada (trials division) ruled that the section of the Broadcast Act that prohibited the advertising of spirits was “of no force or effect” and that it conflicted with the freedom of expression of distillers under Section 1 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms because there was no scientific evidence to support the differential treatment of spirits. crtc calls for public input to a review of rules for alcohol advertising, including advertisements for distilled spirits and the assignment of responsibility for ensuring compliance with regulations to Canadian Advertising Foundation (now Advertising Standards Canada). Later in the year crtc issues notice permitting the broadcast advertising of spirits. crtc announces new regulatory framework for the broadcast advertising of alcoholic beverages. Spirit advertising to be permitted. Pre-clearance of advertisement will no longer be required. However, broadcasters will be required to submit an annual account of the educational initiatives undertaken, “in order to assist the Commission to monitor compliance.” Public notice 1997–12 indicates adoption of the new proposals noted above. Canadian Advertising Foundation (now Advertising Standards Canada) announces the commencement of the Alcoholic Beverage Clearance Section.

Table 16.2 Issues on which the crtc invited comments in public notices, 1985–96 Notice 1985–209 Regulation by the crtc or by provincial bodies Non-specific changes to guidelines Celebrity endorsements Guidelines versus regulations? Compliance as conditions of broadcast licences

1

Notice 1986–68

Notice 1990–86

Permit broadcasting Discontinuance of preadvertising for spirits. clearance of ads by the crtc. Code of ethics to be developed by Canadian Association of Broadcasters. Prohibition of ads linking alcohol with sports or motor vehicles. Restrict ads to provision of information. Limit total time and time of day when ads can be broadcast. Prohibit ads during rock music shows and sports broadcasts. Require educational messages to be broadcast. Restrict lifestyle advertising Compliance as conditions of broadcast licences.

Notice 1995–142

Notice 1996–108

Require educational messages to be broadcast. Permit broadcasting advertising for spirits. Discontinuance of preclearance of ads by the crtc. Discontinuance of preclearance for “co-claim” sponsorship and public service announcements. Allowing anyone involved in the sale of alcohol to advertise (e.g., bar, restaurants, etc.). Specific changes to the crtc 1 code.

Transfer of pre-clearance responsibilities to the Canadian Advertising Foundation. Require educational messages to be broadcast. Allowing anyone involved in the sale of alcohol to advertise (e.g., bar, restaurants etc.). Guidelines for interpretation of the code.

Intended to restrict lifestyle advertising, the use of youth symbols and role models, and the linkage of alcohol with the operation of vehicles and activities requiring skill and judgment.

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other issues (Table 16.2). These included celebrity endorsements of alcoholic beverages, advertising by retailers, whether to make compliance with the code of advertising a condition of licensing for broadcasters, the “pre-clearance” of storyboards (i.e., a set of drawings and text) for alcohol advertisements, and a proposal to require broadcasters to provide education on the dangers of excessive drinking. By the end of the study period the crtc’s rulings on these issues were as follows: celebrity endorsements were not permitted; advertising by retailers was permitted; compliance with an advertising code as a condition for broadcast licence was not required; pre-clearance was not required by crtc but would be conducted by asc; requirements to broadcast alcohol education were not made explicit (requirements enacted in 1997–99 required broadcasters to submit annual accounts of alcohol education initiatives). A few changes to the code of broadcast advertising that restricted the use of youth-oriented symbols, situations, and songs were introduced during the period of study. The crtc also developed an interpretive guide to the code and affirmed that strict compliance with it was expected.

broadcast advertising for spirits How Broadcast Advertising for Spirits Became an Issue The crtc’s original prohibition against broadcast advertisements for spirits reflects a long and widely held perception that spirits are inherently more dangerous than beer or wine. This distinction between “hard” spirits and beer and wine has been reflected in licensing and taxation policies and by the words and actions of those concerned about alcohol-related problems. Rum, gin, and whisky have been prime targets for temperance movements, some of which have tolerated the moderate use of beer and wine. However, spirit manufacturers have opposed this discrimination against spirits and have made several attempts to promote the “equivalence” of all standard drinks containing alcohol. During the period of study the crtc’s attention to the issue of broadcast advertisements for distilled spirits was initially brought by the actions of the Association of Canadian Distillers (acd). In 1987 this association submitted a storyboard for a television “announcement” concerning the equivalence of spirits, wine, and beer. This was not approved by the crtc, and the distillers launched an appeal to the Federal Court of Canada. This court, second in importance to the Supreme Court of Canada, reviews the disputed decisions of federal boards, commissions, and tribunals. The distillers’ stated aim was to gain the same rights respecting the advertising of spirits as those existing for beer and wine. However, several of those interviewed for this study suggested that the distillers wanted to promote the equivalency of

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alcohol in spirits, beer, and wine in order to argue that existing taxation policies are unfair to distilled spirit producers. The real issue may thus have been taxes and not advertising policy. Currently, and at the time of the study, taxes on spirits account for 85 percent of the retail price compared with 53 percent for beer and 65 percent for wine (Smart and Ogborne 1996). Key Groups and Their Positions Alcohol, Broadcasting, and Advertising Industries As noted above, the Association of Canadian Distillers initiated the debate about the advertising of distilled spirits by submitting a storyboard to the crtc for an “announcement” concerning the equivalence of alcohol in spirits, wine, and beer. The crtc declined approval on the grounds that the announcement was in fact an advertisement for spirits and thus prohibited under existing regulations. The distillers then took their case to federal court and argued that the crtc’s ban on advertising for spirits conflicted with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The acd’s argument was that there was no difference between the alcohol in spirits and the alcohol in beer or wine and that, given that advertisements for wine and beer were allowed, there was no reason to ban broadcast advertisements for spirits. To support its case the acd presented the court with an affidavit signed by a respected scientist with the Addiction Research Foundation (arf) that indicated the equivalence of alcohol in beer, wine, and spirits. Distillers were very concerned about declining spirit consumption and believed that broadcast advertisement would limit or reverse this trend. The distillers were aware that any challenge to the crtc advertising policies could result in a complete ban on all broadcast advertisements for alcohol. However, this was apparently seen as an acceptable risk because such a ban would at least bring about a level playing field for distillers, brewers, and wine producers. It also seems likely that Canadian distillers, as subsidiaries of multinational corporations, were seeking to end the formal discrimination against distilled spirit advertising in Canada in order to pursue plans to increase advertising in the United States. Indeed, a voluntary ban on broadcast advertisement for distilled spirits in the United States was reversed in 1996. The distillers may have also been laying the ground for political challenges to the alcohol taxation system. There is no direct evidence that the acd or other alcohol industry-related groups engaged in direct or indirect lobbying of the crtc or others who could influence the crtc’s final decision. However, during the period of concern one backbench member of the federal Parliament asked the minis-

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ter of health why the crtc had disallowed the broadcast of the distillers’ announcement concerning the equivalence of spirits, wine, and beer when a federal report had recommended that alcohol producers be required to provided educational messages. The minister’s reply reflected the crtc’s position that the “announcement” was really an advertisement for spirits and that the equivalence of spirits, beer, and wine was only part of the message. Once distillers won the right to their day in court, the Canadian Association of Broadcasters and the Brewers Association of Canada both petitioned the court to be granted “intervener” status on the grounds that their members could be significantly affected by the outcome of the case. The petition from the Canadian Association of Broadcasters indicated concerns about a loss of revenue if alcohol advertising was banned or if the brewers and vintners reduced the volume of advertising. The petition from the Brewers Association of Canada expressed concerns that a ruling in favour of the distillers would affect brewers’ access to the airwaves. However, it seems reasonable to assume that the real concern was that a competitive industry would gain an advantage by being allowed to advertise on television. As the trial date approached, the brewers also expressed concerns to the crtc and the federal minister of justice that the crtc would not “vigorously” defend their case against the distillers. Broadcasters, advertising agencies, and their respective associations – who expressed their views in response to the crtc’s call for comments on the broadcast advertising for distilled spirits (see below) – were all in favour of an end to the ban. General Public and Interest Groups In 1990 the crtc issued a public notice requesting comments on the proposal to allow broadcast advertisements of distilled spirits (crtc public notice 1990–86). The crtc reported that this public notice generated almost 600 written submissions, of which the majority (64 percent) were from individuals while others were from a variety of national, provincial, or local agencies. National groups included the federal government, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (madd), and associations representing physicians or other health providers, alcohol producers, broadcasters, advertisers, religion, and sports. Provincial groups included the provincial counterparts of national associations such as transport associations, health departments, and addiction foundations or commissions. Many individual health, social, broadcast, addiction treatment, education, broadcast, and advertising agencies also made submissions. Copies of all submissions from agencies and a 10 percent random sample of submissions from individuals were obtained from the crtc and coded

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with respect to type of submission (individual, agency, and agency type) and the views expressed (pro or con the broadcast advertising of spirits). The results were consistent with the following summary provided by the crtc (public notice 1990–65): Less than 1 percent of individuals favoured permitting broadcast advertising of spirits; 35 percent were in favour of the status quo, and the majority (64 percent) wanted all alcoholic beverages to be banned, without exception, from broadcast advertising. All fourteen comments received from federal, provincial and municipal governments opposed broadcast advertising of spirits. Of these a majority suggested a total ban (on alcohol advertising) and the remainder preferred the status quo. Ninety-eight responses were received from interest groups. A small number of those stated that advertising of spirits should be permitted in the broadcast media, generally on the grounds that they are roughly equivalent to other forms of alcohol and that a ban on advertising would perpetuate the myth that beer and wine are less harmful than spirits. Approximately one third of the groups preferred the status quo. Again the majority opposed broadcast advertising of all alcoholic beverages.

An analysis of the reasons cited for banning or restricting alcohol advertising indicated that, in all cases, advertisements were believed to contribute to increased alcohol consumption and, thus, to alcohol-related health and social problems. Several opponents of alcohol advertising also expressed concerns that young people may be particularly vulnerable to such advertising and develop a false perception of alcohol as a benign substance, the use of which is essential to a good lifestyle. Concerns about advertising in general, and some specific concerns about advertisements for distilled spirits, were most fully articulated in submissions from the arf (1990) and the City of Toronto Board of Health (1990). The statement from arf proposed that, in an ideal world, there would be a total prohibition against television advertisement of all alcoholic beverages. Further, it proposed that, if any such advertisements are permitted, the specific prohibition on broadcast advertisements of distilled spirits constituted a “reasonable limit” and was “demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society” within the meaning of the Canadian charter (arf 1990). arf’s case against television advertisements for any alcoholic beverages rested on the view of alcohol as being associated with health, social, and economic harms. The case for a specific prohibition against television advertisements for distilled spirits rested partly on the belief that such advertisements would increase the consumption of spirits and thus increase the associated health, social and economic harms. arf also proposed that a specific prohibition on television advertisements for distilled spirits was justified because these are usually several times more concentrated in alcohol content than

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are beer or wine and “therefore facilitate rapid alcohol intake which increases the hazards to health such as death from alcohol poisoning.” Other points made by arf in favour of a ban on television advertisements for distilled spirits concerned the appeal of spirits to those seeking rapid intoxication, the risk of spirits consumption to youth with little experience of alcohol, the use of easily concealed flasks of spirits by those seeking to conceal their use of alcohol at events where alcohol is banned, the association of spirits with certain types of cancers, the likelihood that spirits are more susceptible than beer to being served in larger than standard drinks in private drinking settings, and the fact that distilled spirits are less likely then wine or beer to be consumed with food (which slows the rate of absorption of alcohol into the blood). The submission from the Toronto Board of Health made similar points and made the same recommendations. CRTC’s

Position on Broadcast Advertisements for Spirits

The crtc’s initial statement of defence indicated a strong commitment to the regulation of broadcast advertising and the need for a policy that prohibited the advertising of spirits. This prohibition on advertisements of spirits was advocated on the grounds that, volume for volume, spirit drinks contained more alcohol than did drinks of beer and wine and that, if one takes into account the rates of absorption, the nutritional and chemical content and concentration of alcohol of each beverage, the physiological and behavioural responses to each beverage, and the contexts in which each beverage is consumed, beer, wine and spirits cannot be considered as equivalent. This line of defence clearly reflected arf’s arguments and efforts to assist the crtc to win its case against the distillers, although arf also sought to promote the view that alcohol advertisements should be banned completely (see below). However, during the discovery process leading up to the trial the crtc concluded that it could not win its case in court. The crtc became aware that the rule against broadcast advertisements for spirit-based beverages with alcohol content in excess of 7 percent1 was inconsistent with policies that allowed such advertisements for fortified wine with up to 20 percent alcohol. The crtc was also not convinced that there was evidence in the scientific literature that the consumption of spirits-based alcoholic beverages was any more detrimental than was the consumption of beer or wine. Finally, the crtc’s own research indicated that most democratic countries did not have policies that discriminated against spirits in favour of beer or wine and that the absence of advertisements for spirits in us television was due to a policy adopted by broadcasters and manufacturers and was not a result of law.2

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Following the discovery process the crtc joined with the distillers and filed a joint affidavit in support of a motion for a “judgment by consent” – an out-of-court settlement that would have simply given the distillers what they wanted without the need for a formal hearing and ruling by a judge. The affidavit concluded that a total ban on the advertising on television of alcoholic beverages that are spirits-based cannot be justified as a reasonable limit in a democratic society while other types of alcoholic beverages are permitted to be advertised. The crtc asked arf to signify consent to this motion, but this was not granted. As it happened, the motion for a judgment by consent was rejected, and the arguments for the distillers and the crtc were presented in court. The crtc did not, however, feel obliged to take a position on the advertising of spirits until after the court ruling. The concern was that a ruling in favour of the distillers would provoke strong negative reactions from the health community, and the crtc did not wish to take the blame for such a ruling should it actually occur. At no time did the crtc give serious consideration to banning all alcohol advertisements in order to avoid the charge that its policies discriminated against distilled spirits. This was seen as contrary to tradition and to the interests of the alcohol industry and those who benefited from advertising (broadcasters, sports organizations, and the advertising industry). The petitions for intervener status from the brewers and the Canadian Association of Broadcasters were dismissed by the court. However, an application to be a “friend of the court” (amicus curiae) from the arf was allowed. The arf was thus permitted to file a statement of intervention that was presented to the court, despite objections from the Association of Canadian Distillers, who proposed that the arf had no special expertise with respect to issues concerning the charter. On 12 June 1995 the Federal Court of Canada (Association of Canadian Distillers v. Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (T.D.) [1995] 2 F.C. 778) ruled that arguments in favour of the prohibition against advertisements for distilled spirits were insufficient and that such prohibition contravened the charter. This ruling acknowledged the right of alcohol producers to advertise their products (a right that had also been affirmed for tobacco manufacturers) and dismissed the argument that a prohibition on the advertising of spirits was a reasonable limitation and proportional to the objective of preventing alcohol-related problems. Influence of Research The crtc initially declared an interest in research; the implication is that the results of research could have had an influence on the final decision concerning the advertising of distilled spirits. In its first public notice concerning the advertising of distilled spirits, the crtc specifically called for

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submissions that cited research evidence in favour or against the proposal to allow such advertisement to be broadcast. “Public comments should relate to specific evidence (or lack thereof) in support or against the distinction made by existing regulations in the broadcast advertising of beer, wine, coolers and spirits. Without limiting the scope of the discussion ... the Commission would be interested in evidence demonstrating whether there is a distinction between beer, wine and spirits as they relate to issues such as drunk driving, domestic violence and absenteeism from work” (crtc public notice 1986–176). Before and during the period of study there was some scholarly research on the effects of alcohol advertising on alcohol consumption, but the results were by no means conclusive (Smart 1988). There was, however, some research indicating that advertising influenced the beliefs and intentions of children and youth (Wallack, Cassady, and Grube 1990; Aitken, Eadie et al. 1988). In addition to the review article by Smart (1988), four articles on alcohol advertising written by Canadian researchers were published during the period of study (Kohn and Smart 1987; Makowsky and Whitehead 1991; Sobell et al. 1986; Sheppard and Lockhart 1987). These variously raised concerns about the effects of advertising but did not show that advertising increased alcohol consumption or alcohol-related problems. A review of submissions obtained from the crtc showed that some cited of statistics relating to such specific problems as underage drinking and driving while impaired. However, very few people mentioned any research on the effects of alcohol advertising, and some admitted that such research was incomplete or inconclusive. Smart’s (1988) review was mentioned in several submissions to support the view that alcohol advertising does not increase alcohol consumption.3 The Toronto Board of Health cited research suggesting that spirit consumption increased the risk of certain kinds of cancers (Pollack et al. 1984; Popham, Schmidt, and Israelstam 1984), but the crtc was clearly not convinced that this indicated a need for a broadcast advertising policy that distinguished between beer, wine, and spirits. The lack of research supporting the prohibition against distilled spirits advertising became evident during discoveries and contributed to the crtc’s decision to file the motion for a judgment by consent in cooperation with the distillers. The crtc’s own research also showed that few Western democracies had policies that discriminated between spirits and beer/wine, and this also factored into the decision to propose a judgment by consent. A lack of research to support the discrimination against spirits was also noted in the ruling by the federal court: “since the weight of expert evidence before the court was that spirits are no more susceptible to abuse than are wine or cider, the absolute restriction ... is arbitrary and irrational” (Association of Canadian Distillers v. Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (T.D.) [1995] 2 F.C. 778).

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Public Opinion Members of the general public who made written submissions to the crtc were overwhelmingly opposed to the broadcast advertising of distilled spirits, and most were also opposed to alcohol advertising in general. However, one informant connected with the crtc suggested that opposition to advertising was not quite so strong in the general public. This appeared, in fact, to be the case. In a 1995 Ontario public opinion survey, only 32 percent of respondents were strongly opposed to liquor advertisements and only 44 percent of respondents favoured the complete prohibition of broadcast advertisements for alcohol (Giesbrecht, Ialomiteanu, and Anglin 2001). The crtc was nonetheless clearly aware that a decision to allow broadcast advertisements for distilled spirits would be very unpopular with a significant proportion of the public, and this contributed to the decision to let the issue be resolved in court. Influence of Public Health Policy Advocates In written submissions, many national and provincial agencies and groups concerned about substances or broader health and social safety issues expressed their opposition to televised advertisements for spirits. Some of these also attended public forums or wrote to members of Parliament. arf, especially, sought to publicize its opposition to advertising in general and to distilled spirits advertising in particular and, to this end, made copies of its submission and other relevant documents available to the media, Ontario Members of Parliament, other politicians, and various advocacy groups. arf also participated in several public forums on alcohol advertising and made the case for a complete ban at an inquest concerning the death of a teenager who died after drinking twenty-six ounces of tequila. arf’s views were reflected in the inquest jury’s recommendations. arf also suggested topics for the initial discoveries to crtc lawyers and met with them as well as with the crtc chairman. arf and other health agencies and groups were also otherwise involved in activities designed to promote awareness of alcohol-related problems and to encourage governments to adopt alcohol control policies. Many of these groups have also encouraged governments to ban or severely restrict alcohol advertising. However, during the period of study no petition calling for the banning of alcohol advertising was presented to Parliament, and only one mp called for such a ban. The minister of health responded by saying that “alternative advertising” by the alcohol industry was preferable to a complete ban on alcohol advertising. This is presumed to refer to industry-sponsored messages about responsible drinking. The minister also stated that, when alcoholic beverages are used in moderation and under the

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proper conditions, there are no negative consequences (as there are with cigarette smoking).

industry self-regulation How Industry Self-Regulation Came on the Agenda In the mid–1980s the crtc’s decision to open up discussion of its role with respect to the regulation of alcoholic beverage advertising was strongly influenced by the prevailing social and political climate, which favoured deregulation. This motivated the crtc to find ways to streamline its regulatory procedures and to encourage self-regulation by the broadcasting and advertising industry. The crtc was also responding to industry pressures for self-regulation and to industry concerns about the time required to obtain approval to broadcast new advertisements. The crtc also claimed that its interest in promoting greater industry self-regulation was also due to budgetary restrictions and to its need to focus more attention on new issues (such as changes in technology, ethnic programming, and the development of community television). The crtc’s commitment to deregulation resulted in activities intended to ensure that greater industry self-regulation would eventually become a reality. Early in the process the crtc invited the Canadian Association of Broadcasters to consult with others to develop an advertising code and a process for its administration. Later, the crtc issued guidelines for the self-regulation of the broadcast industries and encouraged the establishment of standards that could be developed and administered by organizations that reflect public, industry, professional, consumer, and social interest groups.

key groups and their positions During the period of study the crtc issued four public notices that called for comments on deregulation and other issues of concern (see Table 16.2). Copies of all submissions from national and provincial agencies were obtained from the crtc, as were random samples of submissions from other agencies and individuals. This resulted in a sample of 302 specific submissions. Many agencies had made submissions in response to two or more crtc notices, and several national agencies made submissions in response to all four notices during the period of concern. Of the 302 submissions obtained for analysis, 88 were from distinct individuals, 77 were from 39 distinct agencies with a national focus, 43 were from 21 distinct provincial government agencies, and 94 were from 84 other agencies. A large majority (88 percent) of those who expressed a clear opinion on the issue of industry self-regulation (n = 199 submissions) was strongly

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opposed. Many submissions also called for a tightening of crtc regulations or for a complete ban on broadcast of alcohol advertisements. All submissions from agencies concerned with substance abuse or other health issues expressed these views, as did almost all submissions from individuals. These agencies, and most individuals, also tended to express more conservative opinions with respect to other issues raised in the crtc pubic notices. Those opposed to industry self-regulation variously expressed concerns about industry self-interests and the chances that this would lead to an increase in advertising and a more liberal interpretation of the advertising code. Several cited a survey funded by Health Canada showing that, even with crtc regulation, a large number of advertisements for alcohol violated some aspects of the code (Erin Research 1989). In general, alcohol was seen as a special commodity for which special regulatory arrangements were required. All but one submission indicating support for industry self-regulation (n = 13) were from major advertising agencies or national associations representing the alcohol industry, advertisers, and broadcasters. The exception was the minister responsible for the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission, who felt that the crtc proposal to revise its regulations on broadcast advertising was a sincere effort by the crtc to explore opportunities to deregulate, streamline and remove government from unnecessary roles. Those who wrote in support of industry self-regulation expressed the view that this would be more efficient than regulation by a government agency and that it was consistent with prevailing trends. Several supporters of industry self-regulation described the alcohol, advertising, and broadcast industries as “mature” or “responsible” and as demonstrably capable of respecting the crtc code without the need for constant crtc monitoring. Some submissions in support of self-regulation also cited the industry’s voluntary commitments to alcohol education. All the alcohol industry’s written submissions to the crtc were in favour of deregulation, but there is no evidence that the industry otherwise lobbied the crtc or others who could have influenced the final crtc decisions with respect to deregulation. Large segments of Canadian industry were, however, actively and successfully lobbying for less government spending and for deregulation, and it is likely that the alcohol industry has been involved in this larger process. It is known that distillers have been actively lobbying for lower taxes on spirits and that they used the court decision about the equivalence of spirits, wine, and beer to support these efforts. Influence of Research None of the submissions selected for review cited research on deregulation to support the position taken (for or against). Nor did the crtc cite any research to support its view that industry self-regulation would be as effec-

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tive and as efficient than regulation by the crtc. Research showing that, even under crtc regulation, many alcohol advertisements were in violation of the code for broadcast advertising (Erin Research 1989) was not acknowledged in any written communication from the crtc. Public Opinion Members of the general public who made written submissions to the crtc were overwhelmingly opposed to deregulation with respect to alcohol advertising and wanted the crtc to either continue to be actively involved in reviewing and approving alcohol advertisements or to ban them altogether. However, no public opinion surveys had specific questions regarding the role of the crtc in the deregulation of broadcast advertisements for alcohol. The crtc’s commitment to regulation was, however, consistent with widely perceived public support for reduced government spending and for less government regulation. In 1984 the Liberal party campaigned successfully on a platform of deregulation and reduced government spending and, since its victory over the Conservatives in 1994, has continued to cut government spending in many areas. During the period of study several provinces also elected governments with a strong ideological commitment to deregulation. The crtc was thus operating in a social climate that, at least in principle, supported a decision by a government agency to distance itself from the active regulation of business activities. In announcing its decision, the crtc acknowledged that a very high proportion of responses to its public notices indicated strong opposition to industry self-regulation, and it claimed that these views were given “due and proper consideration by the Commission in revising its regulatory framework for the broadcast of alcoholic beverage advertising in the public interest” (crtc 1997–12). The crtc also considered that any concerns about the negative influence of alcohol advertising were adequately addressed by the existing code for broadcast advertising and that the “maturity” and self-interests of the alcohol and advertising industries would act as safeguards against irresponsible marketing. In accordance with the Charter, the Commission has taken into consideration a variety of factors in formulating its new framework to achieve the objective of ensuring that alcoholic beverage advertising does not contribute to the negative health and societal effects relating to excessive or inappropriate alcohol consumption. Among other things, the Commission has considered the guarantee of freedom of expression, the public interest in a balanced presentation of views, the practical realities of fiscal restraint and budget reductions that face the Commission, as well as the maturity of the broadcasting industry in the area of self-regulation. (crtc public notice 1996–108)

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Public Health Policy Advocates Most health and alcohol control policy advocates who wrote to the crtc expressing opposition to televised advertisements for spirits also wrote to oppose industry self-regulation. As indicated above, many were involved in various activities to promote awareness of alcohol problems and to convince governments to adopt, maintain, or strengthen alcohol control policies. The extent to which these advocates influenced the crtc’s final decision on industry self-regulation is indicated in the previous quotations. arf’s intervention in the federal lawsuit was a unique instance in our period of study, and probably in arf’s history, with arf taking on an active role as public health advocate, extending beyond its usual role of offering research-based “best advice” to government and the public on policy issues. The intervention was viewed by arf management as an experiment in taking on this more activist role. The fact that the arf intervention did not, in the end, make any difference may well have discouraged future actions of this sort.

media coverage on issues related to alcohol advertising The search for newspaper articles revealed sixty-two that mentioned deregulation of alcohol advertising between 1985 and 1997 (see Figure 16.1). Of those that were primarily on deregulation of alcohol advertising (n = 53), there was a reasonable balance of individual positions represented in that 50.3 percent were in favour of deregulation and 47.2 percent were opposed. In most other cases the actor’s position was neutral. Fig. 16.1. Canadian newspaper coverage on the issue of advertising, 1985–99 20

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Fig. 16.2. Policy rationale reported in newspaper coverage of the issue of advertising (n = 55) 40

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Meanwhile, in Another Part of the Forest ... As we have noted, the federal and provincial governments have concurrent jurisdiction over broadcast advertising for alcoholic beverages. Each province has its own guidelines and approval mechanisms, although prior to the crtc’s withdrawal from advertising review some provinces had moved to accept the crtc approval process. In theory, the provinces were represented on a crtc advisory committee, which met every two weeks, but by the early 1990s all the provinces – even Ontario, which had the least distance to travel – apparently found it too costly to devote resources to this endeavour and ceased participating. Ontario was by far the largest Canadian market for beer, which was the most advertised beverage, and it continues to actively review all alcohol advertisements, no matter in what medium they appear. For tv advertisements Ontario looks at both the storyboard, where a sketch and text for each shot are shown, and at the finished advertisement. About 15 to 20 percent of the advertisements submitted are refused, and another 50 to 60 percent are approved with conditions. During a major revision of the guidelines in 1990 Ontario had decided to remove any objection to spirits advertising in electronic media. During the 1990s the main other change in the Ontario review system involved a tightening of the rules restricting sexism in advertisements. Even the merging of the Liquor Licence Board of Ontario, which had the advertising review function, with other government departments into the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario in 1998 did not change this process in any substantive way.

discussion These two significant changes – the removal of the prohibition on broadcast advertisement for distilled spirits and the delegation of responsibility for ensuring compliance with the code of broadcast advertising to an industry supported agency – were made in response to legal rulings respecting corporate rights and freedoms and a corporate-driven ideology in favour of deregulation. Widespread concerns that alcohol advertising disregards, and may even contribute to, a variety of alcohol-related problems were either largely ignored or assumed to be reflected by an existing code of practice. There was little, if any, discussion of research on advertising or deregulation. Although in both instances the initial actions of the crtc opened windows of opportunity for alcohol policy advocates to influence the eventual outcomes, these advocates were in a reactive position, while the agenda was driven by the alcohol industry and, in the case of industry self-regulation, by the crtc itself. The issue of distilled spirits advertising was driven by the

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Association of Canadian Distillers who, as it turned out, had the federal court’s interpretation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms on its side. The outcome was inevitable from the start, and this must have been known to the industry. The crtc also came to realize that the arguments proposed by the Addiction Research Foundation and other policy advocates in favour of discrimination against distilled spirits would be trumped by the charter, and therefore it proposed an out-of-court settlement. When this was denied and the ruling favoured the distillers, the crtc did not appeal because it was clear that the Supreme Court, which had recently invoked the charter to uphold the advertising rights of tobacco companies, would almost certainly support the federal court’s decision on distilled spirits advertising. The outcome was thus a loss for alcohol control policy advocates. It was also contrary to the views of a large section of the general public. This outcome is an example of an important alcohol-related policy being made by an agency that has no specific expertise in alcohol policy issues and without reference to broader national strategies to prevent alcohol-related problems. Public health policy advocates also suffered a loss in the case of industry self-regulation of advertising standards. Advocates generally do not trust the industry to regulate itself and want the government to ban or regulate alcohol advertisements in order to protect consumers. For control policy advocates, government regulation of alcohol advertisements also signifies that the government is serious about prevention of alcohol problems and prepared to put limits on the activities of the alcohol industry. The crtc was sympathetic to the concerns of public health policy advocates and believed that they would be reflected in the continuance of the federal code for broadcast advertisements for alcohol, by a host of other federal advertising regulations, and by provincial regulatory mechanisms. Thus, to the crtc, the change from direct crtc regulation to industry self-regulation was not particularly great or significant but, rather, simply a change in one of several administrative arrangements for ensuring compliance with an established code. However, for public health policy advocates, the changes represented a further erosion of the regulatory process that, even under the crtc, was felt to have serious flaws. The effects of increased industry self-regulation remain unclear. The crtc did not establish a system for evaluating the impact of industry self-regulation on broadcast advertisements for alcohol, and no other attempts to compare advertisements before and after the start of industry self-regulation have been made. Advertising Standards Canada received few complaints about alcohol advertisements (sixty-seven in 1999, or 6 percent of all complaints) and the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, which reviews all alcohol advertisements intended for broadcast in Ontario, reports receiving “hardly any” such complaints. It is not known if this is because the public and health policy advocates are satisfied with the status

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quo, reluctant to complain, or unaware of the complaints procedure. However, for health policy advocates the case of an advertisement in 2000 for Smirnoff vodka represents a clear victory for the alcohol industry and the indifference of regulators. This advertisement shows the world looking more colourful, interesting, and dangerous through a glass of vodka: a clear violation of the prohibition against promoting the use of alcohol. The 1999 4 advertisement by Molson for a beer named Canadian, “the rant” (i.e., I am Canadian), also offends some control policy advocates in that it proposes that beer drinking is central to the Canadian identity. Several other recent beer advertisements have also sought to link beer with “defining moments” in Canada’s history and culture (e.g., street hockey) and, as such, are clearly lifestyle advertisements that many Canadians find offensive. However, no efforts appear to have been made to have these advertisements withdrawn, and the Molson rant has itself achieved a kind of icon status. Another loss for health policy advocates was the crtc failure to make compliance with the code for broadcast advertising of alcohol a condition for maintaining a broadcast licence. This means that the consequences for broadcasters who violate the code are uncertain but almost certainly not severe. Advertising Standards Canada has no power to insist on compliance with the code but, rather, advises the alcohol industry if particular advertisements conform to it. Since the Ontario guidelines were in general more restrictive than were the crtc guidelines on advertising, and since Ontario was the biggest market for the goods advertised, it could be argued that the crtc advertising review was largely superfluous. From this perspective, the fight over the crtc’s deregulation of broadcast advertising might be seen as almost entirely a matter of symbol rather than substance. So long as provincial review systems, and particularly the Ontario system, remain in place, it cannot reasonably be claimed that broadcast advertising of alcoholic beverages in Canada are a matter of industry self-regulation.

notes 1 This rule allowing advertising of spirits-based coolers had been adopted at the request of the distillers, but it breached the previous prohibition on any advertising of spirits drinks, which might have been a more legally defensible rule. 2 However, the us policy had been adopted in 1947 under threat of congressional legislation. 3 For an overview of the published literature on alcohol advertising and its effects on attitudes, intentions to drink, and drinking behaviours see, for example: Partanen and Montonen (1988); Montonen (1996); Hill and Casswell (2001); Babor et al. (2003, chap. 10).

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4 The advertisement shows a young male, standing on a stage in front of a large Canadian flag, naming many Canadian behaviours/pronunciations/ customs/quirks in a proud declaration, ending with the statement: “I am Canadian.”

references Addiction Research Foundation. 1990. A Response to the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunication Commission: Request for Comments to Public Notice CRTC 1990–86 with Respect to Proposed Amendments Regarding the Advertising of Distilled Spirits. Toronto: Addiction Research Foundation. Aitken, P.P., D.R. Eadie, D.S. Leathar, R.E. McNeil, and A.C. Scott. 1988. “Television Advertisement for Alcoholic Drinks Do Reinforce Under-Age Drinking.” British Journal of Addiction 83: 1399–1419. Association of Canadian Distillers v. Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (T.D.) [1995] 2 F.C. 778. Ottawa: Federal Court of Canada, Trial Division, Dubé, J., 30 May and 12 June 1995.

Babor, T., R. Caetano, S. Casswell, G. Edwards, N. Giesbrecht, K. Graham, J. Grube, P. Gruenewald, L. Hill, H. Holder, R. Romel, E. Österberg, J. Rehm, R. Room, and I. Rossow. 2003. Alcohol, No Ordinary Commodity: Research and Public Policy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. City of Toronto Department of Public Health. 1990. Submission to the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission on the Matter of Amendments to the Regulations on Broadcast Advertising of Alcoholic Beverages. Toronto: City of Toronto Department of Public Health, 2 November. Doern, G.B., M.M. Hill, M.J. Prince, and R.J. Schultz 1999. “Canadian Regulatory Institutions: Converging and Colliding Regimes.” In Changing the Rules: Canadian Regulatory Regimes and Institutions, ed. G.B. Doern, M.M. Hill, M.J. Prince, and R.J. Schultz, 1–26. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Erin Research. 1989. Alcohol Advertising on Canadian Television: Content, Viewership, and Compliance with Regulations. Commissioned by Health and Welfare Canada. Erin Ontario: Erin Research. Giesbrecht, N., A. Ialomiteanu, R. Room, and L. Anglin. 2001. “Trends in Public Opinions about Alcohol Policy Measures, Ontario, 1989–1998.” Journal of Studies on Alcohol 62(2): 142–9. Hill, L., and S. Casswell. 2001. “Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship: Commercial Freedom or Control in the Public Interest?” In Handbook on Alcohol Dependence and Related Problems, ed. N.P. Heather, T.J. Peters, and T. Stockwell, 821–46. Chichester: John Wiley and Sons. Hovius, B., and R. Solomon. 1996. Alcohol Advertising: A Legal Primer. London, on: Faculty of Law, University of Western Ontario.

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Kohn, P.M., and R.G. Smart. 1987. “Wine, Women, Suspiciousness and Advertising.” Journal of Studies on Alcohol 48:161–66. Makowsky, C.R., and P.C. Whitehead. 1991. “Advertising and Alcohol Sales: A Legal Impact Study.” Journal of Studies on Alcohol 52: 555–67. Media Measurement Services Inc. 1989. Advertising Expenditures Annual Summary. Markham, on: Media Measurement Services Inc. Montonen, M. 1996. Alcohol and the Media. who Regional Publications, European series No. 62: World Health Organization. Ogborne, A.C., and R.G. Smart. 1980. “Will Restrictions on Advertising Reduce Alcohol Consumption?” British Journal of Addiction 75(3): 293–6. Partanen, J., and M. Montonen. 1988. Alcohol and the Mass Media. euro Reports and Studies 108. Copenhagen: World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe. Pollack, E.S., A.M.Y. Nomura, L.K. Heibrunn, G.N. Stemmermann, and S.B. Green. 1984. “Prospective Study of Alcohol Consumption and Cancer.” New England Journal of Medicine 310: 617–21. Popham, R.E., W. Schmidt, and S. Israelstam. 1984. “Heavy Alcohol Consumption and Physical Health Problems: A Review of the Epidemiologic Evidence.” In Research Advances in Alcohol and Drug Problems, Vol. 8, ed. R.G. Smart, H.D. Cappell, F.B. Glaser, Y. Israel, H. Kalant, R.E. Popham, W. Schmidt, and E.M. Sellers, 149–82. New York: Plenum Press. Sheppard, M.A., and D. Lockhart. 1987. “Alcohol Advertising on Television: Should We Be Worried?” International Journal of Addictions 23: 429–32. Smart, R.G. 1988. “Does Alcohol Advertising Affect Overall Consumption?” Journal of Studies on Alcohol 49: 314–23. Smart, R.G., and A.C. Ogborne. 1996. Northern Spirits: A Social History of Alcohol in Canada. Second ed. Toronto: Addiction Research Foundation. Sobell, L.C., M.B. Sobell, D.M. Riley, F. Klajner, and G.I. Leo. 1986. “Effect of Television Programming and Advertising on Alcohol Consumption in Normal Drinkers.” Journal of Studies on Alcohol 47: 333–40. Wallack, L., D. Cassady, and J.W. Grube. 1990. TV Beer Commercials and Children: Exposure, Attention, Beliefs and Expectations about Drinking as Adults. Berkeley, ca: Prevention Research Centre. Wright, J.S., W. Winter, S.K. Zeigler, and P.N. O’Dea. 1984. Advertising: First Canadian Edition. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, Ltd. crtc

public notices

Public Notice crtc 1985–209. Broadcast advertising of alcoholic beverages. Ottawa: crtc, 10 September 1985.

Public Notice crtc 1986–68. Revised regulatory approach regarding the broadcast advertising of alcoholic beverages and food and drugs. Ottawa: crtc, 19 March 1986.

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Public Notice crtc 1986–176. Proposed regulations respecting television broadcasting. Ottawa: crtc, 23 July 1986.

Public Notice crtc 1986–247. Broadcast advertising of alcoholic beverages and food and drugs. Ottawa: crtc, 19 September 1986.

Public Notice crtc 1987–9. Guidelines for developing industry standards. Ottawa: crtc, 9 January 1987.

Public Notice crtc 1990–86. Proposed amendments to the television broadcasting regulations, 1987, radio regulations, 1986 and specialty services regulations, 1990. Ottawa: crtc, 11 September 1990.

Public Notice crtc 1991–65. Commission’s findings with respect to its proposal to eliminate the distinction between broadcast advertising of beer, wine, cider, coolers and spirits. Ottawa: crtc, 21 June 1991.

Public Notice crtc 1995–142. Call for comments on proposed revisions to the regulatory framework governing the broadcast of alcoholic beverage advertising. Ottawa: crtc, 21 August 1995.

Public Notice crtc 1995–188. Amendments to the radio regulations, 1986; television broadcasting regulations, 1987; and special service regulations, 1990: Amendments concerning the regulatory treatment of alcoholic beverage advertising by distillers. Ottawa: crtc, 3 November 1995.

Public Notice crtc 1996–108. New regulatory framework governing the broadcast of alcoholic beverage advertising. Ottawa: crtc, 1 August 1996.

Public Notice crtc 1997–12. Amendments to the radio, television and specialty services regulations respecting the broadcast of alcoholic beverage advertising. Ottawa: crtc, 31 January 1997.

17 Discussion of Warning Labels and Advertising Issues

Chapters 15 and 16 considered three distinct issues: advertising of distilled spirits, regulation of advertising practices, and the need for warning labels on alcoholic beverage containers. However, there is a common concern: government regulation of the ways in which the alcohol industry communicates with the public. This regulation reflects widespread ambivalence about alcohol as a consumer product, suspicions about the motivations and capabilities of the alcohol industry, and beliefs in the effectiveness of specific types of messages. Whether or not these concerns are justified is of only incidental concern in the present context: the main issue is how these concerns became part of the political agenda and how they are influenced by research and other factors. Table 17.1 summarizes the two case studies on warning labels and broadcast advertising, respectively. The three issues of concern in these two case studies reached different levels on the federal agenda. The issue of distilled spirits advertising was finally resolved in the federal court, while the issue of industry self-regulation of advertising was resolved by a powerful federal agency, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (crtc). Only in the case of warning labels were the issues debated in the federal Parliament and resolved by a committee of elected members. The proximal factors that brought the three issues to the national agenda were also quite different from one another: (1) actions initiated by the distillers, (2) an internally and externally driven crtc policy review, and (3) a lone backbench mp looking for a winnable issue of national significance. Despite these differences, the three issues attracted the attention of a common set of actors and played themselves out in quite similar ways. In all cases, the results were those advo-

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cated by the alcohol industry: a crude box score would be industry = three, public health policy advocates = zero. However, given the lack of support for the warning labels bill from some health researchers as well as Health Canada, the scoring is not quite so simple. In all three cases alcohol and health researchers and health policy advocates were initially placed in a reactive mode. Although in all cases various alcohol policy advocates had called for changes in the policies concerned, they were not clearly involved in placing the issues on the federal agenda. Even in the case of warning labels, which had long been advocated by national organizations and provincial coalitions, the proposal of interest did not emerge from the advocacy community and only won support in principle from some influential groups and agencies. Although the advertising issues were played out over a long period of time (over a decade) this did not result in either a clear coordination of efforts by the health policy community or in the formation of any provincial or national coalitions focused on alcohol advertising. Health research did not play a prominent role in any of the three cases considered, and certainly not in the case of industry self-regulation. Research on advertising was mentioned in some submissions to the crtc, but even supporters of a complete ban on advertising had to admit that their case could not be supported by existing research. Some research on health risks associated with drinking spirits was mentioned in a submission by the Toronto public health department, but the crtc concluded correctly that there was no research to support the discrimination against distilled spirits advertising so long as advertising of beer and wine was permitted. It is ironic that an affidavit from an arf (Addiction Research Foundation) scientist was used by the distillers to support their case for the equivalence of alcohol in spirits, wine, and beer. This, as well as the crtc’s own research showing the lack of discrimination against distilled spirits in the alcohol policies of other democracies, seemed to have influenced the federal court decision. Public opinion was substantially in favour of the position taken by health policy advocates in the case of warning labels but was somewhat mixed with respect to the two issues concerning advertising. In the case of distilled spirits advertising, public opinion had no discernible bearing on the outcome of the federal court case, and the crtc was able to use the court ruling to justify a change in policy that it knew would be unpopular with a large segment of the population. In the case of industry self-regulation there were no known Canadian public opinion polls that addressed this specific issue. The crtc believed that industry self-regulation would address public concerns about advertising because the alcohol industry was “mature” and because other regulator mechanisms were still in place. In the case of warning labels public opinion was not an obvious concern to members of the parliamentary committee established to discuss the private member’s bill at the centre

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of this case study. However, the committee members may have been influenced by reports that a majority of the general public was already aware of the issues mentioned on the proposed label. The alcohol industry was a key player in all three of the issues considered, and all the outcomes were in its favour. Distillers initiated discussion of the prohibition against distilled spirit advertising and later took their case to court. The distillers were very likely aware that the court would rule in their favour, and this became obvious to the crtc once it began to prepare its defence. The alcohol policy community was thus drawn into an unwinnable conflict fought on unfamiliar territory. The crtc’s decision to open discussion about industry self-regulation created a window of opportunity for the alcohol industry to remove itself from the crtc’s field of vision and control. This opportunity was pursued with enthusiasm and with the support of industries that depended on alcohol advertising (broadcast, sport, and advertising). The crtc itself made efforts to ensure that the window of opportunity remained open, and it worked with the industry to establish self-regulatory mechanisms that it would find acceptable. In the process the alcohol industry earned credits with the crtc and contributed to its position that no harm would result from industry self-regulation of advertising. The process put public health policy advocates in a position where they could warn against the evils of advertising and the dire consequences of industry self-regulation but could not justify their positions with sound empirical research. The alcohol industry, especially the brewing sector, was very much opposed to warning labels and made its views known at the highest levels of the federal government. This opposition reflects industry sensitivity to the view that alcohol is an inherently harmful substance that should be used with caution. The industry prefers to show alcohol as a pleasant beverage that only leads to problems when it is abused, and it has invested considerable resources towards “responsible drinking” campaigns in order to convince the public that this is the case. The industry is also convinced that the public is on its side and that it is fully aware of “risky” drinking behaviours. The case study was not able to show that industry opposition to warning labels was a key factor in the final outcome of the discussions by the parliamentary committee, but it seems very likely to have contributed, particularly with regard to the minister of health opposing warning labels. The alcohol industry, alcohol policy researchers, and health policy advocates all made some attempts to use research to support their views. The industry particularly cited research that failed to show that warning labels change the behaviours of those at greatest risk. Calls for more research and evaluation from the research community may have undermined the case for the specific label considered by the federal Parliament and, thus, may have helped the industry in its opposition to these labels.

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Table 17.1 Analytical dimensions: Warning labels and advertising issues Alcohol Advertising & Warnings chapters dimensions

Warning labels

Time Period Key issues

1987–96 Targeting problem groups or general population of users about risks of using alcohol. Question of legal risk. Effectiveness of labels.

Key actors

Federal government: Standing Committee on Health, minister of health, ministry of justice. Brewers. Beer employees’ union. Distillers. Vintners & distributors. Public health advocates (e.g., fas groups, arf, madd, cma). Standing Committee on Health and Welfare, Social Affairs, Seniors, and the Status of Women. mp introduces private member’s bill in House of Commons.

Key forum

Policy entrepreneurs

Precipitating event and dynamics

Constraints

Introduction of private member’s bill, which gets reinstated across sessions of Parliament. Generates good public debate, despite lack of government interest. Alcohol producers lobby, commission research, threaten to withdraw funding for programs. Lack of definitive research findings provides little basis for policy action. Some health advocates concerned this policy would provide rationale for not introducing more effective interventions.

Broadcast advertising 1985–97 Removal of prohibition on broadcast advertising for distillers. Delegation of responsibility to industry for monitoring compliance on broadcast advertising codes. Federal government: crtc. Distillers. Brewers. Canadian Association of Broadcasters. Toronto Board of Health. Provincial liquor boards. madd. Public health advocates. crtc. Federal Court of Canada.

Distillers wanting equal rights to broadcast advertising. crtc proactively seeking alternative ways to deliver on mandate in era of smaller government. crtc decision and subsequent court challenge by Distillers. Series of crtc invitations for public submissions and meetings on merits of self-regulation.

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Table 17.1 (continued) Alcohol Advertising & Warnings chapters dimensions Instruments

Media reporting Role of research

Warning labels

Broadcast advertising

Regulation: mandating warning labels. Other prevention/education programs: threats of withdrawal of funds from alcohol producers. Balanced

Self-regulation. Government regulation: federal and provincial codes for broadcast advertising.

Effectiveness of labels in other jurisdictions and elsewhere in Canada. Public opinion research.

Distillers tapped into expertise of arf research.

Balanced

Overall, these case studies show that the Canadian government relaxed its control over communication between the alcohol industry and the public. In simple terms, the government’s message to the industry across these case studies was: “advertise if you wish; take responsibility for ensuring that your advertisements conform with the code for broadcast advertising; and, no, you don’t have to put warning labels on bottles.” This is a message of deregulation, and it shows that the state expects the public to be discriminating and responsible consumers of information about alcohol. The government does, however, continue to have considerable power to regulate all forms of commercial advertising and the packaging and labelling of consumer goods. Advertising and other consumer-oriented actions on the part of the alcohol industry thus continues to be restrained by a variety of federal and provincial regulations, and does not have free reign to seduce innocent consumers (as some policy advocates might fear). The government’s reluctance to insist that alcoholic beverage containers carry a warning label is, however, at variance with state policies respecting the labelling of other consumer products. Producers of almost all other commercial products have embraced or at least conformed to government requirements for product labels that directly or indirectly inform consumers of the risks associated with their use. For example, tobacco manufactures have been required to put warning labels on packages and advertisements. Moreover, alcohol producers, unlike producers of other consumable products, are not required to list ingredients on product labels. The present case study shows that the exceptions concerning the labelling of alcohol reflects the aggressive opposition of the alcohol industry and a lack on consensus among health policy advocates as to format and content of alcohol package labels.

18 Self-Induced Intoxication as a Defence GINA STODUTO, SUSAN BONDY, AND ROBIN ROOM

In 1991 a Quebec provincial court judge acquitted Henri Daviault, a seventytwo-year-old man, of sexual assault (on a sixty-five-year-old wheelchair-bound woman) because he had a reasonable doubt about whether the accused, by virtue of his extreme intoxication, possessed minimal intent to commit the offence. The Crown then decided to appeal the case, and in 1993 a Quebec court of appeal judge overturned the previous Daviault ruling (acquittal), finding him guilty of sexual assault. Henri Daviault appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada. The Supreme Court heard the Daviault appeal on 4 February 1994, and the decision announced on 30 September 1994, was a six to three judgment (R. v. Daviault, [1994] 3 S.C.R. 63). The majority decision was that it was consistent with the principles of law to permit the accused to raise his state of intoxication in his own defence. Furthermore, it was considered, the defence could be successful if the accused was able to demonstrate that his state of intoxication was extreme to the point of being akin to automatism or insanity at the time he committed the offence. The Supreme Court judgment ordered that Daviault receive a new trial. (It was determined later that the accused could not fairly be retried because of the intervening death of the alleged victim. As a result, the accused was acquitted.) Because of the Supreme Court decision, it became permissible for the first time for accused persons to use the defence of self-induced intoxication for general intent crimes such as sexual assault. This decision provoked strong negative responses from among the general public, women’s organizations, and members of Parliament. This eventually led to hearings and consultations and new criminal legislation – the Self-Induced Intoxication Act.

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Self-induced intoxication as a defence in criminal cases had already been highlighted for discussion in a process of law reform, proposing a significant overhaul of the General Part of the Criminal Code of Canada (Bondy 1996).1 The relevant passages in these discussion documents did not make explicit reference to the issue raised by Daviault (i.e., did not explicitly address automatism linked with alcohol use as well as with sexual assault simultaneously) but did present a complete draft of legislation that might have addressed the Daviault decision. Parliament then enacted a new law to eliminate self-induced intoxication as a defence for crimes such as sexual assault (House of Commons of Canada, Bill C–72, 1995). This case study examines the events and process leading to the new law. It is quite different from the cases reviewed in the previous chapters as it deals with a policy change focusing on specific individuals rather than population-oriented policy. Also, the intervention involved punishment rather than prevention. Further, this issue appeared to have arisen suddenly and to have reached a definitive legislative conclusion equally rapidly. And, while this case deals with alcohol-related harm just as do many of the other cases, it involves other actors and issues, including violence against women (women’s groups, which are a major political power in Canada, mobilized to change the law); alcohol addiction or abuse as a disease rather than a crime; and fair treatment in the courts for disadvantaged populations. The case involved players not involved in other case studies considered in Sober Reflections. The key events of the case study are summarized in Table 18.1. Since there is a growing interest in more individually tailored interventions and prevention efforts, the Daviault case provides a worthy opportunity for study. It serves as a contrast to the other cases presented and, thus, functions to illuminate some aspects of the social process involved in policy making.

the general part of the criminal code and the defence of self-induced intoxication for assault cases Intoxication as a defence emerged in case law under the British common law tradition (which applies in Canada), with decisions made by judges under case law being enshrined every now and then in legislative codes. Within this system the legislature could overturn the decisions of the judges. However, with the adoption of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982 the situation fundamentally changed. Since then, any legislative enactment has been subject to review by judges on whether it conforms to the charter. The General Part of the Criminal Code of Canada defines crimes of general intent and crimes of specific intent along with the defences available for

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those crimes. For instance, for the specific intent crime of murder, conviction requires at least an intent of causing grievous bodily harm. To be convicted of a crime of general intent requires demonstration of a lower degree of volition and calculation. Under general intent crimes the only volition necessary may be that the physical acts of the crime were carried out voluntarily or under the control of the perpetrator. Often, specific intent crimes have lesser offences included under them – crimes that require only general intent and that carry lesser penalties. Thus, a charge of manslaughter is automatically included with a charge of murder and comes into play when evidence of the specific intent for murder is not demonstrated. However, as we shall discuss, there is no lesser crime included within the general intent crime of sexual assault. Before Daviault, intoxication could be argued to show that the defendant wasn’t sufficiently in his or her right mind to form a specific intent, but this defence could not be raised in defence of crimes of general intent. The justification offered for this in the precedents prior to Daviault was that the fact of having taken a drink at all was sufficient evidence of a “guilty mind.” This idea that taking the first drink should be assumed to indicate a general intent to commit a crime has bothered a number of judges in modern times, as it did the prevailing side in the Supreme Court in the Daviault decision. The very distinction in law between crimes of general and specific intent, historically, emerged as British courts struggled with the issue of intoxication as an excuse. The exception whereby intoxication could be an excuse for specific intent crimes was worked out around murder, when judges started getting uncomfortable sentencing someone to death who had been “out-of-their-skull” drunk at the time of their offence. A person who was intoxicated and killed someone could use the defence of being intoxicated to show that she/he did not have the “guilty mind,” or specific intent to murder, and could then be found guilty of a lesser included offence (manslaughter), which requires only general intent. Intoxication was no defence for the general intent crime of manslaughter, which required only a level of intention that could be equated with drinking. The Daviault case happened to be at the cross-roads between two problems in the law. First, sexual assault is a general intent crime. Its classification as a crime of general intent is viewed by some to have beneficial effects for women’s rights. Because it does not require “specific intent” there are no “lesser” included offences, as in the case of murder. Thus the accused is either guilty of sexual assault or not guilty at all. This all-or-nothing character of the law heightened the importance of the issue of whether intoxication could serve as an excuse for a crime. Thus, at the time of Daviault’s conviction, intoxication could not be raised in defence either of sexual assault or of other crimes of general intent. Intoxicated offenders are permitted to argue in court that they were

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incapable of forming the sophisticated intent needed for specific intent crimes but not that they were incapable of forming the minimal intent for such offences as sexual assault. Offenders do have other defences they can use for general intent crimes, including insanity and automatism. The latter refers to a state that renders one incapable of consciously controlling one’s behaviour, a state wherein one is incapable of forming the minimal intent required for general intent crimes. The Supreme Court decision in Daviault connected the intoxication defence with the automatism defence for a general intent crime. Under the decision a defendant could argue that his extreme intoxication caused him to behave like an automaton; therefore, he was incapable of forming the general intent to commit sexual assault.2 Applying the standard of behaving “like an automaton” to intoxication was new with the Supreme Court’s Daviault decision, which is why the case was returned for a new trial under the new standard.

the daviault supreme court case The Majority Decision The majority decision was that the intoxication defence could be successful if the accused could “demonstrate that they were in such an extreme degree of intoxication that they were in a state akin to automatism or insanity,” as Mr Justice Peter Cory wrote. Until the Supreme Court judgment in Daviault, the general rule was that self-induced drunkenness could not be a defence against a sexual assault charge or other crimes of general intent. Mr Justice Cory said that a narrow exception to the rule was necessary in order to avoid infringing on an accused’s constitutional right to life, liberty, and security of the person as well as her/his right to be presumed innocent. If the accused was so drunk that he did not know what he was doing, then he could not have had the required guilty mind to have voluntarily committed an illegal act. Supporting Corey were the court’s two women justices, Claire L’Heureux-Dubé and Beverley McLachlin, as well as Chief Justice Antonio Lamer and Justices Frank Iacobucci and Gérard La Forest. The court ruled that it was in contravention of the rights of the accused to not permit evidence of intoxication if that state resulted in a mental impairment akin to automatism or insanity. In other words, they ruled that evidence of extreme intoxication would be admissible in such cases if the offence itself had occurred as the result of behaviour over which the accused had no conscious control (such as sleepwalking or a psychotic episode). The ruling describes it as the “rarest” of situations in which such a defence would be successful. The ruling resulted in ordering a new trial of the original offence.

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The Dissenting Opinion Justices John Sopinka, Charles Gonthier, and Jack Major dissented. In a stinging dissent, Mr Justice John Sopinka wrote that one of the main purposes of the criminal law is the protection of the public, and he maintained that voluntary drunkenness should not be an excuse to commit rape. Society is entitled to punish those who of their own free will render themselves so intoxicated as to pose a threat to other members of the community. The fact that the accused has voluntarily consumed intoxicating amounts of alcohol cannot excuse the commission of the criminal offence unless it gives rise to a mental disorder ... Individuals who render themselves incapable of knowing what they are doing through the voluntary consumption of alcohol or drugs possess a sufficiently blameworthy state of mind that their imprisonment does not offend the principle of fundamental justice which prohibits imprisonment of the innocent. (R. v. Daviault, [1994] 3 S.C.R. 63)

media reports and public reaction This case likely generated more media, public, and legislative attention over a short term than any other Canadian court decision in recent decades. The reactions from major players were decisive and typically unequivocal, as is noted below. Table 18.1 provides a chronology of events, particularly those pertaining to lobbying activities, decision milestones, and events leading up to the new legislation. The Daviault case received a great deal of media attention. The number of articles on self-induced intoxication as a defence skyrocketed in 1994 and 1995. The majority of articles presented health (including alcohol abuse), public opinion, and legal arguments (see Figure 18.1) and the main actors mentioned were the federal government (including the justice minister), judges, defendants, victims, and private citizens (see Figure 18.2). The day after the Daviault decision, many newspapers across Canada wrote front-page news stories. The front page of the Edmonton Journal read, “Too-Drunk Defence Allowed: Rape Ruling Outrages Women” (Bindman 1994a). The front page of the Toronto Star carried the headline “Drinking Ruled a Rape Defence: Feminists Outraged at Supreme Court Decision” (Vienneau 1994a) and presented the issues from the point of view of women in law. Vienneau (1994a, A1) wrote that the executive-director of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women, Beverly Bain, said that the ruling was “absurd,” that “it sets a bad precedent” and “gives a green light” to men to claim they were intoxicated when they raped a woman. She also maintained: “the reality is that getting drunk is really a matter of choice.” This article also reported that a Queen’s University law professor,

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Table 18.1 Chronology of events: Intoxication as a defence for sexual assault 1987–93

G

1991

G

1993

G G

G

1994

G G

G

G

G

G

G

G

G

1995

G G G G G

G

G

G G

G

The General Part of the Criminal Code is criticized for no longer reflecting the values and concerns of contemporary Canadian society. Quebec provincial court judge acquits Daviault of sexual assault because he had a reasonable doubt about whether the accused, by virtue of his extreme intoxication, had possessed the minimal intent to commit the offence. Minister of justice begins Criminal Code Reform Process. 28 June. A consultation “White Paper,” “Proposals to amend the Criminal Code (general principles),” proposes changes to the General Part of the Criminal Code. Quebec court of appeal judge overturns the Daviault ruling and finds him guilty. 4 Feb. Supreme Court of Canada Daviault appeal is heard. 30 Sept. Supreme Court Decision on Daviault, the appeal is allowed and a new trial is ordered. Oct. Technical report no. 1 discusses options for dealing with self-induced intoxication as a defence, comments requested by 28 Feb. 1995. Nov. Toronto women’s groups declare 25 February a National Day of Action to protest Daviault decision. 12 Nov. Technical report no. 2 poses specific questions to guide the public submissions. 16 Nov. Bill S–6 introduced by Senator Gigantes (creates a new offence, whereby committing a criminal act while intoxicated is a criminal offence). Dec. Justice minister reported looking at the possibility of amending the Senate bill as the basis for a new bill. 9 Dec. Consultations on intoxication held by the justice department in Ottawa, with key women’s groups. 28 Dec. Justice minister reports that, with the defence being used successfully again, he will have a new law ready by early February 1995. Jan. Public submissions for intoxication and automatism are considered. 24 Feb. Bill C–72, first reading. 27 Mar. Bill C–72, second reading. 9 May. Justice department meets with key women to discuss Bill C–72. 6, 7, 13, and 15 June. Standing Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs hears public submissions on Bill C–72. 8 June. Consultation on Violence against Women held by the justice department in Ottawa. 16 June. Standing Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs reports to Parliament with two revisions to Bill C–72. 22 June. Revised Bill C–72 passed as the Self-Induced Intoxication Act. Aug. Justice minister decides not to refer the new act to the Supreme Court. 15 Sept. Self-Induced Intoxication Act comes into effect.

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Fig. 18.1. Policy rationales in newspaper coverage of intoxication as a defence (n = 165) 150

100 50

ot he r

l la c re k se of ar ch

cu ltu ra

ga l le

p op ub in lic io em n pl oy m en t

lth he a

er

s

co ns um

bu sin es

ec

on om

ic

0

Sheila McIntyre, commented: “this pure law they’ve just registered says the robot should be deemed innocent –and the person he injured doesn’t fit into the law’s construction” (Vienneau, 1994a, A1). Several editorial articles were written in the first two months (Toronto Star 1994a, 1994b; Edmonton Journal 1994a, 1994b, 1994c). In the article, “Drunkenness Can’t Be Excuse for Rape,” (Toronto Star 1994a, A22), the editor wrote: Fig. 18.2. Policy actors mentioned in Canadian newspaper articles, intoxication as a defence (n = 165)

200

150

100

50

r he ot

ju dg e vic tim de fe nd an t

e lic po

io n un

ia ed m

al c in oh du ol s re try se ar ch ci tiz en

th al he

vt go ov

pr

fe

d

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0

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Canada’s highest court has declared open season on women. The ruling is appalling on several levels. Obviously the court was aware of the time bomb buried in the Daviault decision. To defuse it, along with their guilt about the ruling no doubt, the justices advised us not to worry because the defence wouldn’t be used very often. Justice Minister Allan Rock says a discussion paper with various options will be released soon. There is reason to move swiftly on this issue. As it stands, a man who can prove he was sufficiently drunk walks free on rape charges. In contrast, an extremely intoxicated person charged with murder still can be found guilty of manslaughter. The fact that the Supreme Court imagines it being raised only occasionally is no guarantee that lower court judges will interpret the case properly.

The negative media attention resulted in all judges being brought under fire (Vienneau 1994b). In contrast to many media accounts, Clayton Ruby (1994), a prominent criminal defence lawyer, wrote in the Toronto Star that the defence will not be used often and only in the most extreme cases. He felt that the media were overreacting to the Supreme Court’s decision. One news story summed up some key issues in this complex case (Vienneau 1995a, E1): It was the most controversial Charter ruling so far, surpassing even the 1988 decision that threw out the abortion law. Those committed to criticizing the Charter insisted the drunkenness ruling was yet another example of unelected judges imposing their will on the majority. For police, it was just further erosion of their power to fight crime. Why can unelected judges make decisions that so obviously defy common sense? The answer is that the Charter enshrined in law equality rights, legal protections for accused persons and guarantees such as freedom of speech and association that had previously been guaranteed only by tradition. It allowed judges to strike down laws that were discriminatory. Even so the Supreme Court is not the final voice. There is a constitutional safety valve, formally known as Section 33, the notwithstanding clause, that allows politicians to override the court’s Charter decisions.

This article went on to say that some critics feel that the court is making decisions contrary to the public good, and they want government to start using the notwithstanding clause. “But outside of Quebec, the clause has only been used once, and then by Saskatchewan, not Ottawa” (Vienneau 1995a, E1).

public outcry and successful use of the defence Although the Supreme Court and the government stated that the Daviault ruling would not result in widespread use of the defence, the outcry from many sectors, especially groups concerned with women’s issues, was great.

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After the defence was used successfully in several cases in the following two months (Vienneau 1994c), public outcry increased, and members of Parliament brought several petitions against the use of this defence to the government. Also, a group of Toronto women’s groups declared 25 February 1995 a “National Day of Action” to protest the Supreme Court decision. Bindman (1994c) summed up the public attention given this issue in an article entitled “Supreme Court of Canada: Drunkenness Defence Takes Centre Stage: Top Rulings,” in which she points out that, “although the country’s top court handed down more than 90 judgments in 1994, there was only one as far as most Canadians were concerned – the use of extreme drunkenness as a defence to crimes” (Bindman 1994c, A3). Framing the Issue as “Violence Against Women” Right from the start, the public and media outcry over the Daviault Supreme Court decision framed it as a “violence against women” issue. Many women’s groups were very vocal in the media regarding the danger of such a decision. Furthermore, the Department of Justice (1995a, 1995b) consulted representatives of the women’s movement in the drafting of the bill, in particular women in the law, and held a two-day consultation meeting with women’s groups (e.g., Status of Women Council of the Northwest Territories). One respondent recalls, “they [the justice department] constituted us as a group to give them advice on what we thought ought to be done.” The Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women commissioned a position report analyzing the implications of Daviault for women from a legal viewpoint (Sheehy 1995a, 1995b),3 while the Yukon Women’s Directorate commissioned a report (McKay 1994) that analyzed these implications from the viewpoint of Aboriginal women. Women’s Groups’ Recommendations Women’s groups from across Canada were brought to Ottawa and were consulted by the justice department. The central characters in this large group were women in the law profession, i.e., the National Association of Women and the Law. They held that extreme intoxication as a defence excuses male violence against women by attributing blame to alcohol. They argued that it was in the public’s interest to eliminate this defence (National Association of Women and the Law 1995). One respondent noted that the justice department’s initial draft bill was “creating a new criminal offence of intoxication, criminal intoxication. Or this idea of an included offence of intoxicated ... sexual assault, intoxicated homicide, intoxicated whatever ... I think we surprised them by rejecting those ideas and giving them reasons why we rejected them.” One media report quotes the justice minister as saying,

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“Women worry that, in terms of sexual assault, if it is called ‘criminal intoxication,’ it then becomes a different kind of offence, a technical one from which the victim and her circumstances and the consequences of the act are divorced” (Bindman 1994b, A3). After seeing the government’s proposal and the Senate bill, these influential women made their own recommendations to the justice department at their consultation meetings (Department of Justice Canada 1995a, 1995b), providing reasons why the government should enact a law making it illegal to use the defence. One respondent provided the following analysis: The reason why you can go ahead and override Daviault is that the Supreme Court didn’t engage in a Charter analysis. It didn’t consider equality implications, implications for women or for people with disabilities who are going to be more vulnerable to intoxicated violence. And on that basis that was their legal hook for 33.1 ... And we also had Aboriginal women at that consultation who said any new offence of intoxicated violence, a new offence with new police powers and all that, will rebound negatively on the Aboriginal community ... And that was really important to hear because that was something I hadn’t really thought about myself. Many women on this committee hadn’t. So that’s why it’s so important to have that kind of broad-based consultation. And Corrine McKay’s paper helped too in this respect. For us to say ... “actually what justice is proposing is a bad strategy.”

Another informant was cynical about the government’s attempt to appease women’s groups: So here we have the federal government, in an effort for short-term political expediency, introducing legislation to undo a decision based on bad science, knowing full well that the legislation was gonna be struck down under the Charter ... If the federal government really wanted to protect and eliminate this defence, they could have done it, “notwithstanding the Charter” ... That would have forced them to take political heat, from the Bar Association, the Civil Liberties Association, from every lawyer and defence counsel. So why would they do that? They could buy off the women’s movement with dumb legislation which they knew was invalid. They could leave the courts to overturn it.

the criminal code reform process Reform in the area of criminal law was under way before Daviault, but the process of addressing issues such as intoxication and mental illness was accelerated after the Supreme Court decision in that case. From 1987 to 1993, prior to the Daviault case, several studies concluded that the General Part of the Criminal Code of Canada no longer reflected the values and concerns of contemporary Canadian society and that reforms were overdue

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(Law Reform Commission of Canada 1987; Canadian Bar Association 1992; House of Commons of Canada Standing Committee on Justice and the Solicitor General 1992). Significantly, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, enacted in 1982, is not yet reflected in the General Part of the Criminal Code. Following a report of the parliamentary subcommittee on recodification of the General Part of the Criminal Code, on 28 June 1993 the minister of justice released a consultation document for committee and general discussion, a White Paper, outlining a proposed new General Part in the form of a draft bill (Minister of Justice 1993). In this proposed act of Parliament, entitled “Proposals to Amend the Criminal Code (General Principles),” the provisions were defined, for the most part, by case law and interpretation of the charter. In defining what constituted an offence, Section 12.1, Paragraph 2, of the White Paper says, “no person commits an offence unless that person commits the act, or makes an omission, voluntarily.” Section 35 defined the nature and availability of the defence of self-induced intoxication, and Section 16.1 specified the defence of automatism and how it would be used. This refers to a state of unconsciousness or partial consciousness that renders one incapable of consciously controlling one’s behaviour, and the burden of proof lies with the accused.

federal government actions Immediately following the Supreme Court decision on Daviault, the federal minister of justice reacted cautiously and said that the issue would be dealt with as part of consultations for the White Paper. Hence, in the following few weeks, the minister released Technical Report No. 1 and Technical Report No. 2 to guide public submissions for 28 February 1995. The first technical document was entitled “Toward a New General Part for the Criminal Code of Canada: Details on Reform Options” (Department of Justice Canada 1994; Department of Justice Canada and O’Reilly 1994) and was released in October 1994. Submissions were requested from the public. This document discussed different options for dealing with self-induced intoxication as a defence: 1 2 3 4

Codify case law including the Daviault provision. Allow the defence in a limited way attached to specific offences. Create a new offence of criminal intoxication. Create a special verdict that would apply when intoxication is used as a defence.

On 12 November 1994 a second technical document was released, entitled “Reforming the General Part of the Criminal Code: A Consultation Paper”

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(Department of Justice Canada 1994), posing specific questions to guide the public’s submissions: 1 Should automatism be incorporated into the provisions for mental disorder? If so, how could it be incorporated (i.e., should “not guilty by reason of automatism” result in acquittal or a special verdict which would allow the court to make an order of discharge or custody)? 2 If a Daviault-type (self-induced intoxication) situation arose, should it result in an acquittal or a special verdict with the possibility of a court order to a hospital? 3 Should we create a new crime of intoxication, how should it be structured, and what should the punishment be? However, by the end of November several cases successfully used the defence of intoxication and people were acquitted of sexual assault charges, generating extensive media attention (as noted above). The justice department moved quickly. It brought key women’s groups from across Canada to Ottawa for consultations on intoxication on 9 December 1994. It also moved the deadline for public submissions up to January 1995. After the Daviault decision several experts were contacted by a group of civil servants in the criminal law section of Justice Canada. Staff held private consultation meetings with the National Association of Women and the Law and other women’s groups as well as with experts in pharmacology and psychiatry. The government’s initial proposal to deal with the issue was to create a category to be known as criminal intoxication. The justice minister was reportedly revising a bill introduced by Senator Gigantes (Bill S–6, Senate of Canada 1994), which would have made committing a criminal act while intoxicated a separate criminal offence. On 24 February 1995, following extensive consultation, the government introduced a new bill – Bill C–72, an Act to Amend the Criminal Code (Self-Induced Intoxication) – to overturn the Daviault judgment (House of Commons of Canada 1995a). The preamble to the bill provides the following reasoning for introducing it: because alcohol and violence are problems in society, because we need to protect the most vulnerable groups (such as women and children) from this violence, and because alcohol does not cause automatism. The bill says that self-induced intoxication cannot be used as a defence in cases of assault. The bill received its second reading on 27 March (House of Commons of Canada 1995b). It then went to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs for discussion and public input (see below). As noted above, on 9 May 1995 the justice department met with a select group of women to discuss recommendations on Bill C–72 and, on 8 June

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1995, it held a “Consultation on Violence against Women” with various women’s groups. The bill received third reading and was enacted on 22 June 1995 (House of Commons of Canada 1995c). Standing Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs First, the Standing Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs heard public submissions responding to technical document no. 2 for defences of intoxication and automatism in January 1995 (Addiction Research Foundation 1995; Canadian Psychiatric Association 1995; Sheehy 1995a). Second, after Bill C–72 received its second reading, this committee met for several weeks in June 1995 to hear public submissions on it. Several organizations provided submissions, including: the Addiction Research Foundation (arf) (Kendall 1995); Harold Kalant, Pharmacology Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto and Addiction Research Foundation (Kalant 1995); the Canadian Psychiatric Association (1995); Metro Action Committee on Public Violence against Women and Children (Bazilli 1994); National Association of Women and the Law (1995b); the Canadian Bar Association; the Quebec Bar Association; and the criminal law section of the department of justice. The following arguments, sometimes intermingled, were used in these submissions: G

G

G

G

This bill violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (i.e., the constitutional rights of the defendant). This bill is in the public’s interest (i.e., we need to reduce violence against women). We need to have workable legislation that is not vulnerable to a court challenge (i.e., don’t waste time, energy, and money on vague and vulnerable laws). There is no scientific basis that alcohol intoxication produces automatism.

Mr MacLellan (parliamentary secretary to the minister of justice and the attorney general of Canada) presented to the committee four issues with which the government had to grapple (House of Commons of Canada Standing Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs 1995). If these four issues were not dealt with, he argued, then the bill would be weakened from a charter point of view. The first issue was a moral one: “People who voluntarily become intoxicated to the point of losing conscious control or awareness and causing harm to others are criminally at fault.” The second issue was a medical one: “leading medical opinion indicates that many intoxicants, including alcohol, do not in fact cause the type of condition that is automatism or akin to automatism, testified to in cases that have recognized

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an extreme intoxication defence.” The third issue was a social one: “intoxicated violence is of pressing concern to most Canadians, particularly as it disadvantages women and children. It calls for a specific legislative solution. I think women’s groups have asked for that specific legislative solution. For one thing, women’s groups didn’t want the criminal intoxication, because that did not address the concerns women have. This one does.” The fourth issue involved equality: “the restriction of the defence of extreme intoxication is required to protect the rights of women and children as actual or potential victims of violence.” Bill C–72: Self-Induced Intoxication Act The standing committee reported to Parliament with two revisions to Bill C–72 on 16 June 1995 (House of Commons of Canada 1995a, 1995b). As noted above, the revised Bill C–72 received third reading on 22 June 1995 and passed in the House of Commons as the Self-Induced Intoxication Act (House of Commons of Canada 1995c). The act amended the Criminal Code of Canada with regard to “self-induced intoxication” by adding Section 33.1. It created a basis for criminal fault in the context of intoxication and set out a “standard of care” pertaining to self-induced intoxication that did not previously exist in the Criminal Code. Breaching this standard of care was defined as criminal fault sufficient for criminal liability; in such cases, the defence of extreme intoxication was not applicable. In fact, intoxication itself is seen as the basis of criminal fault for the crime. This act covered violent crimes of general intent, such as aggravated sexual assault. In lay language, this new law held that, because a defendant who took a substance to the point of intoxication knew that this could cause him/her to harm others, the defendant could not use the defence that he/she was so intoxicated that he/she was behaving as an “automaton.” In light of criticisms that this act infringed on the constitutional rights of the accused,4 there were reports that the minister of justice was considering whether or not to refer it to the Supreme Court for an immediate opinion on whether it violated the charter. In August the justice minister announced that he would not refer the new act to the Supreme Court because legal experts had not raised “serious questions” and it was not in the public interest to wait for the court’s ruling. On 15 September 1995 the act came into effect.

role of scientific and medical expertise Both critics and supporters of Bill C–72 used research data in support of their public submission arguments to the standing committee. Scientific expertise was a component in many aspects of this issue.

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The Supreme Court majority decision on Daviault reported some research, mainly criminological. The Cory opinion cited many research references (e.g., Saskatchewan Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission 1989, 8). However, a problem with many of the reports is that, when they claim that “alcohol does not cause crime,” their view of causation – at least from an epidemiological perspective – is too narrow (see Room and Rossow 2001). Furthermore, Justice Cory’s analysis did not take into account the new information on the crime-alcohol linkage that has been emerging in the epidemiological and psychological alcohol research literature over the past twenty years. The Supreme Court makes decisions based on the evidence brought forward in the case and does not question the research basis of expert testimony. The expert testimony in Daviault’s defence – that extreme intoxication causes one to behave as an automaton – was based on the incorrect linkage of automatism to a blackout; however, the expert witness’s qualifications or the validity of his testimony was not questioned by the Supreme Court. The lack of scrutiny of the qualifications of expert witnesses was mentioned in the standing committee hearings as a problem requiring attention (Kalant 1995, 1996). The Supreme Court majority decision was partly based on the mistaken understanding that there was no contrary scientific evidence to the conclusion that extreme intoxication produces automatism. Research also played some role in the Criminal Code reform process; for example, several research studies or books were cited in the justice minister’s “White Paper.” As well, Justice Minister Allan Rock used research as a basis for introducing Bill C–72 and as supporting evidence for its necessity (e.g., a 1993 survey of violence against women found that 40 percent of assailants had been drinking). The justice department went to great lengths to get scientific expert opinions to back up its decisions and actions. A prominent pharmacologist working at the Addiction Research Foundation and the University of Toronto, Harold Kalant, was asked to provide a review that he presented to the committee. In his brief he concluded: “From the foregoing review of clinical and scientific evidence, it is clear that no basis exists for the concept of automatism due to alcohol intoxication per se” (Kalant 1995, 11). He stated that what the courts call automatism is “characterized by a sudden onset of a brief period of absence of consciousness, inappropriate behaviour that is usually repetitive and of low complexity, absence of real communication with other people during the attack, confusion and disorientation during the recovery phase, and subsequent amnesia for the period of the attack. There is rarely violent behaviour, and even more rarely a sufficiently organized pattern of violence to sustain an attack on another person” (Kalant 1995, 11; 1996, 637). This conclusion likely fit very well with the expectations and perspective of justice department staff. A law reform committee in

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Australia found expert testimony that pointed in a different direction: “We believe it is possible to distinguish between the mental impairment that is induced [by sleepwalking, spasms, or convulsions] and the mental impairment induced by intoxicants in the context of forming criminal intent” (Parliament of Victoria Law Reform Committee 1999, 112). Though the committee cited other articles from the same thematic issue of the journal Contemporary Drug Problems, its report did not cite Kalant’s (1996) article. The arf submission focused on the relationship of violence to alcohol, asserting that “anyone who drinks alcohol assumes a burden of increased risk of harm to themselves and others” (Addiction Research Foundation 1995). Perry Kendall, president of arf, stated: “there is an individual and societal responsibility to attempt to diminish alcohol- and drug-related harm. We believe that social controls and laws are potent mechanisms for society to effect those controls ... Individuals must take responsibility for their drinking behaviour, and the federal government must send that message with clarity and conviction. Bill C–72 is the vehicle for that today” (House of Commons of Canada Standing Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs, 1995). One critic points out that arf, in not mentioning alcoholism or addiction or psychiatric dependence, appeared to presuppose that drinking alcohol is always a willed act. This may have been different “if the experts involved had been clinicians used to diagnosing addiction/dependence disorder” (Valverde 1998, 193). However, Kalant (1995, 9) did touch on alcoholism, noting that “the consumption of alcohol is not always wholly voluntary and deliberate: by definition, some one who suffers from clinically diagnosed alcoholism has impaired ability to abstain from drinking, despite knowing that he or she should do so, and in many cases despite wishing to do so. Nevertheless, that person’s consumption of alcohol is conscious, and with knowledge of the probable or possible consequences.” Kalant was making a clear distinction between unconscious behaviour (as in automatism or sleepwalking) and addictive behaviour. John Bradford’s submission for the Canadian Psychiatric Association (1994) held that voluntary intoxication should not be a defence (except as it exists in the current defence of drunkenness or if the perpetrator is already not criminally responsible on the basis of a mental disorder). Automatism should only be considered as a defence when states of severe intoxication exist in addition to some underlying organic mental disorder. He also referred to the issue of amnesia in the case of Daviault, stating that amnesia could be caused by intoxication but that it occurs in retrospect and does not mean that, at the time of the offence, the perpetrator was not able to form the intent to act under his free will. Women’s groups representatives used research on violence against women in their arguments, and research was often reported by the media.

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For example, one article was entitled, “Drunkenness Ruling Said Based on Error: Intoxication Doesn’t Cause ‘Automatism,’ Researcher Says” (Vienneau 1995b). Despite the instances cited above, it does not seem likely that science and research played a decisive role in the major developments. Justices of the Supreme Court, particularly Cory, referred to some criminological literature that supported their perspective. Staff of the justice department drew on experts in medicine and pharmacology who supported their conclusions. Other relevant fields of science, such as epidemiology, were barely considered. It appears that both sides sought out scientific information to support their particular view rather than as a way of challenging it. As has been a common finding in several other policy case studies in Sober Reflections, the role of science may have been more decorative than substantive. A Comparison Case: A Brief Note The Canadian Supreme Court decision in the Daviault case relied considerably on citations of Australian decisions, notably a 1980 decision by the Australian High Court that held that self-induced intoxication could negate the intent needed for conviction for any criminal offence (the O’Connor case). At the time of the Daviault case, the O’Connor decision, within the context of other notorious cases, came under political attack in Australia. One 1995 case involved a drunken man shooting and killing a woman’s sleeping son and receiving a sentence of manslaughter (R. v. Paxman, New South Wales District Court, 21 June 1995). The result of this was that New South Wales5 adopted new legislation that essentially overturned the O’Connor decision (Parliament of Victoria Law Reform Committee 1999, 31). Also in 1995 the Australian federal Criminal Code was amended to restore the situation prior to the O’Connor ruling, but with provisions to take effect in March 2000 (Parliament of Victoria Law Reform Committee 1999, 36–7). In 1997 a professional rugby player, charged with punching two women in the face while very drunk, was acquitted on the grounds that he had been unable to form the intent to perform the acts. In the wake of a public furore, urgent legislation was passed at the federal level in 1998 to implement the 1995 amendments immediately (Parliament of Victoria Law Reform Committee 1999, 38). However, efforts to pass laws nullifying the O’Connor rules in other Australian jurisdictions – the Australian Capital Territory, South Australia, and Victoria – were unsuccessful (Parliament of Victoria Law Reform Committee 1999, 38–42). In Australia criminal law is primarily a state, rather than a federal, function. As a result, the task of mobilizing the political will to overturn court decisions requires decentralized action. The issue also seems to have been

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less explicitly defined as a feminist issue in Australia than it was in Canada. Although the Australian public seemed to be just as hostile as did the Canadian public to the legal reasoning that resulted in intoxication serving as a defence, the legal establishment in Australia had more success in defending the decisions against political action under pressure of public opinion.

Case Law since Enactment of the Self-Induced Intoxication Act A few years ago a legal review of Section 33.1 appeared in Criminal Law Reports (Smith 2000), describing four cases that had arisen since the new act went into force. Smith found two opposing camps: one determining that the act is constitutional under Section 16 of the charter (R. v. Vickberg; R. v. Decaire) and the other determining that it is not (R. v. Dunn; R. v. Breton). He was very critical of the reliance on the “existence” of the condition of intoxicated automatism that underlay the judges’ arguments in Dunn and Breton. Smith observed that, in the lower courts, the judges in Vickberg, Decaire, Dunn, and Breton all accept that alcohol can induce legal automatism. These decisions would seem to require that the scientific body of evidence brought to the parliamentary standing committee needs to be tendered in every case where Section 33.1 is to be challenged (Smith 2000). Smith also reviewed several Supreme Court cases in relation to other laws that would have a bearing in an ultimate Supreme Court decision on section 33.1, and concluded that it should be held constitutional.

conclusion In Canada the most active players in the Daviault case did not frame it within the context of alcohol policy generally. Only one submission (Addiction Research Foundation 1995) made reference to general alcohol policy or alcohol consumption in society. The media and public generally regarded this case as an issue of individual responsibility and alcohol abuse. The very nature of criminal laws – to control the behaviour of individuals by punishing actions, laying blame, and finding guilt – strongly influenced how the Daviault issue was framed. Interestingly, the alcohol industry did not make any comments on this case. This fits in with an individualistic orientation with regard to alcohol problems and the common view of the alcohol industry: alcohol problems are primarily caused by the few who choose to become intoxicated or who are addicted. Table 18.2 provides a summary of this case on several dimensions. In contrast to the other cases we considered, Daviault dealt with the criminal law – specifically, intoxication and criminal responsibility. The issue moved from the political stream (under the Criminal Code Reform Process) to the problem stream after the Supreme Court of Canada (R. v. Daviault)

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Table 18–2 Analytical dimensions and intoxication as a defence for sexual assault DIMENSIONS Time period Key issues Key actors

Key forum

Policy entrepreneurs Precipitating event and dynamics Constraints Instruments

Media reporting Role of research

Intoxication as a defence for sexual assault – Daviault Supreme Court Judgment 1991–95 Extreme intoxication as a defence for committing assault. Quebec court. Supreme Court of Canada. Federal Government: Minister of Justice, Standing Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs. Women’s Advocacy groups (e.g., Women in Law). Quebec court. Supreme Court of Canada. Federal Government: Standing Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs. Lawyer for Daviault uses defence of extreme intoxication leading to automaton behaviour. Decision by lower court in Quebec. Public outrage about Daviault and subsequent use of the defence. Public opinion. Contesting decisions of courts. Government initiating consultations. Review and commissioning of research. New Act of Parliament. Reporting strongly opposed to Supreme Court decision, with extensive editorial commentary. Submissions by Canadian Psychology Association, arf, Women’s groups.

made a judgment that allowed an expansion of the intoxication defence. The issue garnered a great deal of media attention. Following the Supreme Court decision, the defence of intoxication for assault offences became a matter of public outcry, particularly after several defendants successfully used the defence. In the Daviault case itself the defence remained untested (Bindman 1995b). The debate that took place was not confined to experts or judges; “public opinion was mobilized as if a war had been declared” (Valverde 1998, 193). This case was framed as a “violence against women” issue from the start – a major social and political issue. Women were central players in the debates and their outcome, and women’s groups exerted a great deal of influence over the final resolution of the problem. These groups were very well organized, were sought out by the justice department, and met several times to provide input to the government before it drafted the legislation. The government sought scientific opinion to support its actions. However, the role of research was minor in comparison to the role of women’s

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groups. The alcohol industry did not get involved at all. The Bar Association of Canada and other legal experts criticized the new law for violating the defendant’s rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. However, the National Association of Women in the Law and other women legal experts’ opinions in support of the draft legislation had more influence. When the issue broke onto the public scene, intoxication as a defence was already under investigation by the Department of Justice as part of the law reform process, the preferred or ideal process for dealing with legal defences under the Criminal Code. The Daviault decision and the subsequent interpretation of that decision by lower court judges resulted in acquittals in several criminal cases. This created an exceptional “window of opportunity” for dealing with this alcohol policy issue. Valverde (1995, 194) describes the forces at play as follows: “The convergence of epidemiological studies of alcohol risk, the victim’s movement’s emphasis on harm rather than intention, the rise of neoconservative morality, and the growing influence of feminist concerns about violence against women – supplemented by the unexpected testimony of experts who no longer believe in addiction – resulted in a very powerful movement for law reform.” The federal government was under pressure by the public, particularly women’s groups; as a result, what some legal experts describe as a bad law won by default. The outcome of Daviault – the Self-Induced Intoxication Act, which sets out greater responsibility for one’s behaviour and is, in fact, the first ever legal “standard of care” – reinforces Canadians’ belief that alcohol intoxication is no excuse for violence. It states that individuals consciously and voluntarily consume alcohol and understand that extreme intoxication may lead them to violent behaviour: “The public debate across Canada showed an overwhelming belief in the resurrection of the free will” (Valverde 1998, 194). The quick and efficient manner in which the government acted to develop new legislation to eliminate the intoxication defence in just a few months stands in stark contrast to previous case studies. The consultative approach taken by the Department of Justice successfully and quickly dealt with the problem, in collaboration with a well organized coalition of women’s interest groups. After passing the law, the justice minister decided against referring it to the Supreme Court directly in order to ensure it did not violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Some legal experts have concluded that the decision to enact the law without an “a priori” test of its fairness put public policy goals and political interests ahead of the constitutional rights of the defendant. With regard to Daviault one could argue that alcohol control policy or the public good won out over individual rights, even though the decisions were not informed by general alcohol policy perspectives. Some legal experts

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hold that this law may yet fail to pass a charter challenge, but it will likely be some years before this is tested in the Supreme Court.

notes 1 Criminal law in Canada is federal jurisdiction; enforcement and the courts with regard to criminal law involve both federal and provincial jurisdictions. 2 The original Quebec expert witness said that Daviault could have been in a state of “amnesie-automatisme.” This seemed to be aimed at establishing a separate “automaton” defence through the route of amnesia, or “blackout,” not intoxication per se. 3 The federal government funded the Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women, which has since been abolished. 4 Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms:: “7. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.” Section 11(d) of the Charter: “11. Any person charged with an offence has the right (d) to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law in a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal.” 5 In Australia, criminal law is a state rather than a federal matter. 6 Section 1 of the Charter: “1. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.”

references Addiction Research Foundation. 1995. Response to Consultation Paper on Options to Reform the Criminal Code of Canada. Toronto: Addiction Research Foundation, 10 January. Bazilli, S. 1994. Re: Daviault Drunken Defence Debunk Debate – My Opinion. Toronto: Metro Action Committee on Public Violence Against Women and Children. Bindman, S. 1994c. “Drunkenness Defence Takes Centre Stage: Top Rulings.” Ottawa Citizen, 27 December, A3. – 1994b. “Senate Bill Could Close Drunk Defence: Minister Wants Fast Solution, but Cites Complexity.” Toronto Star, 23 December, A3. – 1994a. “Too-Drunk Defence Allowed: Rape Ruling Outrages Women.” Edmonton Journal, 1 October, A1. – 1995b. “‘ Drunk Defence’ Accused Acquitted.” Toronto Star, 28 April, A10. – 1995a. “Man Who Spawned Drunk Defence May Avoid Trial because Victim Died.” Ottawa Citizen, 1 March, A3.

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Bondy, S.J. 1996. “A Summary of Public Consultation on Reform of the Criminal Code of Canada as Related to a Defense of Self-Induced Intoxication Resulting in Automatism.” Contemporary Drug Problems 23: 583–93. Canadian Bar Association. 1992. Principles of Criminal Liability: Proposals for a New General Part of the Criminal Code of Canada -– Report of the Canadian Bar Association Criminal Recodification Task Force. Ottawa: Canadian Bar Association. Canadian Psychiatric Association. 1994. Re: Proposed Revisions for Automatism as Contained in the Draft “Toward a New General Part for the Criminal Code of Canada.” Brief to the Standing Committee on Justice and the Solicitor General, 5 November. – 1995. Re: An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (An Act in Respect of the Automatism and the Drunkenness Defence) – Brief to the Standing Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs, 12 June. Department of Justice Canada. 1994. Reforming the General Part of the Criminal Code: A Consultation Paper. Ottawa: Department of Justice Canada. – 1995b. Consultation on Violence against Women. Meeting minutes, Delta Ottawa, Ottawa, on, 8 June. – 1995a. Summary of Recommendations on Bill C–72: Draft 9 May 1995. Ottawa: Department of Justice Canada. Department of Justice Canada and J.W. O’Reilly. 1994. Toward a New General Part of the Criminal Code of Canada: Details on Reform Options. Ottawa: Department of Justice Canada. Edmonton Journal. 1994a. “Drunk-as-a Skunk Defence is Indefensible.” 3 November, A14. – 1994b. “Drunkenness Ruling Unacceptable to Society.” 11 October, A14. – 1994c. “Slips Could Cost Chrétien Popularity.” 23 November, A5. House of Commons of Canada. 1995a. Bill C–72, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (Self-Induced Intoxication), first reading, 24 February. – 1995b. Bill C–72, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (Self-Induced Intoxication), second reading, 27 March. – 1995c. [Revised] Bill C–72, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (Self-Induced Intoxication), third reading, 22 June. House of Commons of Canada Standing Committee on Justice and the Solicitor General. 1992. Minutes of Proceedings and Evidence of the Sub-Committee on the Recodification of the General Part of the Criminal Code of the Standing Committee on Justice and the Solicitor General. Ottawa: Queen’s Printer for Canada (Chairperson: Blaine Thacker, mp, qc) November. House of Commons of Canada Standing Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs. 1995. Evidence, Thursday, 15 June. . Kalant, H. 1995. A Submission to the Standing Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs, Concerning Reform of the Criminal Code of Canada: With special reference to the concept of intoxicated automatism. Toronto: University of Toronto, 31 March.

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– 1996. “Intoxicated Automatism: Legal Concept vs. Scientific Evidence.” Contemporary Drug Problems 23: 631–48. Kendall, P. 1995. Presentation to Standing Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs on Bill C–72. Toronto: Addiction Research Foundation, 13 June. Law Reform Commission of Canada. 1987. Recodifying Criminal Law: Report 31, Revised and Enlarged Edition. Ottawa: Law Reform Commission of Canada. McKay, C. 1994. Reform of the Law of Intoxication: A First Nations Women’s Analysis. Yukon: Yukon Women’s Directorate. Minister of Justice. 1993. Proposals to Amend the Criminal Code (General Principles) [White Paper]. Ottawa: Department of Justice Canada, 28 June. Parliament of Victoria Law Reform Committee. 1999. Criminal Liability for Self-Induced Intoxication. Melbourne: Government Printer, May. . R. v. Daviault, [1994] 3 S.C.R. 63. Henri Daviault Appellant v. Her Majesty The Queen Respondent. File No.: 23435, 1994: February 4; 1994: September 30. . Room, R., and I. Rossow. 2001. “The Share of Violence Attributable to Drinking: What Do We Know and What Research Is Needed?” Journal of Substance Use 6: 218–28. Ruby, C. 1994. “What the Court Really Said about Drunks and Rape.” Toronto Star, 26 October, A21. Saskatchewan Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission. 1989. Legal Offences in Saskatchewan: The Alcohol and Drug Connection. Research Report, February (cited in R. v. Daviault, 1994, 3 S.C.R. 63). Senate of Canada. 1994. Bill S–6, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (Dangerous Intoxication), first reading, 16 November 1994, the Honourable Senator Gigantes. Sheehy, E. 1995a. A Brief on Bill C–72: An Act to Amend the Criminal Code. Ottawa: National Association of Women and the Law, 6 June. – 1995b. The Intoxication Defence in Canada: Why Women Should Care. Ottawa: Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women, January. Smith, K. 2000. “Section 33.1: Denial of the Daviault Defence Should Be Held Constitutional.” Criminal Reports 28: 350–66. Toronto Star. 1994b. “Drunken Defence Cuts No Ice.” 6 November, C2. – 1994a “Drunkenness Can’t Be Excuse for Rape.” 11 October, A22. Valverde, M. 1998. Diseases of the Will: Alcohol and the Dilemmas of Freedom. Cambridge, uk: Cambridge University Press. Vienneau, D. 1994a. “Acquittals for Drunks and Addicts Baffle mps.” Toronto Star, 19 November, A8. – 1994b. “Drinking Ruled a Rape Defence: Feminists Outraged at Supreme Court Decision.” Toronto Star, 1 October, A1. – 1994c. “Judges under Fire for Drunkenness Defence.” Toronto Star, 9 November, A2.

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– 1995a. “Drunkenness Ruling Said Based on Error: Intoxication Doesn’t Cause ‘Automatism,’ Researcher Says.” Toronto Star, 12 April, A2. – 1995b. “Plenty of Evidence Charter Good for Canada: Nation More Tolerant Despite High Profile Cases that Provide Fodder for Critics.” Toronto Star, 12 February, E1.

19 Alcohol Policies: Is There a Future for Public Health Considerations in a Commerce-Oriented Environment? NORMAN GIESBRECHT, ROBIN ROOM, ANDRÉE DEMERS, EVERT LINDQUIST, ALAN OGBORNE, SUSAN BONDY, AND GINA STODUTO In the preceding chapters we examine a number of alcohol policy case studies that unfolded at the provincial and/or federal levels in Canada between 1980 and 2000. The three opening chapters set the stage for a more detailed analysis. Chapter 2 provides an overview of Canada’s alcohol control system and relevant experiences in the twentieth century). Chapter 3 provides a review of international research focused upon the process and outcomes of alcohol policy. And Chapter 4 introduces conceptual frameworks and models that would inform our subsequent analysis. The case studies illustrate the diversity of topics associated with alcohol. Chapters 5 through 8 examine trade and distribution issues. The rest of the chapters examine changes in retail systems, including privatization (Chapters 9 to 13); communication about alcohol, whether it is about drinking-related risks or promotion of products (Chapters 14 to 17); and legal and legislative issues related to drunken comportment (Chapter 18). In each case, we address several key questions: G G G G

How did the topic come on the agenda? Who were the main players and what were their contributions? What was the role of research in the process and outcome? Which key factors explain the outcome to date?

Our resources include legislative documents, committee reports, Hansard records, official statistics, and research publications. We also use newspaper accounts and other media reports. A noteworthy resource involves key infor-

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mant interviews conducted with persons who either were involved in the policy process or who sought to influence it. The purpose of this chapter is threefold: (1) to provide a context for the alcohol policy changes examined, (2) to draw together common themes and interpretations, and (3) to offer suggestions and recommendations. We begin by considering why alcohol policy is important and outline several forces that have shaped it in recent years, including the concurrent rise of consumerism and decline in control agendas of provincial liquor agencies. We then turn to themes that have emerged from our case studies and conclude that there is evidence supporting two divergent interpretations: (1) that alcohol policy is in decline and (2) that the status quo did not change dramatically over the last twenty years. Nevertheless, in contrast to other health and social issues, it appears that alcohol control policies are losing ground, and our recommendations offer several steps forward. They focus on communication, alcohol policy advocacy, policy making, and research.

alcohol policy and public health and safety Policies can increase drinking-related risks or curtail alcohol-related problems; therefore, they have important long-lasting implications for public health and safety. This importance is sometimes overlooked or downplayed in any era in which commercial and marketing agendas reign supreme. Sober Reflections provides – through a series of contemporary case studies – examples of both good and questionable policy decisions in the last decades of the twentieth century. It also suggests some steps that would enhance Canada’s capacity to develop better alcohol policies, and it gives priority to those measures that would make the most difference in reducing drinking-related harm. There are many examples in recent decades in which policies have contributed to increased alcohol consumption and attendant social problems. For example, experiences in Finland in the late 1960s (Mäkelä et al. 1981), Russia in the 1990s (e.g., Reitan 2000), and Poland in the 1990s (Moskalewicz 2000) offer dramatic examples of instances where easier access to alcohol contributed to elevated rates of drinking-related damage. Looking closer to home we see that, in the United States, the decline in the “real” price of alcohol has been linked to rises in drinking and driving, various crimes, and cirrhosis of the liver (e.g., Cook 1981; Chaloupka, Grossman, and Saffer 1998). In Canada, as is shown in Seeley’s (1960) groundbreaking analysis as well as the work of Popham, Schmidt, and de Lint (summarized in Bruun et al. 1975), it was noted that a decline in the real price of alcohol from the 1940s onward was associated with rising rates of mortality due to cirrhosis of the liver. There are thus many cases in which misguided alcohol policies contributed to measurable, substantial, and sus-

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tained damage to the population. Recent reports from Russia pointing to nearly a generation of middle-aged males being negatively affected by heavy drinking reflect not only decisions by individuals to drink a lot but also a grossly inadequate societal response to alcohol distribution, control, and problem management issues. The relevance of alcohol policies for public health and safety is known and promoted in many Western jurisdictions, and, after prohibition, it provided a basis for the development of Canadian liquor control systems. The belief in the relevance of such policies continues to underpin Nordic alcohol monopolies; and Nordic countries have sought to retain their control systems in the face of pressure from the European Union to dismantle them. Interestingly, campaigns in France to restrict alcohol promotion and to combat drinking-driving show that alcohol problems at the societal level can be reduced by policy measures. In the late 1960s France had one of the highest rates of alcohol consumption and drinking-related damage in Europe; but, in part due to social policies, both these rates have declined in recent decades (e.g., Gual and Colom 1997; Mann et al. 2001; Mercier-Guyon 1998). This illustrates the point made by Edwards et al. (1994, 203): “neither a country’s level of drinking nor its experience of drinking problems is immutable.” However, in many countries those who make policies are often not aware of all potential risks and benefits of their decisions. There are several reasons for this. Each policy opportunity is typically approached on an ad hoc basis, often under heavy political pressure and tight timetables. There is little inclination, precedent, or opportunity for policy makers to consider the larger picture of alcohol management and control of drinking-related harm. Thus, while the immediate impact of one change may not be major, the cumulative and longer-term impact of many policy decisions pointing in the same direction may be significant. A striking example of this comes from the European Comparative Alcohol Studies project, which found a strong association between rising rates of consumption and damage in fifteen European countries from 1950 to the late 1990s (e.g., Norström 2002). It is also common to separate decisions about alcohol distribution and retailing from decisions about drinking-related problems. At the provincial level the departments dealing with commerce and revenue seek ways to promote drinking and to increase consumption while, concurrently, departments of transportation, health, justice, and welfare seek ways to control the damage or to reduce the harm from alcohol. Even within institutions such as liquor boards, the decisions about changes in marketing and distribution may be made without significant input from departments dealing with social responsibility issues. In contrast to major decisions in other socio-economic sectors in Canada (e.g., resource development, transportation, energy extraction), alcohol

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policy decisions do not have a tradition of being subject to in-depth, wide-ranging a priori impact assessment, policy analysis or background research. Furthermore, the absence of structures and procedures that provide a protocol for prioritizing and weighing alcohol policy options is a sign that population-level approaches to alcohol management are declining in favour while more fragmented approaches, with divergent ad hoc strategies, are rising in favour. As noted in Chapters 1 and 3, alcohol research has clearly demonstrated the importance of policies as a means of reducing drinking-related harm at the population level or for certain populations (Bruun et al. 1975; Edwards et al. 1994; Babor et al. 2003). Recent research from Europe (Norström 2002) and Canada (e.g., Xie, Mann, and Smart 2000; Skog 2003; Ramstedt 2003) further confirms this conclusion. While there have been fewer studies analyzing how alcohol policies came about and who the players were, the literature on this topic is growing (as noted in Chapter 3) and includes analyses of recent Nordic experiences (e.g., Holder et al. 1998; Sulkunen, Sutton, Tigerstedt, and Warpenius 2000) and at the US federal level (e.g., Greenfield et al. 2004). Sober Reflections builds on the following two international traditions in the alcohol field: (1) the long-standing line of social and epidemiological research involved in analyzing the effect of policy changes on drinking-related damage (Bruun et al. 1975; Edwards et al. 1994; Babor et al. 2003) and (2) the more recent body of literature concerning how alcohol policy topics emerge, how they get on the political agenda, and how they play themselves out (Chapters 3 and 4). Many of the experiences noted in our case studies are not unique to Canada. General trends seen here are also evident in some parts of Europe and the United States. In recent decades evidence has mounted concerning the potential of alcohol policy to curtail drinking-related harms. However, ironically, at the same time institutions in most Western countries have displayed a declining interest in using alcohol control levers with demonstrated potential (Room 1999). The responses to drinking and driving (Mann et al. 2001), which have not been a focus of this book, are a noteworthy exception to this pattern. In this arena, over the past decades there have been major advances in laws and regulations, detection and enforcement methods, and mass media and specific information campaigns, in part due to the influence of Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada (madd). The result was that by the late 1990s drinking and driving fatalities had been in decline for several decades. Most of the progress has been at the provincial level. However, the alcohol industry and other players have been at odds with madd’s demands that the federal government lower the blood alcohol level (bal) cited in the criminal code.

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rise of individual responsibility and awareness of alcohol problems Broader Social and Political Forces The period under study is one that posed a threat to the “Canadian model” of alcohol control policies. There were several broad social and political forces shaping the agenda, influencing which players were at the table and which of various options came under consideration. These forces included changes in the roles of governments and government agencies as well as a shift to a more liberal social climate with regard to the personal use of alcohol. During the 1980s and 1990s the roles of governments were increasingly influenced by the ideologies of privatization, globalization, and free markets. Furthermore, during this period, Canada concluded the Free Trade Agreement with the United States and as well as, later, with the addition of Mexico, the North American Free Trade Agreement. This period also saw the transformation of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (gatt) into the World Trade Organization (wto) as a result of the Uruguay round of negotiations. The orientation towards market liberalism is evident on several dimensions, including the relegation of increased responsibility to consumers for their choices and outcomes (Grieshaber-Otto and Schacter 2002). This dovetails with changing public perceptions about alcohol and alcohol-related problems. Alcohol Marketing and Consumption Recent decades have seen a general strengthening of the ideology of consumer sovereignty. In other commercial sectors consumers were given access to more choices, options, selling venues and times, and many of the conventional boundaries between different product types became blurred as multipurpose stores and services became popular. Concurrently, changes in the marketing and promotion of alcoholic beverages resulted in their enhanced presentation as common products (like non-alcoholic beverages) to be consumed in a wide range of settings and during most social occasions. As the provincial liquor boards’ annual reports, store venues, and promotional materials indicate, their operations were increasingly oriented to promoting themselves, their services, and their products in connection with entertainment, dining, and hospitality activities. Expanding consumer access in other sectors coincided with changes in the marketing of alcoholic products. This created further expectations and pressures to loosen the constraints on liquor control board stores, including their appearance and design, hours of sale, days of service, and distribution options. In turn, this provided a fertile ground for questioning many aspects

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of the existing system, including, for example, the need for government-run alcohol retail networks, guidelines for alcohol advertising, and floor (minimum) prices. During the 1980s and up until the mid–1990s there was a decline in the alcohol consumption rates in Canada and several other Western countries in terms of the amount of absolute alcohol equivalent consumed per adult. This trend was not widely known by the public but was undoubtedly observed closely by liquor boards, certain government departments, and alcohol producers. The reasons for this trend remain to be examined, but changing demographics (i.e., an aging population), rising concern about health issues, and certain health campaigns (Smart and Mann 1990, 1998) are possible contributors. However, even if it reduced the risk of harm related with drinking (e.g., Skog 2003; Ramstedt 2003), this decline was unlikely to be seen as a positive development by the commercial, trade, and finance sectors of governments, liquor control boards, and alcohol producers. On the contrary, it likely provided a rationale to stimulate marketing in order to boost sales and government revenues (e.g., see Liquor Control Board of Ontario 2001, 2003). Split Perspectives on Alcohol Canadians’ perceptions about alcohol have changed. On the one hand, the public had become increasingly aware of a number of problems associated with drinking, and the list of potential problems continues to grow. Attention has been drawn to the effects of alcohol on the foetus, the association between drinking and vehicle crashes (e.g., cars, boats, snowmobiles, trains), the association between drinking and unprotected and/or unwanted sexual activity, the association between drinking and violence, and the association between drinking and chronic health problems such as cancer (e.g., Corrao, Bagnardi, Zambon, and Arico 1999; Babor et al. 2003, 57–92). The notion that alcohol problems were no longer the exclusive domain of the alcoholic or dependent drinker also appeared to gain public currency. Also, a recent who study has documented that the burden of disease and disability from alcohol as a risk factor is similar to that of tobacco in developed countries (such as Canada) and is greater than the risk factor posed by cholesterol, body mass index, low fruit and vegetable intake, physical inactivity, and illicit drug use (Rehm et al. 2003; Room and Rehm 2004). On the other hand, it became widely known that moderate drinking had beneficial health effects for certain cardiovascular disease risks (e.g. Liao, McGee and Cooper 2002). Of course, the alcohol industry seized on this finding in order to distinguish alcohol from products such as tobacco and to promote moderate drinking.

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These developments do not point to an easy balance between public health/safety and commercial/revenue generation. Alcohol producers, liquor boards, and government departments that focus on commerce, trade, and taxes constitute the commercial side of this balance, while those focusing on justice, health, and welfare issues (whether government departments or ngos) constitute the problem management side. Each side favours different interventions. The commercial coalition’s efforts at the promotion of drinking are directed towards the total population, or at least towards all drinkers. The problem management coalition’s alcohol policies evince a population-based strategy for reducing harm. This is not favoured by the commercial coalition as it might curtail alcohol distribution, marketing, and consumption. This coaliton prefers to addressing drinking-related problems by focusing on individuals or specific groups. The problem management coalition generally receives significantly less attention and fewer resources than does the commercial coalition. The Shifting Roles of Liquor Boards Sober Reflections shows that provincial liquor boards, and the alcohol management systems for both on- and off-premise sales, are undergoing significant transformations. Despite provincial variations, several generic changes occurred during our period of study, and these have implications not only for how alcohol is managed but also for drinking norms and drinking cultures as well as for the framing of alcohol policy issues and deliberations at federal and provincial levels. These changes have occurred in market share, jurisdiction, and access to alcohol, promotion, and consumer services as well as in specific alcohol policy agendas. Decline in market share: In recent decades the market share of all alcohol sold has shifted to a mixed system, where a substantial share of off-premise alcohol is now sold in such private venues as beer stores, wine stores, hotels, and agency stores (which are franchised by the liquor boards). In all provinces except Alberta, this change has been gradual. However, liquor boards continue to be the sole retailers of distilled spirits and hold the lion’s share of the imported wine market. Thus, they still directly manage the sales of over half of the absolute alcohol equivalent for most provinces and generate a large share of the government revenue from alcohol sales. Regulatory jurisdictions: The jurisdiction of liquor control boards has changed in Ontario and Alberta. The government-run liquor licensing agencies that regulate and oversee on-premise venues were merged with gaming commissions. In Ontario this merger was accompanied by the transfer of some regulatory or control functions from the control board to the

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new liquor and gaming commission. Thus, the direct management of alcohol by liquor boards was modified in two respects: (1) the range of private-sector alcohol retail outlets was expanded, and (2) some regulatory functions were moved elsewhere. Enhanced access to alcohol, increased promotion, and consumer services: The role of liquor boards in managing alcohol has been enhanced in two ways: (1) through increased access to alcohol provided by dramatically expanding on-premise outlet venues, agency store networks, or wine company outlets (as in Ontario); and (2) through enhanced promotion and consumer-oriented services. This reflects a strong marketing orientation and a significant change from the philosophy and style of liquor boards found in previous decades. Indeed, by the 1980s provincial alcohol monopolies began to define their primary aims as customer service and revenue generation rather than as alcohol control. There was “creeping privatization” on behalf of local vested interests (e.g., Ontario wine stores, hotel off-sales in British Columbia and Alberta, “u-brew” and “u-vint” stores in Ontario and British Columbia, and grocery store sales of locally bottled imported wine in Quebec). This shift in the orientation of liquor control boards also resulted in increased hours and days of sales and the use of a wide range of promotional methods and techniques (e.g., regular product promotion magazines, television advertising, store displays, and boutique wine areas [such as “Vintages” in Ontario]). These and other measures were designed to make alcohol purchasing easy, convenient, consumer-friendly, and a pleasant experience that occurs within attractive surroundings peopled by well informed, helpful staff (Giesbrecht and MacKenzie 2000). Increased Focus on Specific Drinking-Related Problems Alcohol control activities focused on specific behaviours or clients and shifted away from control of drinking in general and/or concern with overall rates of sales as a public health issue (Room 2003). Thus liquor boards have partnered with a number of organizations with regard to campaigns against drinking-driving and other drinking-related events, and have devoted resources to training staff and monitoring efforts to curtail sales to minors and intoxicated patrons. The boards’ new focus on specific drinking-related problems and persons seeking to buy alcohol illegally, however, appears to be isolated from their marketing and distribution activities. Consideration of the possible negative side effects of recent policy changes – increased marketing, greater access to alcohol, and rising rates of alcohol sales – appears to be a missing or low priority aspect of the policy agenda. Private and government sectors involved in alcohol retailing see increasing alcohol sales as a good thing – as something that protects their

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status, generates revenue, and exemplifies how they satisfy their most loyal consumers. The public health and safety risks of increasing alcohol sales did not seem to inform their decisions regarding marketing, promotion, product positioning, and linkages to other goods and services.

is alcohol policy in decline? Arguably, Canada has seen a declining interest in alcohol policies as an approach to curtailing drinking-related harm. The decisions on alcohol advertising and warning labels, privatization in Alberta, and increasing emphasis on the commercial and marketing side of liquor board activity would seem to support this. Whatever interest there might have been in a “total consumption” model for explaining rates of alcohol problems some years ago, it was no longer in vogue during our period of study, even though it continues to be central to the World Health Organization’s European Alcohol Policy Plan (World Health Organization Europe 1999). Other signals point to a transformation in the framing and positioning of alcohol policies rather than a decline in their relevance. Although retail alcohol sales were not privatized in Ontario and Quebec, the two most populous provinces, provincial agencies made efforts to address the alcohol policy agenda through their responses to free trade agreements and alcohol smuggling. Also, at the federal level, the crtc declined to change the code for broadcast alcohol advertising, and the public/government response to the Daviault case signalled that heavy drinking was not considered a valid excuse for criminal assault. The way we frame policy issues and respond to the commercialization of alcohol use is complex and fluid and, typically, signals current cultural values. It is noteworthy that Canada has been a leader in developing a “new health promotion approach” (e.g., Epp 1986; Pederson, O’Neill and Rootman 1994). This approach involves an environmental, or population level, perspective and identifies the coordination of public health policy as central to improving the health of Canadians (as exemplified by Canada’s tobacco policy) (Studlar 2002). These achievements in other health areas stand in sharp contrast to the erosion of the Canadian alcohol control model. In recent decades, alcohol policy developments in Canada have lagged behind tobacco policy developments, with the exception of progress in drunk driving control policies. Anti-smoking advocacy has involved extensive efforts to control sales to minors and to expand local options, including bylaws to restrict smoking and to curtail the impact of second-hand smoke. Considering that drinking has no apparent health benefits for adolescents and young adults, and that the impact of alcohol at the population level is greater than that of tobacco for this cohort, this underdevelopment with

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regard to effective alcohol policies is both puzzling and disturbing. However, it is clear that strong advocacy organizations were important forces in waging public relations battles and in identifying appropriate policy regimes for the restriction of smoking and drunk driving. In summary, these case studies signal the convergence of several factors. Views on the nature of alcohol products and their place in society were changing. There were modifications with regard to the place of government vis-à-vis managing consumer behaviour as well as with regard to the style, mandate, and position of liquor stores in the alcohol retailing market. There was a transformation and expansion of alcohol marketing and promotion, with no apparent official concern about the possible negative impact on drinking rates, high-risk drinking, or drinking-related damage.

alcohol policy issues: their emergence & outcomes This study was undertaken in order to explore alcohol policy experiences in Canada over the past two decades. The case studies were selected in order to illustrate differences and similarities with regard to key players and institutions; variations in the policy processes, networks, and coalitions; and divergent outcomes. By looking at how these scenarios played out across overlapping timeframes, we sought to answer several research questions: G

G G

How has alcohol policy making in Canada been affected by broader social and political forces, such as government restructuring, sovereignty issues, and international trade agreements? How and why do alcohol policy issues move up and down in priority? What are the relative roles of different groups, interests, and institutions – such as researchers, public opinion, and interprovincial and interindustry competition – in the outcome of alcohol-related policy developments?

Our case studies were framed by Canadian perspectives and structures that were developed to control alcohol distribution. We found that the framing of alcohol issues, the roles of key players, and the mandates of central organizations such as provincial liquor boards changed in the decades after the Second World War, thus setting the stage for further changes during the last two decades of the twentieth century. Perspectives from the fields of alcohol research and political science also provided frames for our analysis (Chapter 2). Some of the previous research demonstrated fairly dramatic changes in an otherwise conservative and gradual process of policy implementation (Chapter 3). The political science perspective provided us with a context for discussions concerning policy networks and communities, advocacy

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coalitions, the dynamics of policy change, and “windows of opportunity” (Chapter 4). A comparison of the case studies, summarized in Table 19.1, considers several dimensions: the key forum, the main policy entrepreneurs, the precipitating event(s) and relevant dynamics, constraints, policy instruments, media reporting, and the role of research. In the following pages we examine four general questions: How did the policies come on the agenda? Who were the major players and how did they frame the policy topic? What was the role of research? What were the main outcomes? How They Came on the Agenda These case studies do not illustrate a single uniform pattern that led to policy issues coming onto the agenda and becoming a topic of debate, hearings, or inquiries. However, in several cases, ideological and political agendas played a central role. With regard to international trade disputes (Chapter 6), the backdrop included international agreements (particularly gatt) and the Canadian and American governments’ relationships with alcohol producers. The commercial interests of Canadian alcohol producers were to protect their local markets, while both American and Canadian producers sought to expand their market across the border. This particular case study involved a struggle over commerce and revenue, with overtones concerning issues around Canadian sovereignty and divergent alcohol policy traditions, but with the implications for public health remaining largely unexplored. Three factors were responsible for why alcohol smuggling became a relatively short-term agenda topic: (1) federal and provincial policy changes that decreased taxes on tobacco led to a significant decline in cross-border smuggling of cigarettes; (2) provincial and federal practices to maintain a high tax on alcohol drew attention to the retail price differential between spirits sold in Canada and spirits sold in the United States; and (3) a general decline in spirits sales in Canada provided a specific rationale for distillers to seek tax cuts as a way of curtailing smuggling and increasing profits (Chapter 7). Thus, federally and provincially established policies, such as taxes on alcohol, combined with changes in consumer demand to provide a backdrop for increased smuggling of alcohol. The case studies focusing on privatization of alcohol retail systems (Chapters 9–13) illustrate that ideology, organized interests and responses, and broader social and political change played central roles in putting privatization on the agenda. All three were present in the Quebec and Ontario cases, although their interplay and content differed significantly, and in Alberta a combination of fiscal considerations, political change, and ideology proved to be decisive.

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In Alberta a new Conservative government’s privatization-oriented ideology and debt-reduction goal also drove the initiative. The outcome was very different from that in Ontario, due to several factors. The Alberta government seized the window of opportunity with a new election mandate and acted quickly to privatize. This seemed to catch potential opposition off guard. Furthermore, in Alberta the existing system had not modernized as effectively as had the systems in Ontario and Quebec. Other than the union, there was little organized opposition to the plan, nor was there time to generate any. In short, the absence of several conditions, including a reasonable period of time to debate or deliberate proposals, led to an outcome in Alberta that was unique. In Quebec several attempts to promote the privatization agenda were thwarted by strong opposition from unions, public support for the unions, and the Société des alcools du Québec (saq) (the provincial liquor board). Or they were overshadowed by concerns around provincial independence. Also significant in Quebec was the ambivalence of the alcohol producers along with the ongoing modernization of saq and its strong consumer and commercial orientation, which contributed to strong public support and stable revenue for several Quebec provincial governments. Several of the factors noted above were also prominent in Ontario from the mid–1990s. A tentative proposal for privatizing the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (lcbo) was based on a broad ideological agenda as well as on an economic need to seek quick cash from the sale of government assets. However, the proposal ran into opposition from both inside and outside the government. The liquor store employees’ unions mounted an effective public media campaign and formed alliances with public health and other interests to critique the proposal. The government-run liquor board promoted an increasingly consumer-friendly, commercially oriented and market-driven system, and in the process increased sales and thus revenue. Provincial wine and beer producers were opposed to a fully privately run retail system. Members of the provincial governmental caucus, including the finance minister, questioned the wisdom of closing down a rejuvenated government retailing system that was turning in more revenue than it had in previous years. Considered together, these cases studies illustrate that the Alberta case had a “demonstration effect” for the opponents of privatization – at least in Ontario and possibly in Quebec. Opponents were well prepared to mobilize against similar initiatives in the years that followed. Learning took place across jurisdictions in Canada, and this suggests that anti-privatization forces were able to mobilize and tap into public sentiments and research findings that suggested retaining government control (and revenues) would be prudent. As a postscript to these case studies, the topic of privatization re-emerged in Ontario in February 2002. In the midst of leadership campaigns for the

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provincial Conservative party, one candidate indicated his intention, if elected, to consider privatizing Ontario’s liquor retailing system. In British Columbia the government has announced its intention to privatize aspects of the bc system of alcohol retailing, although this is now on hold with a 2003 agreement between the bc government and the bc Government and Service Employees Union to extend the latter’s labour contract to March 2005 (Lazaruk 2003). The privatization of provincial retail liquor stores has been a recurrent issue in Canada, involving public proposals by incoming or incumbent governments. Alberta’s privatization of liquor stores was ideologically based and was driven through by a new government without public consultation. When Ontario and Quebec considered privatization, vested interests in the existing government-run system prevailed. The rhetorical justification of opposition to the proposal was sometimes in terms of public health and order; however, probably of more political importance was the protectionist effects of the existing system for Canadian beer and wine producers. During the timeframe of our study the Canadian retail monopolies were never seriously threatened from the outside (although, particularly currently in relation to negotiations on the General Agreement on Trade in Service [gats], there have been regular external pressures for Canada to alter its provincial monopolies) (Greishaber-Otto and Schacter 2002; Ainger 2002). But monopolies were seriously threatened from the inside. The existing provincial liquor control boards’ main protection was their ability to serve the interests of those with stakes in the system. The marketing and promotion cases (Chapters 14 to 17) came on the agenda in very different ways. Here, the arena for alcohol policy change was at the federal level. The distillers initiated a proposal to allow the advertising of their products on television. The rationale seemed to be twofold. First, they wished to make the case that their product should not be distinguished as having higher risks than beer or wine. Indeed, their initial proposed commercials were to show that standard servings of spirits, wine, and beer each contained the same amount of ethanol. Second, they hoped to capture some of the beer and wine market. With respect to alcohol promotion, the proposed changes in vetting and approving all broadcast alcohol advertisements were related to government downsizing, to a changing agenda within the Canadian Radio and Telecommunication Commission (crtc), and to a broad ideological shift towards industry self-regulation. In both cases – whether distillers should be allowed to advertise and proposed changes in vetting alcohol advertisements – the outcomes favoured deregulation and the alcohol industry perspective, and resulted in the crtc having marginally fewer issues with which to deal on a day-to-day basis. There was strong public opposition to both the proposal to allow distillers to advertise and the plan to transfer routine vetting and

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approval of alcohol advertising to the private sector. This opposition was indicated by numerous letters and submitted briefs as well as at public hearings. However, the outcome was in favour of the distillers (in that they were allowed to advertise and the crtc, government Cabinet, advertisers, and alcohol producers (in that vetting of alcohol advertising was transferred to the private sector). Despite the number of submissions that were opposed to the changes, this did not constitute a major, well organized advocacy coalition. Ultimately, public health issues and interests were no match for the convergence of industry wishes and a government agenda. The warning label issue was promoted by a backbench champion who was successful in getting it to the House of Commons committee stage, where his private member’s bill became stalled. Paul Szabo (Liberal), a policy entrepreneur, drew together a number of interest groups to make presentations in support of the proposal but encountered ambivalence from some research groups and strong opposition from the alcohol industry, which presented a united front on this issue. Yet again it seems that commercial interests carried more weight than did public health interests. Additional research might not have made much difference to the result: the equivocal nature of some of the research findings was a convenient rationale for rejecting the proposal to place warning labels on beverage alcohol containers. The Daviault case (Chapter 18) came on the agenda when the Supreme Court – using dated and unsupportable notions of the effects of heavy drinking – made a decision that was out of step with widely based public sentiments and with the views of most politicians. This led to extensive lobbying of politicians by women’s groups and others; to public rallies; and to federal government-organized efforts to rewrite the relevant sections of legislation to counteract the court’s decision. The opposition to the Supreme Court’s decision was extensive, well organized, well informed, and armed with an agenda that was both topical and emotional. This was also an issue about which the alcohol industry was silent as any view it expressed would have drawn attention to its products in ways that would have been less than flattering. In short, there was no effective opposition to the new legislation enacted to undo the Daviault decision.

Major Players Do these case studies suggest some general conclusions about the players and dynamics of alcohol policy decision making? What is the relative role of different groups, interests, and institutions (e.g., researchers, public opinion, interprovincial and interindustry competition) in the outcome of alcohol-related policy developments? There is considerable variation in the types of networks, coalitions, and advocacy groups that played a role in these case studies. However, different

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government departments as well as the alcohol industries were prominent in most, and provincial liquor store employees’ unions were prominent in several. Nevertheless, it appears that the “alcohol field” is not unified. There is no set of actors that was involved in all of our case studies. For example, the alcohol industry was absent from the Daviault case (Chapter 18), and the alcohol research and public health communities were absent from the trade disputes case (Chapter 6). Only those carrying the public health flag would see all the cases in Sober Reflections collection as parts of a single field. The policies examined were primarily introduced by governments, government agencies, or government representatives. This was either in response to developments (as in the case of alcohol smuggling) or in the service of an ideological or political agenda (as in privatization initiatives). However, the alcohol industries were at the table early on in most cases, and they played a decisive role in the outcome in a several cases. This likely reflects the close working relationship between various branches of government and the alcohol industry. Moreover, when a policy topic focuses on the commercial aspects of alcohol, public health representatives are often not regarded as significant, relevant players. Furthermore, the alcohol industries are organized, well funded, and experienced in lobbying. As a result, policies that might curtail producers’ promotional efforts, negatively affect their bottom line, or detract from the idea that alcohol problems are mainly due to the individual drinker’s behaviour are likely to be very difficult to implement. In light of the typical players at the policy table, it is unlikely that some of the more effective and population-level policies will be given the attention that they deserve. The public has access to policy decision makers through contacts with elected representatives, through write-in campaigns, or through participating in hearings. However, its level of access is not matched by extensive influence. Widely based public support for a policy doesn’t assure a particular outcome unless this support is well organized, vocal, strikes a common chord, and encounters little opposition (see Chapter 15 in contrast to Chapter 18). The Role of Research Information and alcohol research results were used selectively in the cases presented in Sober Reflections. However, the roles of researchers were advisory rather than central to the outcome. Arguably, the greatest influence of research was in the Daviault case, while its least influence was in the Alberta and Quebec privatization cases and the trade disputes case. Research was used in deliberations pertaining to Ontario privatization and also in the crtc and warning label initiatives (although it likely was not central to the

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outcomes). With regard to alcohol smuggling, estimates based on questionable assumptions became a central tool used by the distillers to promote the idea that smuggling was extensive and that only tax cuts on spirits would effectively curtail it. More generally, these case studies suggest that there is no common protocol for obtaining input from different interest groups and different types of information, weighing the relative merits of each, and conducting a balanced analysis before the policy decision is made. Furthermore, it is unlikely that players who are not routinely at the decision-making table will be invited to join or given a prominent role. They will need to demonstrate their potential contribution and, through associations, advocacy, and influence, show that it is politically advantageous to include them. As indicated in Chapter 4, Kingdon (1995) posited that three main streams can affect policy changes: (1) a problem stream, (2) a policy stream, and a (3) political stream. He argued that policy windows and decisions came about as a result of the confluence of the least two of these streams. We found that, with the exception of the Daviault case (Chapter 18), the policies studied came on the agenda through the policy or political streams. That may be why public health actors and interests were only marginally involved. If these alcohol policy issues had emerged in the problem stream, then this might have been different. One interpretation is that public health constituencies have not done their job in reframing these policy events within the problem stream, especially given the extent of evidence showing the relationships between access to alcohol and alcohol problems. However, building this case within the problem stream also requires cultivating an attentive public, citizen organizations, action groups, and journalists, and this may require a unique skill set as well as capabilities associated with advocacy groups. In the absence of critical, dramatic, and timely incidents that might be related directly to the policy issue, the public might be inclined to give more attention to research results showing that drinking may be good for one’s health than to those that show it may increase risk of harm. Furthermore, given that alcohol is currently our most widely used and culturally accepted drug, it is unlikely that studies showing that the damage from alcohol is similar to that from tobacco and greater than that from several other popular risk factors (e.g., Rehm et al. 2003) will have much impact in the short run. Some decades ago Canadian alcohol policies were built on the problem stream as well as on the policy and political streams. Awareness of alcohol consumption and related problems has not disappeared, but it has evolved to focus narrowly on specific types of drinking-related risks and incidents, and on the individual responsibility of the drinker. The conventional wisdom and framing of the issue no longer focuses on the public health risks of alcohol marketing, retailing, and attendant collective responsibilities.

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Outcomes: Status Quo or Incremental Change? One interpretation of the case material presented here is hopeful, if maintaining the status quo can be regarded as the most positive possible outcome, since relatively little net change has, in fact, occurred. When all the initiatives, counter-actions, and debates are over, the following observations can be made: G

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The government-run alcohol retail systems are still in place in Ontario and Quebec, and most other provinces. Even Alberta still has a wholesale monopoly that has some some control on the market. And it has a privatized system within which there are still purpose-specific alcohol stores – just three times as many (or so) as there were before. One perception is that this has not been such a big change in the wider scheme of things. However, the price being paid for retaining public systems is a steep one, and it includes: (1) increasing emphasis on commerce and marketing within the nominal frame of liquor control systems and (2) creeping privatization. With regard to the trade disputes, the Canadian wine industry was seriously disrupted but was brought back to health with government intervention and financial support. The Canadian beer industry managed to keep its protections. The prominence of the smuggling issue did not result in a cut in taxes on spirits, as the distillers had hoped. Warning label proposals have come up more than once, but nothing changed during the period under study. In this case, the experience in the United States from 1988 did not provide a model for Canadian legislators. The alcohol distillers won the right to advertise on television, but so far haven’t used it much. The crtc retired from the field of actively vetting and controlling advertising. However, Ontario continues to screen alcohol advertisements, and this may have a greater impact on what makes its way onto English-language television and radio than what the federal government does. It is difficult to point to a discernible change in the way alcohol is advertised in Canada now as opposed to ten years ago. Probably the biggest change in alcohol promotion has come from the growth of sponsorship of musical festivals and other cultural events, which, in any case, fall largely outside the control structure. The Supreme Court decision in the Daviault case resulted in much sound and fury to get bck to the position held prior to this decision.

It would appear that the advisors to the Klein government in Alberta were right. As long as the discussion of changes in the system is open to the gen-

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eral public through consultation, the Canadian system of alcohol management is unlikely to change in radical ways. However, as the Alberta example demonstrates, such consultation is no longer guaranteed. In any event, in the absence of radical change, there is still “drift around the edges,” including new ways to frame issues (i.e., casting alcohol problems as a matter of individual responsibility rather than as a collective one) as well as a steady stream of small concessions to commercial interests already in the field. As noted above, there are a number of changes that have strengthened and expanded the dominance of these interests in the alcohol policy field. And this connects back to the new era of free trade agreements. As the Quebec story indicates, one interpretation is that commercial interests and the associated alcohol monopoly are now buttressed by a new conservative force. Governments have considerable incentive not to toy with existing policy regimes because they can keep a protectionist quirk that was “grandfathered in” by a trade agreement; once it is opened up, a lot of the protectionist advantage may be lost. So trade agreements may cut down on further drift around the edges of alcohol policy regimes. For example, Ontario agreed with the Americans that it should not allow any more winery stores. However, over the long run, these commercial interests are likely to be increasingly foreign affiliated, and they will be able to use trade rules to their advantage. Thus trade treaties can be expected to exert powerful commercializing pressures – and to consolidate commercialization and privatization wherever they occur – in Canada and elsewhere. Although one may argue that very little has changed with regard to alcohol policy in the past two decades, there are, several tendencies that are of concern from a public health and safety perspective: G

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There is gradual but persistent pressure to increase access to alcohol through higher density of outlets, longer hours of sale, and integration of alcohol use with many aspects of social life. The government-run retailing systems have demonstrated increasing sophistication and elaboration of initiatives on several fronts with regard to the marketing and promotion of their services, venues, and products. There is no evidence that liquor boards or provincial or federal governments are concerned about the recent increase – since about 1996 – in the rate of per capita consumption of alcohol. There is a tendency for policy decisions about alcohol retailing and distribution to be made from a business or revenue-maximization perspective. The individual, and not the population, is now the primary focus of prevention efforts, and unwarranted faith is placed on education and information dissemination as effective interventions.

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Despite the evidence of the damage from alcohol to individuals and communities that is similar to that from other risks to health and safety, it is typically of low priority on the agenda of public health agencies.

alcohol research & policy activism in canada A striking feature of the Canadian experience in alcohol policy formation is the relative absence of alcohol policy activists, with the exception of madd, and its narrow, but important, focus on reducing drunk driving. The “Canadian model” of alcohol policies was formed when alcohol was central to the national political drama. Alcohol prohibition was the subject of the first nationwide referendum. The alcohol control structure, like the Canadian liquor boards, was forged as an uneasy compromise in the face of, as a reaction to, and as a retreat from, the demands for alcohol prohibition. Traditional temperance groups stopped mattering as political actors in Canadian politics by 1960, at the latest, but they left behind a general conservatism towards alcohol availability, which resulted in the variety of institutions that make up the Canadian model. So, broadly speaking, there has been an empty place at the alcohol policy table. There was no alcohol policy equivalent to Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, or the Clayoquot coalitions. As Nils Christie (1976, 3) put it at a conference held in 1974, researchers found themselves as “the only counterforces left. Being apart from producers, but with unusual interests in the field of alcohol, researchers are forced to take the empty seat and use considerable energy as advocates for interference at the general social level. Alcohol researchers are needed as functional equivalents to teetotallers. If researchers do not take this role, the field remains completely open to the producers. The sheer imbalance in the situation seems to call for more rather than less political engagement of alcohol researchers.” As commercial and economic rationales for managing alcohol distribution, promotion, and sale arrangements have gained ascendancy in recent decades, there has been no one group, institution, or organization that has assumed leadership of an alcohol policy perspective. At the provincial level, decisions on major alcohol issues tend to be made on an ad hoc basis, without an overriding strategy. Health and safety interests are seldom seen as being major players at the decision-making table. The situation at the federal level is not much different. For example, both the warning labels and management of alcohol advertising cases suggest that policy considerations, as well as public opinion, were minor factors in the outcomes, less important than fiscal, economic, and commercial considerations. Research conducted in the preceding three decades in Ontario, particularly by social scientists at the Addiction Research Foundation (e.g. Popham, Schmidt, and de Lint 1975), provided a rich resource for the anal-

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ysis and critique of alcohol policies as well as a basis for public health policies. A number of studies showed relationships among alcohol policies, drinking patterns, and drinking problems. In other provinces the opportunities to draw these associations were more limited, with less primary data and resources to provide specific scientific evidence on the relationship between alcohol policies, drinking patterns, and problems. At the national level there have been only two surveys (nads 1989 and cads 1994) that included extensive questions about drinking patterns, levels of drinking, and drinking-related harm. After almost a ten-year gap, a third national survey focusing on alcohol and other drugs began in December 2003. Interestingly, the 1998 Quebec Health Survey contained no questions on alcohol-related problems; and no province other than Ontario has annual surveys of representative populations with detailed data on drinking levels, patterns, and problems. In general, alcohol policy and alcohol problem prevention research has not been extensively funded in Canada. In recent decades it has received a fraction of the funding devoted to alcohol treatment research. There is no Canadian equivalent of the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse (niaaa), a us federal agency that provides extensive funds for multiyear grants to conduct specific alcohol studies and that funds centres to conduct alcohol research. Canadian experiences in the 1980s and 1990s point in different directions. There is a body of international evidence that points to the importance of alcohol policy in curtailing drinking-related harm (Edwards et al. 1994; Babor et al. 2003). However, research in support of this line of inquiry has not been extensive in most regions of Canada. Furthermore, convincing policy makers to take a public health perspective continues to be a major challenge. Some social scientists working on alcohol issues have taken an activist stance, while others have chosen to do their work and leave its dissemination and interpretation to the public and to policy makers. Both approaches have merit. As in many other jurisdictions, researchers are not very effective as political activists. It is not their calling and does not inform their training. While researchers can make a political case, they are not in a position to devote the time required to being effective advocates and, indeed, do not usually have the necessary expertise. There are various “constituencies” within the public health domain, including single-issue groups that are solely devoted to mobilizing around their particular issues as well as multiple-issue groups that are adept at juggling several issues. While at times it is thought that researchers are not doing enough to promote their findings, it must be remembered that this is specialized function. If it is to be done effectively, then it requires a specific organization or coalition of organizations.

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Public health activism with regard to alcohol policy issues is not very extensive in Canada, although it is more extensive in some provinces than in others. Public health specialists are constrained by the mandate of their organizations, by broadly based tendencies to devote extensive attention to information and persuasion-type interventions, and by interest in other problems (such as tobacco). Furthermore, while non-researchers occasionally intruded into the policy process, these instances tended to be issue-specific. They were most common in Ontario, which has an established public health tradition of looking at alcohol policy issues, with networks such as the Association to Reduce Alcohol Problems in Ontario and the Alcohol Policy Network facilitating interests in alcohol policy issues. In other jurisdictions there was no extensive funding or infrastructure to support alcohol policy research or dissemination. Canada does not have an established national network of persons interested in alcohol policy issues, nor does it have a coalition of persons advocating for an alcohol policy agenda. In Ontario the Alcohol Policy Network serves some of these functions; nevertheless, since advocacy is officially xcluded from its mandate, its initiatives are circumscribed. The initial impetus for this network in the early 1990s came from a manager in the Ontario Ministry of Health who was disturbed by the fact that the alcohol field lacked the kind of public health activists who were so prominent in many quarters of the tobacco field. He promoted a network that would be funded by the ministry and be placed under the Ontario Public Health Association. More generally, since persons interested in promoting certain policy agendas are on provincial or federal government grants or are obtaining other government funding, this can have the effect of constraining their roles and the public expression of their views. Thus, short-term and informal networks are formed to address specific issues, such as promoting warning labels or opposing proposed changes in crtc management of alcohol advertising. Unlike the drinking and driving arena, where several well-organized groups are active in provincial and federal deliberations, other alcohol policy arenas have no comparable national network. A reasonable hypothesis is that the alcohol policy field was generally in retreat in Canada in the period we are studying. None of the policy case studies illustrates an advance for policies that would reduce drinking-related problems (Daviault had a positive outcome but did not result in a policy change that would reduce drinking-related problems at the population level). There are also signs that some policy actors have fallen away, particularly on the research side. For example, arf attempted to be a self-conscious actor as an “intervenor” in the spirits advertising court case, and, as is suggested in Chapter 16, this was judged to be a failure. In 1998 arf merged into a broader organization, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health,

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which presented a challenge for retaining a prominent place for alcohol policy issues. The dissolution of optat in Quebec is another example of an actor being removed from the stage. None of the case studies, with the exception of Daviault (Chapter 18) and Ontario privatization (Chapter 12), had an “attentive public” with regard to alcohol policy issues. This reflects, in part, a long-standing Canadian tradition of allowing the government to manage alcohol. Thus, by default, through the persistent influence of the alcohol industry in the modern era of marketing and promotion, as well as the expectation of some provincial government regarding increasing revenue from alcohol, the liquor boards – with impunity – gave much more attention to commercial interests than they did to public health concerns. The difference that a lack of alcohol policy activists makes can be seen by looking at instances when they did become involved. The Daviault case study is instructive: women’s interest activists appear to have been exceptionally influential. Drinking-driving is another area in which there has been some tradition of activism, through such organizations as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (madd Canada). Their activism in Canada has been low-key and genteel compared to that of their American counterparts (Marshall and Oleson 1996), but their efforts have clearly made a difference in Canadian drinking-driving policies. These case studies illustrate several weaknesses with regard to the recent approaches to alcohol policy making in Canada, and they also point to some steps that might be taken to remedy this situation. There is little evidence that the policy actors were reflective – that is, that they took the time to determine what influenced the outcome and to learn lessons for managing future initiatives. Since, arguably, several decisions ran counter to public health and social science research, alcohol control-oriented actors should consider how they might work together, or consider working in parallel, and build better capacity. When it comes to political activism, the contrast between the alcohol and tobacco fields in Canada is quite striking. In the latter domain public health groups have been successful in changing workplace and retail regulations, strengthening enforcement practices, banning most advertising, reducing sponsorship, introducing package warning labelling, raising taxes, and channelling significant resources towards research and health promotion. Alcohol policy advocates have much to learn from tobacco policy advocates.

implications and next steps There are a number of signs that the burden of social, health, and public safety problems attributal to alcohol is not in decline at the global level (e.g. Babor et al. 2003; Rehm et al. 2003; Rehm 2003; Murray and Lopez 1996).

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In Canada, recent research has shown that, over the past fifty years, there has been a strong association between level of drinking and both acute and chronic negative effects (e.g., Skog 2003; Ramstedt 2003), and total mortality (Norstrom 2004). These findings are in line with recent research based in Europe (e.g., Norström 2001) and earlier work in Canada (Popham, Schmidt, and de Lint 1978). Furthermore, after a period of gradual decline, in recent years the per capita rate of alcohol consumption is rising, going from 7.3 litres of absolute alcohol per adult (aged 15+) in 1997–98 to 7.7 litres in 2001–02 (fiscal years) (Statistics Canada 2002). In light of these developments, a pressing question is whether policy responses are adequate to curtail the harm arising from drinking. These case studies indicate that they are not. They illustrate that there has been a piecemeal erosion and devaluation of policies that have the greatest potential to affect public health and safety agendas in the broadest way. Which options were considered, discarded, and pursued indicates who holds the most power in the alcohol policy game, and in several cases it appears that it is the alcohol industry or other commercial interests. The case studies also point to the struggle to gain recognition for a population-based orientation when dealing with alcohol issues (see Babor et al. 2003, 263–76). What conditions might facilitate the emergence of effective alcohol policies that, while allowing for responsible marketing and distribution of alcoholic beverages, do not increase drinking-related risks to the population? Communication, advocacy, policy making, and research can be improved in several ways, and the concluding paragraphs outline several strategies under each topic. Communication Alcohol is a special commodity: The many dimensions of alcohol and drinking in society need to be communicated to citizens and policy makers, and to be considered in the policy-making process (Babor et al. 2003). Policy makers, institutional leaders, and the public need to better appreciate the ongoing and multifaceted connections between the commercial, health, and social aspects of alcohol consumption: they are not isolated domains, even if those who manage alcohol or the media often treat them as though they are. Treating alcohol like a benign consumer good will only postpone developing effective responses to the many risks associated with alcohol use. Greater awareness of policy benefits: The rationale for, and benefits of, health-based alcohol policies need to be communicated. This is an approach that has been used successfully in the drinking and driving arena as well as in the tobacco arena, and it has more general applications with regard to alcohol issues. A step forward would involve developing strategies

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for advising the general public, and particularly heavy or high-risk drinkers, about the underlying rationale for policies (i.e., that they aim to reduce harm and to improve quality of life). These information campaigns should emphasize the potential roles of the liquor boards and other alcohol management systems in curtailing alcohol problems, in addressing a wide range of social responsibility issues, and as potential players in alcohol policy development. The strong trend towards commercial and consumer orientations within the provincial liquor board systems addresses only part of their mandate. A major rationale for their continued survival should be that of championing and facilitating alcohol policies that curtail consumption, reduce harms, and distribute alcohol in a responsible and informed way. This rationale needs to become part of an enhanced and revised understanding among policy makers and the general public. Prevention priorities: Communication initiatives, including those directed at policy makers and their advisors, need to provide clearer guidance with regard to which interventions have demonstrated an impact in reducing drinking-related harm, which hold promise and which, to date, have shown little or no impact in reducing drinking-related harm. These messages should include information about the scope of the impact, whether the strategy has been evaluated in different cultural settings, possible side effects, and costs associated with their implementation (see Babor et al. 2003, 263–76). Cross-jurisdictional communication: Investment in cross-jurisdictional communication on alcohol policy issues is warranted. Groups and organizations in different provinces, territories, and cities need to improve their communications on the range of issues confronting them, their roles in the alcohol policy process, and outcomes and impacts at local and regional levels. This might be stimulated by annual or biennial workshops/seminars, periodic alcohol policy conferences, or development and dissemination of position papers on specific alcohol issues. Alcohol Policy Advocacy and Strategic Goals Organizational development and options: Experience with tobacco, drinking and driving, and other public health issues has shown that strong, credible advocacy organizations are needed if policy is to move in a public health direction. Alcohol policy issues presently lack such galvanizing organizations at the national level and at most provincial levels, and the first stategic goal of policy advocates should be to form such groups. As noted earlier, health promotion communities have, at times, failed to keep up with alco-

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hol policy issues because this is not their raison d’etre, or because they lack the resources to engage in policy debates, or because they are not focused on population-level issues. It is noteworthy that a similar problem emerged for aids activists: for a time, they had to mobilize outside the normal public health channels in order to get attention from a public health system and movement that treated issues collectively and within an implicit hierarchy of importance. It appears that key decisions for alcohol policy advocates concern the benefits and risk of working within existing structures and bureaucracies. Marketing to a wider audience: The introduction to Sober Reflections indicates that many policy challenges emerged during the 1980s and early 1990s as a result of trade agreements, deficit reduction, globalization, and consumerism. The limited ability to mobilize effectively was a weakness in many policy domains. It is for this reason that a second strategic goal of advocacy groups should be be to market its sensibility to social problems and policy interventions to a wider audience. This would be a major victory even if it did not result in policy change in the immediate future. The gaining of allies in other domains is an important step in maintaining support for public health and safety agendas. Promote learning from experience and research: A third strategic goal of advocacy groups would be to communicate their experiences in the policy arena, as well as relevant research, among interested constituencies. This might include distributing the results of studies that evaluate the impact of policy changes, information on the policy process and on emerging policy issues, and updates on initiatives to bring public health and safety perspectives to the policy table. International initiatives: A fourth strategic goal for advocacy groups involves seeking alliances at the international level. Canada’s history with regard to alcohol control provides a rich experience for other jurisdictions, and there are many mutual benefits for all parties in communicating this experience and promoting international initiatives. This might include, for example, the federal government providing leadership and energy with regard to strengthening the alcohol capabilities and efforts of the World Health Organization. Forming alliances with ngos in other countries in Europe, the Pacific region, and the Americas are other options worth exploring. These initiatives would not only further the exchange of research, knowledge, and practice across jurisdictions but it would also serve to immediately put Canada’s performance within a comparative context and thus engage the senior level of government.

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Policy Making Inclusive orientation: Policy makers are encouraged to be inclusive in their orientation, taking into account the implications of their decisions for populations and communities as well as individuals. This perspective encourages a look “across jurisdictions,” taking into consideration, for example, how marketing decisions affect public health and safety, and how alcohol management and control measures influence marketing. This also relates to the issue of horizontal management: ministries and government departments responsible for commerce and trade in alcohol should communicate regularly, and in a timely manner, with those responsible for problem control and harm reduction, and vice versa. Develop advocacy capabilities: A central undertaking is the creation of alcohol policy monitoring and strategy groups at the federal and provincial levels. Leaving the monitoring of alcohol consumption and distribution to ad hoc arrangements likely results in policy development processes in which certain highly relevant players are not invited to participate in a timely way. It likely also leads to policy outcomes that are neither complementary and strategic nor consistent with the best information. These strategy groups should include participation from a wide range of perspectives and interests, and they should have sufficient time to provide reasoned and thoughtful input. With such a forum, proposed changes in alcohol management, distribution, and marketing could be examined in light of recent developments and potential impacts on health, safety, and the economy. These groups would not replace policy makers but would, rather, provide a high profile and informed source of reasoned argument, reflection, and advice. In short, an infrastructure is required that will be sufficient to facilitate development of skills and leadership in the areas of policy awareness, advocacy, and dissemination. The work of these groups would be further enhanced by establishing provincial or local networks that include public health and safety practitioners, ngos, and researchers. Furthermore, citizens might wish to be more attentive to new developments in alcohol policies, be they in the form of easier access or more extensive promotion and/or control measures. Citizens should demand sufficient time to adequately assess the options as well as opportunities to provide input via elected representatives, public hearings, or other means. A noteworthy development would be establishing a protocol for policy making that is inclusive and that involves both reflective and prospective orientations. The proposed decision-making protocol would include an assessment of previous initiatives, and it would fund the evaluation of future policy initiatives as part of its piloting and implementation strategies.

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Transparent public discourse: The policy development processes should become more open and transparent as well as better informed than is now the case. Public discourse should be planned as part of the process and not be a last minute or tangential part of it. Studies and reviews should inform discussions and deliberations on policy options prior to decisions. This may be awkward for vested interests, but is warranted nonetheless. There appears to be general but “passive” support among the public for controls on alcohol distribution and sales arrangements (e.g., Anglin, Kavanagh and Giesbrecht 2001; Giesbrecht and Greenfield 1999; Giesbrecht and Kavanagh 1999). Canadians are typically not very active on alcohol policy issues. One possible reason for this is demographic: a relatively low population base in Canada works against finding a “critical mass” of persons in each province who are interested in alcohol policy issues for a substantial period of time. Another reason is that the provinces have evolved along somewhat different paths when it comes to alcohol policy issues, and interprovincial competition offers a barrier to cross-province learning and sharing. Many Canadians tend to have a relatively strong belief that their governments will do the right thing, and they tend to leave policy deliberations to elected members and government staff – although this may be changing. Finally, Canadians appear to tolerate if not to accept a certain degree of secrecy in many policy deliberations. A heightened awareness among citizens of how some policies can increase risks and others reduce them would contribute to a more informed discussion of alcohol policy options. A greater transparency with regard to the policy process, along with initiatives to encourage debate informed by research, would raise citizen awareness of issues and of their responsibilities with regard to ensuring that harm-reduction options are seriously considered. Research Research agendas and opportunities: Assessing the social impact of proposed policy changes and evaluating the impact of policy change once initiated are top priorities. Pilot programs should be incorporated into implementation plans and should be at least partially funded by the sponsors of change, with no strings attached to how the research is conducted. Adequate resources are required for policy-relevant research, the dissemination of findings to interested parties, and the monitoring and evaluating of adopted policies. Commissioned research or research reviews should be part of the early steps in policy deliberations. This research should consider both the evidence from elsewhere and comparable Canadian experiences (e.g. Her, Giesbrecht, Room, and Rehm 1999), and it should include cost analysis (e.g. Harwood, Fountain, and Livermore 1998; Single, Robson, Xie, and

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Rehm 1998). When significant alcohol policy issues are debated, input should be provided from a wide range of perspectives and interests, along with the latest research findings. Our case studies show that epidemiological research, evaluation studies, and public opinion analyses are significantly under-utilized resources in alcohol policy deliberations. They also show a great deal of variation in the role of research in the policy process, in part attributable to the different decision forums associated with each case. Knowledge exchange: Research can be made relevant and accessible to policy making in several ways. Research findings on alcohol policy issues must be more effectively transmitted to policy makers through briefing notes, summaries, seminars, and workshops. This requires more inter-sector communication, resources to translate findings into policy-relevant documents, and a willingness among policy makers to consider research early in the deliberations. Monitoring and reporting: As noted earlier, alcohol makes a significant contribution to the overall burden of death, disease, and disability among Canadians. It is therefore important to keep track of attitudes towards alcohol, drinking practices, and their impacts on individuals, families and communities, and citizen views regarding prevention strategies and alcohol policies. Governments should sponsor regular surveys on these topics – preferably on an annual basis. Publishing an annual update of the results of such surveys, along with evaluations of the impacts of prevention strategies and policies as well as damage trends arising from alcohol use, would raise public awareness of emerging problems and successes. These reports would also provide support for citizens, advocacy groups, ngos, and governments involved in prevention activities. This study has shown that there is no simple answer to the question: Is alcohol policy in decline in Canada? One possible answer is that, despite all the efforts to liberalize Canadian alcohol policy on different fronts – by members of alcohol producer coalitions and governments – there is an abiding “conservatism” among Canadians with regard to alcohol management as well as with regard to personal and social responsibility. Another possible answer is that, despite the evidence of the substantial harm from alcohol (Rehm et al. 2003; Babor et al. 2003), alcohol issues and alcohol policy do not receive the level or type of attention that they deserve. Policy decisions tend to be driven by commercial and financial agendas, and the central players are the alcohol industry and those sectors of government dealing with business and commercial matters. Furthermore, alcohol has at best a very minor place in the agendas of most public health agencies and ngos. There are good examples of how to make progress, drawing both from the alcohol field, such as the European Action Plan on Alcohol (who 1999), and

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the experiences in other social and health issues (e.g., tobacco control and the environmental movements). The preceding discussion outlines several options. There is a future for public health considerations of alcohol issues in a commerce-oriented environment. However, the scope and strength of this future will depend on the efficient coordination of communication, advocacy, policy planning, and research activities. In the current climate it will be easy for governments and ngos to overlook or downplay the risks of uninformed policy making. For those who wish to have an influence, it will be no small challenge to counter this. They will have to create the opportunities to make their best case for a more balanced perspective. Canadian perspectives on alcohol control have many strengths, and they provide a unique potential for managing alcohol problems and curtailing risks. Many Canadians can benefit from good policy decisions or, alternatively, they can suffer increased harms from misguided decisions. Unchecked commercialism and an overarching orientation toward perceived consumer interests will likely lead to negative public health and safety outcomes. Therefore, a balanced approach to alcohol policy – one that includes a strong, active, research-oriented alcohol control tradition – is worthy of ongoing support on the part of governments, ngos, and citizens.

references Ainger, K. 2002. “A Privatiser’s Hit List.” The Guardian (London), 18 April. Anglin, L., L. Kavanagh, and N. Giesbrecht. 2001. “Alcohol-Related Policy Measures in Ontario: Who Supports What and to What Degree?” Canadian Journal of Public Health 92, 1: 24–8. Babor, T., R. Caetano, S. Casswell, E. Edwards, N. Giesbrecht, K. Graham, J. Grube, P. Gruenewald, L. Hill, H. Holder, R. Romel, E. Österberg, J. Rehm, R. Room, and R. Rossow. 2003. Alcohol, No Ordinary Commodity: Research and Public Policy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Bruun, K., G. Edwards, M. Lumio, K. Mäkelä, L. Pan, R.E. Popham, R. Room, W. Schmidt, O.J. Skog, P. Sulkunen, and E. Österberg. 1975. Alcohol Control Policies in Public Health Perspective. Helsinki: Finnish Foundation for Alcohol Studies. Chaloupka, F.J., M. Grossman, and H. Saffer. 1998. “The Effects of Price on the Consequences of Alcohol Use and Abuse.” In Recent Developments in Alcoholism, ed. M. Galanter, 331–46. New York, uk: Plenum Press. Christie, N. 1976. “Goals, Ethics and Politics of Preventing Alcohol Problems.” In The Prevention of Alcohol Problems, ed. R. Room and S. Sheffield, 2–11. Sacramento: Office of Alcoholism, State of California. Cook, P.J. 1981. “The Effect of Liquor Taxes on Drinking, Cirrhosis, and Auto Accidents.” In Alcohol and Public Policy: Beyond the Shadow of Prohibition, ed. M.H. Moore and D.R. Gerstein, 255–8. Washington, dc: National Academy Press.

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Table 19.1 Comparison of developments in case studies on several dimensions Alcohol Trade and Distribution chapters

Retail Privatization of Alcohol Sales

Trade

Smuggling

Quebec

Alberta

Mid-1980s–99: trade 1980–89 wine 1987–89 beer 1989–93 Differential treatment of foreign producers of alcohol.

1990s

Mid-1980s–99: 1993–94 1983–85 1993–94 1997–99

Lost government revenues. Quality/ safety of alcohol. Law enforcement versus alcohol tax cuts versus alcohol abuse education.

Drive for sovereignty. Privatization of government agencies. Government downsizing and fiscal crisis.

Alcohol Advertising and Warnings

Intoxicated Assault

Ontario

Warning Labels

Broadcast Advertising

Daviault Decision

1995–97

1987–96

1985–97

1991–95

Expanding points of alcohol sales. Privatization goal of new government leads to proposal to privatize retail liquor stores.

Warnings on alcohol beverage containers about risks of using alcohol. Question of legal risk. Effectiveness of alcohol warning labels.

Removal of prohibition on broadcast advertising for distillers.

Extreme intoxication as a defence for committing assault.

dimensions Time period

Key issues

Privatization goal of new government leads to privatization of retail liquor stores. Private system results in lower alcohol prices, more points of distribution, lower wages.

Table 19.1 (continued) Alcohol Trade and Distribution chapters

Trade

Smuggling

Retail Privatization of Alcohol Sales Quebec

Alberta

Ontario

Alcohol Advertising and Warnings Warning Labels

Broadcast Advertising

Intoxicated Assault Daviault Decision

dimensions Key issues (continued)

Key actors

Keep government revenue neutral from alcohol sales. Health and safety issues.

Jobs in law enforcement.

Federal government. Ontario government. Quebec government.

Federal Government: Revenue Canada, Canada Customs. Ontario Government.

Quebec government. Opposition parties. Provincial liquor board (saq).

Alberta government. Opposition parties. Provincial liquor store union.

Ontario government. Provincial liquor board (lcbo). Provincial liquor store union.

Federal government: Standing Committee on Health, minister of health, minister of justice.

Delegation of responsibility to broadcasting and alcohol industry for monitoring compliance with crtc broadcast advertising codes. crtc. Distillers. Broadcasters. Brewers. Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Quebec court. Supreme Court of Canada.

Table 19.1 (continued) Alcohol Trade and Distribution

Retail Privatization of Alcohol Sales

Alcohol Advertising and Warnings

Intoxicated Assault

Trade

Smuggling

Quebec

Alberta

Ontario

Warning Labels

Broadcast Advertising

Daviault Decision

Key actors (continued)

us government. European Union. gatt Council and wto Brewers. Distillers. Vintners.

Quebec Government. Provincial liquor boards. Law enforcement (rcmp). Provincial liquor store unions. Distillers.

Provincial liquor store union. Quebec Cooperation Council. Grocery stores association. Distillers. Vintners. Brewers.

Private liquor store association. Grocery stores.

Brewers and union. Distillers. Vintners. Public health advocates.

Public health advocates. Toronto Board of Health. Provincial liquor boards.

Federal government: minister of justice, Standing Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs. Women’s advocacy groups (e.g., Women in Law).

Key Forum

gatt Council. wto. Federal government.

Two symposia on alcohol smuggling (Toronto and Cornwall).

Quebec Alberta government. government. Quebec court.

Alcohol Advisory Committee. Public health advocates. Hospitality industry. Distillers. Vintners. Brewers and union. Grocery stores association. Ontario government. lcbo Modernization Committee

chapters dimensions

crtc. Federal Federal Court government: of Canada. Standing Committee on Health and Welfare, Social Affairs, Seniors and the Status of Women.

Quebec court. Supreme Court of Canada.

Table 19.1 (continued) Alcohol Trade and Distribution chapters

Trade

Smuggling

Retail Privatization of Alcohol Sales Quebec

Alberta

Ontario

Alcohol Advertising and Warnings Warning Labels

Broadcast Advertising

Intoxicated Assault Daviault Decision

dimensions Key Forum (continued)

Policy Entrepreneurs

Small us brewers. us environmental lobby.

Distillers wanting alcohol tax cuts. Law enforcement. Provincial liquor boards.

Working group on privatizing government agencies. Government working group on the alcohol sector. Quebec government: Minister of industry and commerce, finance ministers.

Symposium on privatization.

New Conservative government, Premier Ralph Klein, new Minister West.

New Conservative government, Premier Mike Harris, new Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations, Norm Sterling.

Federal Government: Standing Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs.

Paul Szabo, mp, introduces private member’s bill.

Distillers wanting right to advertise on Radio and TV. crtc wanting to deliver on mandate with selfregulation.

Lawyer for Daviault uses defence of extreme intoxication leading to automaton behaviour.

Table 19.1 (continued) Alcohol Trade and Distribution chapters

Retail Privatization of Alcohol Sales

Alcohol Advertising and Warnings

Intoxicated Assault

Trade

Smuggling

Quebec

Alberta

Ontario

Warning Labels

Broadcast Advertising

Daviault Decision

Trade agreement provided opportunity for smaller us producers to sell in Canada at lower price than Canadian products. Diverging interests of brewers, vintners, and distillers. Public desire for greater consumer choice.

Spillover from tobacco policy arena in two ways: -provided distillers opportunity to ask for lower alcohol taxes. -smuggling organized crime networks were already in place.

Government announcement (1983–85). Report of the working group on the privatization of government agencies (1993–94). Report of the working group examining government agencies (1997–99).

Decisive action by a newly elected government, one of many of similar scope. No public consultation and reflection.

Government announcement. Many committees, forums, and opportunities for groups to convey and debate views. Ideology of divestment of government in retailing.

Private member’s bill that gets reinstated across sessions of Parliament. Generates good public debate, despite lack of government interest.

crtc decision and subsequent court challenge by distillers. Series of crtc invitations for comment and hearings on merits of deregulation.

Decision by lower court in Quebec. Public outrage about Daviault and subsequent use of the defence.

dimensions Precipitating event and dynamics

Table 19.1 (continued) Alcohol Trade and Distribution chapters

Trade

Smuggling

Retail Privatization of Alcohol Sales Quebec

Alberta

Alcohol Advertising and Warnings

Ontario

Warning Labels

Process not transparent, (e.g., consultants produced scenarios report that was not made public).

Lobbying by alcohol producers and commissioning of research, and threats to withdraw funding for educational initiatives. Lack of definitive research findings provides little basis for policy action.

Broadcast Advertising

Intoxicated Assault Daviault Decision

dimensions Precipitating event and dynamics (continued)

Silence of health advocates in debate. Environmental activism.

Constraints

Canada’s broader policy objectives in trade agenda.

Governments worried about revenue loss.

Oriented to small business; therefore, not fullblown free enterprise (e.g., alcohol not sold in grocery chains or supermarkets).

Aggressive marketing, modernization and promotion by lcbo and increased government revenue.

Public opinion.

Table 19.1 (continued) Alcohol Trade and Distribution chapters

Trade

Smuggling

Retail Privatization of Alcohol Sales Quebec

Alberta

Alcohol Advertising and Warnings

Ontario

Warning Labels

Effective ads by liquor store union. Vintners and Brewers opposed to privatization.

Some public health advocates concerned that move would provide rationale for not moving on more effective interventions. Regulation: mandating warning labels on alcohol beverage containers. Other alcohol prevention/ education programs.

Intoxicated Assault

Broadcast Advertising

Daviault Decision

Selfregulation. Government regulation (i.e., federal or provincial or both).

Contesting decisions of courts. Government initiating consultations. Review and commissioning of research. New Act of Parliament.

dimensions Constraints (continued)

Instruments

Actors seeking effective interventions to stop smuggling.

Pricing (e.g., beer, barley). Environmental beer bottle levies. Access. Points of distribution for certain alcohol products.

Alcohol Taxation. Law enforcement. Persuading retailers not to sell smuggled products.

Wholesale Retail Distribution.

Privatization by stealth.

Table 19.1 (continued) Alcohol Trade and Distribution chapters

Trade

Smuggling

Retail Privatization of Alcohol Sales Quebec

Alcohol Advertising and Warnings

Alberta

Ontario

Warning Labels

Threats by alcohol industry of withdrawal of education program funds.

Balanced but did not comment on truncated process or call for impact assessments.

(lcbo expands Agency store and winery store network, Sunday sales, longer hours). Initially favourable reports on Alberta experience; later more critical and favourable to lcbo.

Intoxicated Assault

Broadcast Advertising

Daviault Decision

Balanced reporting of views.

Reporting strongly opposed to Supreme Court decision, with extensive editorial commentary.

dimensions Instruments (continued)

Education regarding alcohol quality/ safety.

Media reporting

Balanced, but did not address implications for health and safety risk.

Balanced reporting of views.

Table 19.1 (continued) Alcohol Trade and Distribution chapters

Retail Privatization of Alcohol Sales

Trade

Smuggling

Quebec

Alberta

Ontario

Little use of research, although provincial liquor boards (e.g., lcbo) used public health concerns to justify floor pricing.

Consulting reports. Surveys on public opinion. Estimates on revenue loss & volume of smuggling. Relatively little interventions from health organizations.

Few studies on economic issues commissioned by the Quebec government.

ConsultaInfluenced tion with by Iowa Albertans, model. Alberta politi- reviewed at cians called for Nov. 1995 evidence and forum. No review of research. literature Fraser Insticommistute and sioned. ccpa. No review of literature on changes in access to alcohol and consumption and problems. Divergent reports by economists (e.g., funded by Fraser Institute or liquor store union).

Alcohol Advertising and Warnings

Intoxicated Assault

Warning Labels

Broadcast Advertising

Daviault Decision

Interest in warning labels utilized in other jurisdictions. Public opinion research.

acd tapped into expertise of arf expert.

Submissions by Canadian Pyschology Association, arf, Women’s groups.

dimensions Role of research

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A P P E N D I C E S

appendix a: focus and methods Focus Alcohol Policy Issues Selected for Study Methods Table a1 – Data Collected

appendix b: forms and documents Document i Document ii Document iii Document iv Document v Document vi Document vii Document viii Document ix Document x

– – – – – – – – – –

Keyword List Newspaper Article Coding Sheet crtc Coding Form Interview Sample Letter Description of Project Consent to Act as Participant Key Informant Interview Questionnaire Interview Face Sheet Interview Coding Template Research Questions and Proposed Hypotheses

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APPENDIX A

Focus and Methods

focus In this book we focus on the policy development process in Canada, addressing the following key questions (for hypotheses see Appendix B): G

G G

G

How and why do alcohol policy issues get on the policymaking agenda, and move up and down in priority? How and where does research get produced and utilized in the policymaking process? How has alcohol policymaking, as well as the production and utilization of research, been affected during an era of government restructuring? What is the relative role of different factors in the outcome of alcohol-related policy developments?

Additional questions of interest: G G

G G

G

G

G

What are the stages of policy development? How does an issue come to light? How/why does a policy win support from various groups? Who are the key groups and what determines what stance they take on an issue? What is the influence of various factors such as information, data, research, policy analysis, coalitions and lobbying? What formal and informal criteria are used to assess the importance, relevance and accuracy of information in the policy planning and decision-making process? How do broader socio-political shifts in policy such as economic recessions, international trade agreements, impact alcohol-related policy development? What is the role of public opinion in policy change?

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appendix a

alcohol policy issues selected for study Nine specific policy issues were selected for study. All had attracted considerable public and media attention at various times during the previous decade and some were being actively considered at the time of the study. Others appeared, at the time of the study to have been resolved for the foreseeable future. In all but one case these policies concerned the availability or marketing of beverage alcohol. The exception was a policy concerning the use of intoxication as a defence against criminal prosecution.

Privatization of the Distribution and Sale of Alcohol in Alberta The privatization of the provincially controlled systems for the distribution and sale of alcohol, established following prohibition, has often been considered by some provincial governments. Privatization has been championed by advocates of free enterprise, as a government cost-saving measure and because it is in the interests of consumers. In Alberta, piecemeal steps toward privatization occurred during the 1980s, but in 1993 a newly elected Progressive Conservative government announced its intention to privatize the province’s alcohol retail sales outlets. By 1994 all retail sales outlets operated by the Alberta Liquor Control Board were closed or sold. The management of the ALCB’s warehouse was also contracted to a private firm.

Privatization of the Distribution and Sale of Alcohol in Quebec Quebec has allowed the sale of wine and beer in private grocery outlets since the late 1970s and the full privatization of alcohol sales has been proposed several times. In 1984, the Quebec National Assembly voted for the sale of alcohol retail outlets operated by the Societé des Alcools (saq) to the workers as cooperatives but this was opposed by the union who obtained an injunction against the proposed change. Since then, both the Parti Québécois and the Liberals have, when in power, supported privatization but the issue has come and gone while other issues were addressed. Various models of privatization were proposed by the saq in 1997 ranging from maintaining the status quo to complete privatization of all activities of saq. The decision was to maintain the status quo with regard to retail sales. However, the government did privatize the bottling factories.

Privatization of the Distribution and Sale of Alcohol in Ontario Prior to winning the election, the Progressive Conservative Party platform in March 1995, “The Common Sense Revolution”, included a proposal to privatize the retail alcohol management for the province. This dramatic proposal was justified by the ideological perspective that the government should not be in the business of selling

focus and methods

335

alcoholic beverages. Fiscal benefits were also a consideration. The quick privatization of the Alberta Liquor Control Board in 1993 likely influenced the pc’s proposal to privatize the lcbo. However, by spring 1995, when the plan to consider privatizing the lcbo was noted in the public media, there had been both positive and negative accounts of the Alberta experience. Perspectives within the pc government, and in the Ontario community, were not unanimous. Privatization was strongly opposed by groups and organizations representing a wide range of interests. Within the government, the first cabinet minister to oversee the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations, Norm Sterling, was a strong advocate for privatization. However, some informal accounts suggest that the Finance Minister Ernie Eves, was not fully convinced that a dramatically revised system could generate the same revenue as the current system. The lcbo reported increased sales for fiscal years 1996–97 and 1997–98, a key point used by a number of vested interests that were questioning the wisdom of dismantling a revenue generating agency. In 1996, David Tsubouchi was appointed Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations and seemed to take a more studious approach to the question. In an off-hand comment in May 1998, Premier Mike Harris stated that there were no current plans to privatize the lcbo.

Decisions Concerning Cross-Border Disputes Involving Alcohol Under Free Trade Agreements Since the mid–1980s, there have been numerous disputes between Canada and the United States around the trade and marketing of alcoholic beverages. These disputes began with the European Community (ec) lodging a complaint against Canada’s restrictions on imported alcoholic beverages. Soon afterwards, the u.s. joined the ec in the complaint against Canada. The disputes took a number of turns, beginning with the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (gatt, now the World Trade Organization), upholding the complaint against Canada in 1988. Further conflict ensued when the U.S. filed a second complaint with gatt in 1991 claiming non-compliance with the 1988 ruling. In return, Canada filed a complaint with gatt stating the u.s. pricing distributions and sale restrictions discriminate against Canadian beer, wine and cider. The disputes continued for a number of years centring on distribution and pricing practices, and the imposition of tariffs and environmental levies. With the advent of the North American Free Trade Agreement (nafta), the U.S. proposed to flood the Canadian market with inexpensive canned beer, without regard for Ontario’s environmental bottle-return policy. In Ontario, this was the primary reason for the contention. Public health concerns factored little into the debate. By 1995, the dispute was settled with Canada allowing access to the U.S. beer while maintaining minimum price (at a lower level) and Ontario maintaining its environmental levy.

336

appendix a

Decision Concerning Actions Against Alcohol Smuggling and Illicit Production and Sales There were a number of developments that appeared to contribute to smuggling of alcohol in the 1990s. Trade disputes and cross-border arrangements between Canada and the United States drew attention to the differences in retail prices. Distilled spirits are the most amenable to smuggling because of the price differential between Canada and the u.s. is significant and the higher ethanol content compared to beer and wine. An additional factor that deserves attention was the tobacco smuggling which was extensive in the 1990s. One native reservation, which falls on both sides of the border, was very much involved in tobacco smuggling until the Canadian, Ontario and Quebec governments reduced the taxes on tobacco. An attractive alternative product for smugglers became alcohol. In Ontario and Quebec, the responses were to increase enforcement and detection and coordination of efforts across agencies; targeted efforts to curtail the sale of smuggled alcohol through licensed premises; international symposia; and other communications; rewards for turning in smugglers; efforts to track duty free bulk alcohol exports of spirits to the u.s.; communication with u.s. officials; public opinion surveys; campaigns to reduce alcohol tax, particularly on distilled spirits.

A Proposal for Warning Labels on Alcoholic Beverage Containers Since the mid–1980s, there have been sporadic movements to place warning labels on alcoholic beverages (e.g., warning labels were one recommendation of a Parliamentary Subcommittee report on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in 1992). The most recent round of this policy debate began in 1995 when Liberal mp, Paul Szabo, introduced private member’s Bill C–337 An Act to Amend the Food and Drugs Act to require warning labels on alcoholic beverage containers. The preamble to the private member’s bill reveals that the prevention of alcohol-related fetal damage is the primary justification for the bill. However, the proposed text of the labels is more inclusive, addressing health effects and hazardous activities as well, including drinking and driving. After being reinstated in the following session of parliament as Bill C–222, the Bill received a second reading, which means it went further in the legislative process than it had on any of the previous occasions in which it was introduced. It was referred directly for consideration by a subcommittee of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health. Over several weeks in early 1996, testimony in favour and against the bill was heard. Emotional testimony was heard from advocates for prevention of Fetal Alcohol Effects. Equally vehement testimony was made by representatives of the alcoholic beverages industry who foresaw economic doom. Testimony from health agencies and public health professionals was lukewarm, indicating warning labels had modest effects on behaviour. The public health community generally opposed labels that focussed exclusively on pregnancy issues, but tended (not

focus and methods

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unanimously) to support the bill on its intent, its symbolic value, and from the standpoint of appropriate consumer information. Ultimately, Federal Health Minister David Dingwall did not support the Bill. In May 1996, after six meetings of the committee, the Bill was referred back to the Standing Committee on Health to go for further study rather than a final committee vote. No further action appears to have been taken and the bill died on the order paper. After this apparent defeat (May 1996), Mr. Szabo stood in the House of Commons to deliver scathing criticisms of the involvement of the Canadian alcoholic beverages industry in lobbying members of Parliament to reject the bill. These accusations of inappropriate lobbying activity received high profile media coverage.

A Decision by the Canadian Radio-television & Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to Allow the Broadcast Advertising of Spirits The broadcast advertising of spirits was banned for the earliest days of broadcasting. The ban was enshrined in the regulations of the crtc that has federal authority to ensure that all broadcast alcohol advertisements conform to Codes appended to the Broadcast Act. The ban on spirits advertising was successfully appealed in the Federal Court by the Canadian Distillers and the ban was immediately lifted by crtc.

A Decision by the CRTC to Delegate Responsibility for ensuring Compliance With the Code for Broadcast Advertising of Alcohol to Advertising Standards Canada As indicated above, the crtc is empowered to ensure that all broadcast advertisement for alcohol conforms with Codes appended to the Broadcast Act and, until 1997, the crtc was engaged in the pre-clearance of all alcohol advertisements. Since 1997, pre-clearance has been optional as far as the crtc is concerned. In 1997, the crtc also delegated responsibility for monitoring compliance with the Codes to Advertising Standards Canada (formerly the Canadian Advertising Association). This is an agency supported by the advertising industry that assumed responsibility for monitoring compliance with other advertising standards and which handles public complaints about advertising practices. The crtc’s decisions in favour of industry self-regulation came after more than a decade of discussion during which many members of the public and many health professionals made it clear that they were opposed to any relaxation of control on alcohol advertising and to industry self-regulation.

Changes to the Criminal Code of Canada Regarding the Use of Self-Induced Intoxication as a Defence Against Criminal Prosecution In the Western world the role of alcohol intoxication as a defence against criminal prosecution has been debated for centuries. The issue attracted acute attention in Canada in the fall of 1994 when the Supreme Court of Canada granted a man accused of sexual assault the right to a retrial in which he could raise intoxication in

338

appendix a

defence of his behaviour. The ruling stated that it was contrary to the constitutional rights of the accused to be forbidden from raising intoxication as a defence, if that intoxication had left the accused devoid of the mental capacity required for criminal intent (i.e., behaving like an automaton, such as in sleep walking). Their reasoning was based on a belief that there was no scientific evidence to conclude that severe intoxication did not result in behaviour that was automatic. After much public outcry and a few cases successfully using this defence, the federal government decided to act quickly to rectify the situation. Bill C–72 was introduced in February 1995 and by June 1995 became law. The Self-induced Intoxication Act came into effect 15 September 1995 and covers violent crimes of general intent (such as aggravated sexual assault). It creates a basis for criminal fault in the context of intoxication and for the first time sets out a “standard of care” in the field of self-induced intoxication. Breaching this “standard of care” is defined as criminal fault, sufficient for criminal liability, therefore, the defence of extreme intoxication is not applicable, since intoxication itself would be the basis of criminal fault for the crime. In other words, a defendant who takes a substance to the point of intoxication, knowing that this may cause him to harm others, has exceeded the standard of care and is, therefore, at fault and will not be able to use the defence of self-induced intoxication.

methods Data Collection Two types of data were collected for this study. The first was interview data, provided by key informants. The second was archival data abstracted from selected government documents, research, advocacy and trade publications, and newspaper articles (see Table A1).

Interviewing Key Informants The first set of potential interview respondents were selected based on the project team members’ knowledge of key members of the “policy community”, policy players working in each policy issue selected for study. This first set of key informants were asked to nominate individuals or organizations which they considered important players in the policy topic, both policy actors who shared the same ideology or position and actors who had opposing perspectives or policy positions. Names of potential key informants were also identified from government documents such as legislative records, through searches of Hansard (legislative assembly debates), and reviews of media reports of alcohol policy activities. Consultants and other advisors were also used to suggest names of potential interviewees. Project team members who would be doing the interviews met periodically in order to prioritize potential interview respondents as more information on the policy area and the role of poten-

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tial respondents was gathered. At these meetings, team members also discussed who would be designated to interview each potential respondent. Records were kept of the names of all potential respondents, their affiliation(s), how their name came to our attention, policy area(s) in which they were/are active, the project team member designated to do the interview, status of the potential respondent (e.g., to be contacted, interview scheduled, etc.) and contact information. The first contact with potential respondents was made by the designated interviewer through a telephone call. The interviewer briefly described the study and requested their participation. Subsequently, an introductory letter explaining the purpose of the study and asking if they would be willing to participate in a 1–2 hour in-depth interview which would be tape recorded, a consent form and a description of the study were faxed to the respondent (see Appendix B). A follow-up phone call was made by the interviewer to confirm and arrange an interview. Interviews were conducted face-to-face (with the exception of one telephone interview). Also, a face sheet was completed after the interview was completed (see Appendix B). One interviewer was responsible for all Alberta interviews and another interviewer was responsible for all Quebec interviews. Other interviews were conducted by one of five interviewers (although the bulk were conducted by 3 interviewers). Interviewers prepared for each interview by reviewing relevant documents, previous interviews on the relevant policy issue and information regarding the potential key informant and their organization. Once interviews were transcribed, proofread (by the interviewer listening to the tape recording to detect errors in the transcript) and corrected, they were entered into the nud*ist ethnographic software package (qsr and Pty Ltd, 1997), and the audiotape record of the interview was erased. interview questionnaire A semi-structured, open-ended interview guide was developed (see Appendix B). This included questions about the respondent’s experience in the alcohol policy areas, insights with regard to specific policies, opinions on the policy process, values and views on other factors influencing the policy process. Often, the designated interviewer constructed specific questions of relevance for respondents prior to conducting the interview.

Archival Data The selection of the archival material was partly based on information obtained through the key informant interviews. During the course of the interviews, respondents were asked to identify any accessible documents relevant to particular policy issues, such as written briefs or meeting minutes. In addition, the project team members carried out electronic searches in various databases to identify relevant documents within each policy area. Some relevant documents were also identified through citations in other documentary sources, and through the teams’ expert

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knowledge of each policy issue. Three types of archival material were collected: official government documents, research reports and other publications, and print media items. official government documents Efforts were made to obtain federal and provincial government documents that spanned all three branches of government: the legislative, the executive, and the judicial branch. Examples of government documents from the legislative branch included consultation papers such as White Papers and Green Papers, proposed Bills, Acts, legislative debates (i.e., Hansard), government standing committee and sub-committee minutes and reports, public submissions to committees, and public discussion papers. Examples of executive governmental documents included reports and media releases from federal and provincial ministries. Key judicial decisions included court briefs and transcripts from rulings that affect alcohol-related laws and regulations. Further details are provided in the chapters on individual policy developments. research reports and other publications Included were scientific, professional, advocacy and trade publications (e.g., Annual General Reports and newsletters), as well as manuscripts and presentations (e.g., papers presented at conferences). Also included were reports on national and provincial population based surveys on public opinion toward the various alcohol policies (carried out by government agencies or private pollsters). print media items Media items were collected by searching electronic databases (going back to 1985) of several newspapers. The newspapers selected were The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, The Ottawa Citizen, The Edmonton Journal, and The Calgary Herald, La Presse and Le Devoir. The Globe and Mail is a nationally circulated newspaper, whereas the others have provincial circulations. Electronic searches were conducted on newspapers in these databases: Infomart, Canadian Business and Current Affairs (cbca), and Canadian NewsDisc. Searches were conducted on newspapers in all databases where they could be found as a means of cross checking whether using the same keywords in different databases would result in the same number of hits and actual articles. Keywords (see Appendix B) were used to search the title, author, source and descriptor of the newspaper articles.

data analysis Qualitative Analysis The qualitative data analysis of interview transcripts was conducted using a software application, “Nonnumerical Unstructured Data Indexing Searching & Theorizing”

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(nud*ist, qsr and Pty Ltd. 1997). This application allows for the coding of interview texts line-by-line, such that, for example, a thirty-line response by a key informant can be coded overall to one code (e.g., Quebec/privatization) while individual lines (or more) in the same interview can be simultaneously coded for other topics (e.g., legislation or advertising) with overlap. Furthermore, key portions of printed text and archival material can be referenced (or included as text) and subsequently coded on the Interview Coding Template for each interview transcript (see Appendix B). Later in the data retrieval phase, these coded segments and others from any interview or text were selected by combinations of Boolean operators for data codes. This allowed for key informant topics and textual data to be handled both quantitatively (i.e., content analysis) and qualitatively (i.e., meanings, strategies and processes). Qualitative analysis requires accurate records in terms of precise phrasing “as spoken”, however colloquial and ungrammatical everyday discourse may be. Thus, transcribers were instructed to transcribe the exact words and phrases recorded on the tape. Senior research staff also organized learning sessions with the coders to increase their mutual understandings of how to code sample texts. As well, crosschecking for coding accuracy involved 1 transcript coded by all coders and 3 transcripts coded by 2 coders each and group discussion over differences. The initial discussions around coding protocols allowed for ambiguous code categories to be redefined with clearer criteria. The nud*ist software allows for assessment of data entry accuracy. As new analytic concepts and insights develop, the qualitative analysis application allows for multiple and overlapping recording of the same texts. This flexibility allows ongoing, minute-by-minute alteration of data retrieval. Two streams of activity co-existed within the qualitative analysis: 1) analysing for predefined academic concepts, especially around the central research questions and hypotheses; and 2) analysing for new and innovative developments in understanding alcohol policy processes. The first involved examining the interviews in light of the proposed hypotheses (see Appendix B) by constructing text-portion hierarchies around specific topics and examining them for factors involved in alcohol policy development which indicate how the major players and elites (i.e., industry, research, public health) view commonality and difference, power relationships, and sequences and time frames related to phases and streams in policy-making. Following a grounded theory approach (Strauss and Corbin 1990a; 1990b), qualitative researchers spent 50% of their analysis time developing new and insightful understandings of the alcohol policy process.

Quantitative Analysis To supplement the formal thematic coding of the interviews in the qualitative analysis, summary coding was also conducted on the archival documents for subsequent quantitative analyses. Summary coding sheets for all data sources were developed, such that a core set of variables was obtained from all data sources, and, within each

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source, a distinct set of variables was also tracked (see Appendix B for coding forms used for interviews and print media items). Coded data were entered into an spss database for statistical analyses. A variety of axes for comparison analyses were conducted across issues and within type of data source (e.g., print media), and using the core set of variables mentioned above, across data sources and within issues (e.g., warning labels).

Integrating Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis Taken together, the documentary data provide parallel time-linked records from multiple sources that were juxtaposed with the policy actors’ interview data. This, triangulation of data collection enhances validity and reliability (Janesick 1994) and enabled an analysis of the interaction between alcohol policy actors and the written materials they draw upon. Further, the summary coding sheets from the interviews contain variables comparable to all other document sources, which enabled comparisons across all sources using quantitative data analysis techniques. The interview summary coding sheets identified themes relevant to the policy formation process. For example, the “strategy” theme means the strategy used by the different interest groups on a particular alcohol policy within the data source. Factors contributing to the success or failure of policy implementation were also identified. Document coding occurred in a similar fashion. The print media coding scheme for example identified factors of approval or disapproval of a particular policy. Some coding variables exist across data sources such as the reference to research evidence in support or opposition of a particular policy. These quantitative approaches complement the qualitative analysis scheme of the interviews as outlined above.

Reliability and Validity Issues The interviewer’s skill in gaining acceptance and rapport with the key informant is a crucial component of the value of the knowledge gained (Dreher 1994). Interview skills were maximized through training and feedback from senior experienced researchers. A further issue, inherited from more positivistic research approaches, is that of the validity of the analysis. Several built-in checks maximized rigour here. Searching for disconfirming evidence involved documenting the serious quest for opposing, non-conforming or alternate data from other actors or data sources (Gilchrist 1992). Triangulation of data sources means that the same alcohol policy issue was sampled through multiple sources (key informant interviews, government documents, publications and media reports); hence, these multiple sources were considered for mutual comparability. Triangulation of theory refers to the multiple analytic perspectives brought together by the research team (grounded theory, symbolic anthropology, phenomenology).

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Addressing the limitation posed by adopting an open-ended interview strategy was also achieved by having a knowledgeable interviewer; being well informed about the area of study and about the prospective respondent (Marshall and Rossman 1989; Smith 1981). Interviewers were informed by “policy histories”, essentially summaries of the specific policies that served as case studies, which included a summary of the issue and outline of the action that had occurred on the policy to date. Being well versed on the policy topics and area of study in general is also important in addressing the final limitation, respondents’ recall. Examining policy development through both past and current policy events depends on the respondents’ ability to recall events. The reliability of the responses may be weakened due to people’s limited ability to remember. Having a knowledgeable interviewer ensures the accuracy of information provided by the respondent by bringing out the fullest amount of accurate recall and reporting. Descriptions of events were also verified where possible by asking questions of multiple informants. The documents used in the content analysis were coded by four trained coders. To measure the consistency between the coders, reliability checks were conducted, before data coding officially began and at the end of the data coding period, on a random selection of 30 documents (10 per document category). A Cohen’s Kappa statistic of at least 0.6 was accepted as an indication of consistency. One investigator for each policy issue was assigned the responsibility to analyse the data and write the chapter.

references Qualitative Solutions & Research (qsr) Pty. Ltd. 1997. QSR NUD*IST (Non numerical Unstructured Data Indexing Searching and Theory-building (Software)) Revision 4. Janesick, V.J. 1994. “The Dance of Qualitative Research Design.” In: N.K. Denzin, Y.S. Lincoln, eds. Handbook of Qualitative Research. 209–19. Thousand Oaks, ca: Sage Publications. Gilchrist, V.J. 1992. Key informant interviews. In: B.F. Crabtree and L.M. William, eds. Doing Qualitative Research. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications. Dreher, M. 1994. Qualitative research methods from the reviewers perspective. In: J.M. Morse, ed. Critical Issues in Qualitative Research Methods, 281–97. Thousand Oaks, ca: Sage Publications. Marshall, C., and G.B. Rossman 1989. Designing Qualitative Research. Newbury Park, ca: Sage Publications. Smith, J.K. 1981. “Quantitative vs. Qualitative Research: An Attempt to Clarify the Issue.” Educational Research 12, 3:6–13. Strauss, A., and J. Corbin 1990a. Basics of Qualitative Research: Grounded Theory and Techniques. Newbury Park, ca: Sage Publications. – 1990b. Basics of Qualitative Research: Grounded Theory Procedures and Techniques. Newbury Park, ca: Sage Publications.

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Table A1 – Data Collected Resource Key Informant Interviews

Print Media English: G G G G G

Toronto Star Globe & Mail Ottawa Citizen Calgary Herald Edmonton Journal

French: G G

La Presse Le Devoir

Description of Data Key informants were selected from Industry, Government, Community Groups, Advocacy Groups, Police and Media across Canada. A “snowball” technique was implemented for referring potential respondents. They were primarily conducted in person. Telephone interviews were conducted when necessary. Total of 57 interviews conducted. Seven major Canadian newspapers with provincial or national distribution were selected. An extensive keyword search for newspaper titles was conducted through various electronic databases. Up to 25 keywords were searched on each topic area (see Keyword List in Appendix B). A database of 1106 newspaper articles were collected; 482 French language and 624 English articles. These articles covered all of the topic areas for the years 1987 to 1998.

Data Collection Site Interviews were conducted in: Montreal Quebec City Edmonton Calgary Ottawa/Hull Toronto

G G G G G G

University of Toronto microfiche library Metro Toronto Reference Library Bibliotèque Nationale du Québec Centre de documentation de la Société des Alcoools du Québec Bibliotèque des sciences humaines de l’Université de Montréal Electronic databases Infomart Canadian Business and Current Affairs Canadian NewsDisc www.nlc-bnc.ca National Archives of Canada Library (Ottawa) www.gateway.ontla.o n.ca www.gov.ab.ca Ontario Legislative library (Toronto)

G

G

G

G

G

G G

G

Federal Hansard

Provincial Hansard

Legislative debates for the years 1984 to 1998 were searched. 150 pages of debates were collected for all the topic areas. Legislative debates for 1984 to 1998 were searched. 265 pages of debates were collected for selected topic areas.

G G

G

G G

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Table A1 – Data Collected – continued Resource Other Government Documents

Description of Data Other government documents collected include: Supreme Court Decisions, House of Commons Standing Committee Meeting Minutes and Committee Reports to Parliament, Bills and Acts.

Data Collection Site G

G

G

G

other i n f o r m at i o n – Public submissions – Sales bulletins – Research papers – Union announcements – Conference materials – Letters/other communications – Industry newsletters – Annual reports – Surveys

Resources from a wide variety of sources were collected throughout the project as reference materials. Collected materials span from 1983 to 1999.

G G

G

G

G G G

Supreme Court of Canada Library (Ottawa) National Archives of Canada (Ottawa) Ontario Legislative Library (Toronto) Federal and provincial government web sites libraries key interview respondents Internet web site databases Industry communications departments Community groups Statistics Canada Liquor Control Boards

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APPENDIX B

Forms and Documents

document one keyword list general keywords 1) nafta/gatt and Alcohol Trade Agreements alcohol nafta alcohol gatt alcohol trade alcohol trade agreement alcohol agreement beer agreement liquor agreement wine agreement alcohol North America 2) Alcohol Smuggling and Illicit Alcohol Production alcohol smuggling cross border shopping cross border liquor purchases illicit alcohol production illegal alcohol manufacturer illegal distilling illegal alcohol sales home brew sales bootlegger black market alcohol

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3) Alcohol Warning Labels alcohol warning label alcohol warning warning label messages warning on alcohol beverages warning signs or notices responsible drinking messages alcohol health consequences alcohol health effects alcohol related harm alcohol health risks alcohol health messages alcohol health information alcohol related birth defects alcohol and pregnancy alcohol and unborn child fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) fetal alcohol effects (FAE) alcohol dietary guidelines alcohol guidelines Bill C–337 Bill C–222 Paul Szabo 4) Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (crtc) Canadian Radio-Television & Telecommunications Commission Code for Broadcast Advertising of Alcoholic Beverages beer advertising liquor advertising wine advertising alcohol marketing alcohol promotions alcohol sponsorships commercial messages broadcast ad no claim advertisements alcohol lifestyle advertising women in alcohol advertising regulation of alcohol advertising alcohol images 5) Self-Induced Intoxication as a Defense in Criminal Code of Canada drunkenness as a defense in crime heavy drinking as a defense in crime intoxication as a defense in crime

forms and documents drunkenness as a defense in sexual assault or sexual harassment heavy drinking as a defense in sexual assault or sexual harassment intoxication as a defense in sexual assault or sexual harassment Daviault 6) Privatization or Deregulation of Alcohol alcohol privatization alcohol deregulation alcohol tax(es) alcohol taxation alcohol excise tax Excise Act u-brew tax home brew tax alcohol availability alcohol distribution alcohol retail stores alcohol outlets density of alcohol outlets size of alcohol outlets location of alcohol outlets alcohol sales alcohol days and hours of sale alcohol prices alcohol control alcohol monopolies 7) Role of Research in Development of Alcohol Policies research and alcohol policy newspaper keywords Privatization or Deregulation of Alcohol alcohol beer liquor wine booze llbo lcbo private privati! deregulat! union modernization selloff

349

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minist! consumer hansard research Privatization or Deregulation of Alcohol lcbo llbo Modernization Alcohol* Gaming* Liquor and Gaming Authority of Ontario Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario Common Sense Revolution Liquor* Liquor Control Board of Ontario Privatization* olbeu* Drinking Brewing Industry Wine Industry Beer Stores

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document two newspaper article coding sheet (june 1999) Coder: Article ID#: Title: Newspaper: Date:

_____________ _____________ _________________________________________________________ __________ (see code list) month _____/ day_____/ year_____ Page #: __________

type of article: 1 3 5 7

News Report 2 Feature Column 4 Editorial Letter-to-Editor (reader) 6 Letter-to-Editor (org.) Other _______________________

m a i n a l c o h o l p o l i c y f o c u s o f a r t i c l e (check one only): 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Advertising Standards & Monitoring (crtc) Beverage Warning Labels Defence of Intoxication nafta/ gatt (Trade Agreements & Disputes) Privatization Smuggling/ Illicit Production Distilled Spirits Advertising (Radio & TV) Other_____________________________

If focus is Privatization, please specify main province discussed: 1 Alberta 2 Ontario 3 Quebec 4 Other o t h e r p o l i c y t o p i c s m e n t i o n e d (check all that apply): 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

Advertising Standards & Monitoring (crtc) Beverage Warning Labels Defence of Intoxication nafta/ gatt (Trade Agreements & Disputes) Privatization Smuggling/ Illicit Production Distilled Spirits Advertising (Radio & TV) Other_____________________________

i n f o r m a t i o n s o u r c e s m e n t i o n e d (check all that apply): 1 Press Release or Press Conference

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appendix b

Court Case Ruling Research Report or Conference Legal Report/Affidavit/Police Report Other ____________________ No Sources Mentioned

ACTOR/ AGENCY CODE* (code only the first 5 actors mentioned)

POSITION: ** 1= pro-control 2= anti-control 3= neutral 4= don’t know/not stated

* see separate page for actor codes ** see separate page for definitions of the pro-control and anti-control position for each policy

r a t i o n a l e s m e n t i o n e d (please code the first 3 rationales mentioned, regardless of position, using the list provided below. Do not repeat codes. Use ‘11’ if none mentioned) 1st: ________ 2nd: ________ 3rd: ________ rationales/ justifications for actor’s policy position: 1 = Economic and Related Issues (e.g., government revenue, fiscal constraints, recession/boom, cost of alcohol programs, staff or real estate) 2 = Business Interests // Intérêts commerciaux, affaires (e.g., profit, expansion, marketing, anti-big-government) 3 = Consumer Interests // Droits souverains des consommateurs (e.g., prices, selection, accessibility, advice on products, wine consultants, displays, mail-order purchasing) 4 = Health, Public Health, and Harm-Related Issues // Intérêt de la santé publique, Harm Réduction (e.g., violence, illness, drinking & driving, public drunkenness, safety issues, gov’t responsibility) 5 = Public Opinion/Outcry // Opinion Publique/Tollé 6 = Employment and Related Issues (e.g., unions, job loss, work conditions) 7 = Legal Issues (e.g., legal rights, class action) 8 = Cultural & International Reference (cross-cultural observation about drinking/access/problems) 9 = Lack of Research 10 = Other // Autres 11 = No Rationale Given

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newspaper codes 01 = Toronto Star 02 = Globe & Mail 03 = Ottawa Citizen 04 = Calgary Herald 05 = Edmonton Journal 06 = La Presse 07 = Le Devoir definitions of pro- and anti-control positions policy

pro-control policy position

anti-control policy position

Advertising (crtc)

alcohol ads should be regu- advertising/broadcast industry should selflated by crtc; keep regulate alcohol advertisepre-clearance ments

Distilled Spirits Advertising

spirits industry should not be allowed to advertise their products on television and radio

Warning Labels

warnings labels should not warnings labels should appear on alcohol beverage appear on alcohol beverage containers containers

Defence of Intoxication

extreme intoxication should not be allowed as a defence for committing serious/violent crimes, such as assault or murder

extreme intoxication may be a valid defence for serious/violent crimes

nafta/gatt

provincial (national) limits on availability should take precedence over free trade, with public health and environmental rationales

there should be free trade; open markets; equal treatment of products whatever their origin

Privatization

retail alcohol sales should be government regulated, and include government-run stores

government should no longer manage the retail sale of alcoholic beverages

Smuggling/Illicit Production

unfair competition; unreliable or dangerous products; threat to control system viability

consumer sovereignty; innocent hobbyists; save little-businesses; anti-big-government

spirits industry should be allowed to advertise their products on television and radio

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actor codes: (Note: if actor/agency category is unclear, use the “other” code) 10 Series = Government Officials / Gouvernement ss. plus d’info 11= Fed. Health Minister (Ministry) 12= Fed. Justice Minister (Ministry)/Attorney General 13= Fed. Finance Minister/Revenue Minister (Ministry) 14= Fed. Minister of Consumer & Commercial Relations/ Commerce (Ministry) 15= Other Federal Minister (Ministry) 16= Prov. Health Minister (Ministry) 17= Prov. Justice Minister (Ministry)/Attorney General 18= Prov. Finance Minister (Ministry) 19= Prov. Minister of Consumer & Commercial Relations/ Commerce (Ministry) 120= Other Provincial Minister (Ministry) 121= Party in Power mp/mpp 122= Opposition mp/mpp 123= Premier 124= Prime Minister/President 125= Government Committee 126= us Government Representative 127= Fed. Trade Minister (Ministry) 128= Canadian Government Representative 129= Other / Autres 20 Series = Representative from Government Alcohol Licencing or Regulatory Agencies 21= lcbo, llbo, agco (Ontario) 22= Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux/ Société des alcools du Québec (saq) 23= algc, alcb (Alberta) 24= us Agency 25= Other / Autres 30 Series = Representative from Government Health or Public Health Agencies 31= Health Canada 32= arf 33= aadac (Alberta) 34= cplt (Quebec) 35= Public Health Unit// Educ’Alcool 36= Hospital 37= us Agency 38= Other / Autres

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40 Series = Lobby Groups/Community Groups 41= Alcohol Industry / Alcooliers (e.g., Cdn Wine Council, Wine Council of Ontario, Association of Cdn Distillers, Brewers’ Association of Canada) 42= Restaurant and Grocery Industry / Alimentation (e.g., Cdn Restaurant Association, Cdn Federation of Grocers) 43= Safety and Public Health Advocates (e.g,. madd, sadd, arapo, Concerns Canada) 44= Social Justice Advocacy Groups (e.g., MediaWatch, nac) 45= Other / Autres 50 Series = Police and Legal / Corps policiers 51= Local / Municipal Police 52= Provincial Police 53= rcmp / grc 54= Customs Official / Douaniers 55= Judges / Lawyer / Legal 56= Other / Autres 60 Series = Researcher / Milieu de recherches 61= University 62= Hospital/Doctor 63= Government or Gov’t Agency 64= Private Sector (e.g., Fraser Institute) 65= Other / Autres 70 Series = Business/Private Sector 71= Alcohol Industry/ Private Companies (e.g., Labatt’s, Molson, Seagrams) 72= Advertising & Media 73= Other / Autres 80 Series = Miscellaneous 81= Private Citizen/Consumer 82= Defendant/Criminal 83= Union 84= Victim 85= Other / Autres 99=

No Actors Mentioned

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document three crtc coding form PN#: ____________________ Author: ____________________ Agency: ____________________ National agency: ____________________

Respondent’s view Issue

1) Advertising in general 2) crtc regulation versus self-regulation by industry 3) Need for pre-clearance 4) Liquor advertising 5) Celebrity endorsements 6) Tightening guidelines 7) Compliance as condition of license 8) Sexism in advertising 9) Exemptions of no claims and sponsorships 10) Advertising by retailer 11) Other 12) Other

Submission#: Pages:___ Agency type: Provincial agency:

Provides or cites research

Other reasons given for position

Specific proposal

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document four interview sample letter [date]

[name address] Dear [name]: This letter is a preliminary request for your participation in a research project on alcohol policy formation in Canada and three provinces. I understand that you were involved in alcohol policy activities. I would like to hear your views of the policy process. The aim of our study is to provide a balanced analysis of how alcohol-related policies are developed. A number of specific policy topics at the national and provincial levels represent the proposed foci for this study. They include privatization or deregulation of alcohol sales in Alberta, Ontario and Quebec, proposed warning labels on alcohol beverage containers, changes in the role of crtc with regard to alcohol advertising, self-intoxication as a defence in criminal cases, smuggling, and alcohol topics in international trade agreements. The study is being conducted by researchers from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (Addiction Research Foundation Division) in Toronto, University of Montreal, University of Victoria, University of Toronto and the Stockholm University and is funded by the National Health Research and Development Program, Health Canada. I have enclosed a one-page summary of the project. Our approach involves a mix of 1) scientific and governmental literature analyses and 2) in-person interviews with key representatives from the alcohol beverage industry, public health associations, government, scientific community, media, and others. With regard to the interviews, your responses and participation will be confidential. Reports or papers based on the project will not identify the content of any interview by respondent, position or organization. Only type of organization or position would be mentioned, with care taken not to identify specific individuals and organizations that may have unique features. Our purpose remains to learn more about the policy making process, with findings to be made available to all interested persons. The research protocol has been approved by the Ethics Committee of the Addiction Research Foundation Division and University of Toronto, Office of Research as well as the Ethics Committee of the University of Montreal. For your information, I am also enclosing a copy of the consent form to be signed at the time of the interview.

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I hope very much that you decide to participate in this important effort. Please expect a call from me in the near future, to discuss making an appointment for an interview with you. Thank you for considering this invitation. Sincerely,

[name position department phone#, fax#, email address]

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document five description of project Canadian Alcohol Policy Project Alcohol Policies in Canada: A Study of National and Provincial Change G

G

G

G

G

G

The purpose of the project is to better understand the nature and outcomes of alcohol policy developments at the national level and in three provinces. As part of this initiative, we intend to consider milestones, deliberations and key contributions to alcohol policy developments over the past decade. We are focussing on several policy developments at the national level, such as alcohol topics in international trade agreements, proposed warning labels on alcohol beverage containers, changes in the role of crtc with regard to alcohol advertising, self-intoxication as a defence in criminal cases, and smuggling, as well as deregulation or privatization of retail alcohol management in Alberta, Ontario and Quebec. To our knowledge, a study of this kind has not been conducted before in Canada. A parallel project is underway in the United States. A substantial share of the funding is from the National Health Research and Development Program, Health Canada. In addition, there are contributions in kind from several organizations, including the Addiction Research Foundation Division of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, University of Montreal, University of Victoria, University of Toronto, Stockholm University, Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission, and the City of Toronto. The research protocol has been approved by the University of Toronto/Addiction Research Foundation Human Subjects committee as well as the Ethics Committee of the University of Montreal. In the course of the project we are gathering information from government documents and legislative debates, from samples of newspaper accounts and from research papers. In addition we plan to conduct a number of key informant interviews with persons who represent a wide range of perspectives on recent and current policy initiatives. Our hope, therefore, is to base our analysis on knowledge, information and insights that are broad in scope and represent inclusive perspectives. The investigators for the study include: – Dr. Norman Giesbrecht of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health – Dr. Susan Bondy of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health & University of Toronto – Dr. Andrée Demers of the Université de Montreal – Dr. Evert Lindquist of the University of Victoria – Dr. Alan Ogborne of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health – Dr. Robin Room of Stockholm University

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If you have questions or comments about the protocol of this study please contact Norman Giesbrecht at (416) 535–8501 ext. 6895 or by fax at (416) 595–6899. Your interest in this study is greatly appreciated.

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document six consent to act as research participant Canadian Alcohol Policy Project I agree to participate in a study being conducted jointly by researchers at the Centre for Addiction of Mental Health (Addiction Research Foundation Division), University of Montreal, University of Toronto, University of Victoria and Stockholm University. This is a national study of the development of federal and provincial alcohol policy in Canada. I am being asked to participate because of my specialized knowledge and expertise in the area of alcohol issues and policy. I agree to be interviewed by a research team member. I understand that I will be asked questions in a conversational format interview lasting approximately one hour (but perhaps longer). I understand that my participation in this interview is voluntary and that I may decline to answer any question or stop the interview at any time. I give permission for the interview to be audio taped and understand that these audiotapes will be erased after transcription. I also understand that my responses and participation in this study will be kept confidential. My name will not appear on the interview transcript. Study information will be kept in locked files to which only study personnel have access. I will not be identified by name, position or organization. Type of organization or position may be mentioned, but care will be taken to not identify me specifically or my organization by unique features. If I have any questions about this study, I can ask the interviewer at any time. I can also call Norman Giesbrecht of the Addiction Research Foundation Division, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Ontario, at (416) 535–8501 ext. 6895. Respondent Name: _________________________________ Respondent Signature: ______________________________ Date: _______________ Interviewer Name: __________________________________ Interviewer Signature: _______________________________ Date: _______________

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document seven key informant interview questionnaire Draft #3 (1 December, 1998) Interviewer:

Briefly describe the project, your position and the purpose of the interview. Both respondent and you sign the consent form. Confirm with the respondent the policies they worked on:

Privatization of Alcohol Sales Trade Agreements Warning labels CRTC & Alcohol Advertising Intoxication as a defence Smuggling & Illicit Production respondent’s background 1. Current position (if relevant). In what capacity does your position require that you work on alcohol policy issues? 2. Position held during the time X policy issue was being debated? 3. What specifically was your role in that position with regard to the X policy? 4. What other positions did you hold or committees/activities were you involved in that were also relevant to alcohol policy planning? 5. Which alcohol policies are involved in those positions or committees? Interviewer:

Start with the most recent alcohol policy the respondent was involved in. Repeat the following questions for all policies respondent was involved in.

p o l i c y a c t i v i t i e s (Stages of policy development, Kingdon). 1. What was the problem/context that was identified which first brought the X policy issue to the forefront of the political agenda? 2. How did X policy get on the political agenda? 3. Who initiated it? 4. In your opinion, what was the goal of the initiator? 5. What political activities were involved around the negotiation of this policy (policy debates)? – committees formed? – coalitions? – lobbying? By who? Strategies used? – letter writing? – press releases? – bills? Regulations? – any other relevant changes? 1. In your opinion, why did the policy pass (or fail)? 2. What is your explanation for this outcome? 3. Who (or what groups/organizations) was instrumental in this outcome? 4. What other factors contributed to this outcome?

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If respondent worked on more than one policy, ask: 1. What is the relationship between both (or all) policy topics that you worked on? r e s p o n d e n t ’ s a c t i v i t i e s (may not be relevant to ask depending on respondent’s affiliation) 1. What was the main argument you used to support your position on this policy? 2. What were some of the strategies used to achieve your goal on this policy? 3. Who were your allies? 4. Have you worked with them on other policy issues? Why or why not? 5. Who were your opponents? 6. Have you worked with them on other policy issues? Why or why not? 7. What was the main argument of others who did not have the same position as you? 8. In the course of the policy process, did your position change at all? If so, why? 9. How did the outcome of this policy process affect your agency/group? use of information sources/public opinion 1. How was research (and other information sources) used in this policy debate? 2. What information sources were you using to support your goal? 3. Is the outcome of this policy based on the best information available? If not, how could the information have been better utilized? 4. Which background information was most critical to this policy outcome? e.g., views of politicians, public opinion polls, perspectives of special interest groups, research on the topic. 5. Was special information collected or research conducted to inform the deliberations? If so, who sponsored and conducted this work? Was it made available to the decision-makers? To your agency? To others? 6. In your opinion, was the policy outcome consistent with the findings of information sources (e.g., research, economic analysis, consultants’ recommendations)? 7. What did the public want and how did you know? 8. What information could you not ignore? What was given most weight/credence? 9. Was there any evidence that you chose to ignore? other 1. In your view, what are the areas of common ground in the alcohol policy arena where opponents might work together? 2. Are you currently working with any of your opponents in any policy areas? contacts Whom might we contact who are also very knowledgeable about these matters? (Recommend persons who have views similar to your’s as well as those with opposite views as well.)

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appendix b

document eight interview face sheet Canadian Alcohol Policy Project Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Interviewer name: __________________________________ Respondent name: __________________________________ #: _________________ Organization: ______________________________________ Contact info:

Date of interview: ________________________ Location of interview:____________ Length of interview: _________________________________ # pages:_____________ Interview (circle one) . . . . taped . . . or . . . . dictated? Consent obtained (circle one) key names: interviewer observations: action items:

yes

no

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document nine interview coding template 1 respondent’s background 1.1 Province 1.2 Employment Position 1.2.1 government or opposition or government department (e.g., Health Canada) 1.2.2 regulatory agencies (e.g., LCBO, CRTC, AGC, LLBO) 1.2.3 health agencies (e.g., public health, medical or health community) 1.2.4 advocacy groups (group with a mission and not defined by geographic boundary, e.g., MADD, religious groups, women’s groups) 1.2.5 community groups (local advocacy group which has a geographic boundary, e.g., Parkdale Community Group) 1.2.6 police and legal (e.g., lawyers, judges, corrections staff) 1.2.7 business and liquor retailing (e.g., Alberta Liquor Retailers Association, grocery store association) 1.2.8 private citizen, the public or segment of the public (e.g., youth, women) 1.2.9 union 1.2.10 alcohol industry (e.g., alcohol producers, wholesalers, associations) 1.2.11 media 1.2.12 research or academic 1.2.13 other (see list below) 1.3 Personal rationale/interest 1.4 Background in alcohol policies 1.5 Organization Information (respondent talks about the organization he/she affiliated with) 2 policy issue 2.1 privatization 2.1.1 Ontario 2.1.2 Quebec 2.1.3 Alberta 2.2 trade agreements 2.3 warning labels 2.4 crtc -court case with distillers and advertising of distilled spirits 2.5 crtc -control of advertising and alcohol advertising in general 2.6 intoxication as a defence 2.7 smuggling & illicit production 2.8 other (see list below) 3 respondent 3.1 policy activities/process (e.g., lobbying, campaigns, working with other groups) 3.2 rationale (i.e., reason for position on a particular policy)

366

4

5 6 7

appendix b

3.3 respondent’s policy position (use 3.3 for neutral position) 3.3.1 pro-control (also means pro-public health) 3.3.2 anti-control actor (i.e., mentioned by respondent) 4.1 policy activities/process (e.g., lobbying, campaigns, working with other groups) 4.2 rationale (i.e., actor’s reason for position on a particular policy) 4.3 position (i.e., mention of “groups” in general) 4.3.1 government or opposition or government department (e.g., Health Canada) 4.3.2 regulatory agencies (e.g., LCBO, CRTC, AGC, LLBO) 4.3.3 health agencies (e.g., public health, medical or health community) 4.3.4 advocacy groups (group with a mission and not defined by geographic boundary, e.g., MADD, religious groups, women’s groups) 4.3.5 community groups (local advocacy group which has a geographic boundary, e.g., Parkdale Community Group) 4.3.6 police and legal (e.g., lawyers, judges, corrections staff) 4.3.7 business and liquor retailing (e.g., Alberta Liquor Retailers Association, grocery store association) 4.3.8 private citizen, the public or segment of the public (e.g., youth, women) 4.3.9 union 4.3.10 alcohol industry (e.g., alcohol producers, wholesalers, associations) 4.3.11 media 4.3.12 research or academic 4.3.13 other (see list below) 4.4 actor’s policy position (use 4.4 for neutral policy position) 4.4.1 pro-control (also means pro-public health) 4.4.2 anti-control political agenda (i.e., how the policy came to be on the political agenda) policy outcome (i.e., final outcome or fate of policy) information (i.e., sources of information mentioned or discussed or implied) 7.1 research 7.2 opinion poll (e.g., Gallop Survey, public opinion) 7.3 letter (e.g., letter from public) 7.4 legal (e.g., civil suit, court case, rulings, laws) 7.5 testimony (e.g., personal experience as given by a witness) 7.6 other (e.g., American experience with a policy, medical information on fas)

l i s t of items coded under “other” categories policy issue 2.8 Other (interview #, text unit # where this appears) G alcohol advertising in the u.s.

forms and documents G G G G G G G G G G G G G

distribution in Canada (7, 17) harm reduction (5, 265) licensing (4, 101) merger of liquor and gaming (8, 9) native peoples non-alcoholic products – i.e., lysol (8) privatization in b.c. regulations (7) tobacco underage drinking (5, 157) U-brew, home production, brew your own shops/wineries u.s. warning labels zoning (4, 89)

r e s p o n d e n t position 1.2.13 Other a c t o r position 4.3.13 Other G

aboriginal community groups

G

addicts banks (8) madd U.S. repeat offenders U.S. alcohol industry

G G G G

367

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document ten research questions and proposed hypotheses How and why do alcohol policy issues move up and down the policy-making agenda? G alcohol policy is a policy domain characterized by precarious values, which is reflected in disparate set of issues and relatively rare linkage or coherence across those issues G of their own volition; public opinion is divided between liberal (consumer and profit perspectives) and health promotion and safety perspectives G if alcohol policy issues rarely move up higher on national or provincial policy agendas, it is because they are tied to other issues (i.e., trade, smuggling or government restructuring) G alcohol issues can move up the policy agenda of their own accord, but this typically occurs early in the mandate of governments when new ministers are trying to build careers, they seek to champion certain issues, and broader government priorities have yet to be firmly established G alcohol issues can move up the policy agenda, but this typically occurs as a result of policy developments and debates in other countries, such as the United States. G policy debates, research findings, and policy change on alcohol issues in the United States will influence the Canadian policy agenda more than equivalent developments in European and other countries such as Australia G alcohol policy issues are more likely to move up the policy agenda as a result of court or tribunal decisions, or of crisis (i.e., accidents, scandal), than as a result of government commitments or new research findings G when expert opinions converge (i.e., across advocacy coalitions) with public opinion on certain issues, and when a policy window opens, then an issue will likely move higher on the agenda and significant policy change may occur; without expert consensus and public support, the status quo, despite building pressures, will likely prevail How and where does research get produced and utilized in the policy-making process? G different policy-making venues (governments, regulatory agencies, courts, and legislative committees) review and utilize research in different ways G research findings rarely command attention or open policy windows of their own accord; research, bureaucratic or policy entrepreneurs are crucial to opening windows, and once windows open, all actors will seek out research to further or defend interests G research findings from inside and outside Canada will circulate rapidly among informal networks of individuals and organizations sharing similar ideological or professional values (i.e., advocacy coalitions); professional networks provide the bridge for learning across advocacy coalitions

forms and documents G

G

G

G

369

research findings are used selectively by policy actors to reinforce values, interests and previously held policy positions capacity to review, sponsor and interpret research is a critical pre-condition for research utilization; as that capacity dwindles or increases, the salience of research falls or rises decisions to increase or decrease funding, or to create or eliminate institutions committed to alcohol policy research, will have medium to long term influences on the production of research research findings will have more credibility if conducted by relatively independent researchers or institutions which do not stand to gain from new policy recommendations, and if such work is vetted through peer review processes

How has alcohol policy-making, as well as the production and utilization of research, been affected during an era of government restructuring? G research budgets inside government agencies have been disproportionately cut when compared to program budgets for direct service delivery G research funding for outside institutions, such as universities and think tanks, have been cut more than government program budgets G self-regulation (or personal or industrial responsibility) and moral suasion on alcohol policy issues, as opposed to increased regulation or government spending, will more likely be adopted as government policy instruments G unless re-framed by policy entrepreneurs in government or other sectors, alcohol policy will be derivative of other policy decision-making (such as alternative service delivery or privatization programs, new trade policies, etc.) G research will have an important role to play in the wake of major changes in alcohol policy (even if derivative from other policies) as demands emerge to monitor and assess impacts

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Index

Aboriginal Canadians, 20, 223, 273 activism. See advocacy Addiction Research Foundation (arf), 22–3; and advertising, 242, 244–6, 248, 252, 255, 309; and alcohol policy issues, 242, 309–10; and illegal alcohol, 115, 126; on intoxication, 277, 279, 280; and privatization, 193; and research, 24–5, 307–8; and warning labels, 223, 224, 228 advertising: of beer, 28, 237, 238, 254, 256; broadcast, 20, 238, 241–2; and consumption, 247; counter-messages as, 49–50; federal government and, 243, 248–9, 264, 301; health interests and, 244–5, 248–9, 252, 255–6, 261, 262; by liquor boards, 186; in New Zealand, 46; opposition to, 244–5, 248; provincial governments and, 238, 254; public opinion on, 35, 243–5, 248, 251, 261; regulation of, 9, 20, 209–10, 237–64; research on, 246–7, 250–1, 303–4; by retailers, 241; self-regulation of, 238, 249–56, 261–2, 301–2, 337; of spirits, 238, 241–2, 245–6, 254–5, 301–2, 305, 337; in United States, 49–50, 242, 256n2. See also crtc Advertising Standards Canada (asc), 238, 255, 256, 337

adocacy, 67, 307–10, 312–13, 314; by health interests, 309–10, 316–17 Ady, Jack, 161 agendas, 63–4, 299–302, 304; political, 123–5, 299, 300, 301 Agreement on Internal Trade (1994), 87 Akwesasne Reserve, 98 Alberta: British Columbia vs., 162, 166; Conservative Party in, 153, 154, 155; consumption in, 31–3; government of, 153–5; grocery stores in, 154, 162–3; legislation in, 152, 154, 168; Liberal Party in, 155, 157, 161; liquor permits in, 154, 155, 162–3, 167, 168; political agenda in, 300; pre-privatization, 150–2; privatization in, 62, 128, 141–2, 150–74, 186, 300, 334; research in, 25; retail sales in, 17, 18, 27, 150–2, 162–3; taxes in, 156–7, 162; wine industry in, 162. See also Alberta Liquor Control Board Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission (aadac), 156, 165 Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission, 250 Alberta Liquor Control Board, 162; employees of, 155–6, 160–1; preprivatization, 150–2; and privatization, 141, 157–9, 334; roles of, 157–9, 167, 295

372

index

Alberta Liquor Industry Roundtable (alirt), 162 Alberta Liquor Store Association (alsa), 163, 164 alcohol, 6, 20–1; access to, 290, 306; and automatism, 276, 277, 279–80, 282; benefits of, 294; consumers and, 18–19, 293–7; dangers of, 233, 280, 294, 310–11; equivalence of, 241–3, 261; law and, 20, 131; marketing of, 209–64, 293–4, 296, 301–2, 306; perceptions of, 294–5; production of, 15; regulation across borders, 71–126; sales of, 26–7, 32–3, 108–14, 116–19, 176; seizures of, 116–17, 118; as special commodity, 311; taxes on, 20, 23, 49, 55. See also alcohol abuse; alcohol control; alcohol industry; alcohol policy; consumption; liquor; prices; retail sales alcohol abuse, 131, 165, 282, 293–7, 304; alcoholism, 21–2, 48, 131–2, 280; and health, 130, 310–11; treatment programs for, 21–3, 53 Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, 175–6, 254, 255, 295–6. See also Liquor Licensing Board of Ontario alcohol control: and alcohol problems, 21–2, 296–7; in Canada, 14–19, 50–1, 291–3; commercial interests vs., 295, 302, 306; vs. consumer rights, 18–19; government role in, 19–23, 291; individual responsibility model, 293–7, 304, 306; outside Canada, 18, 43–50; prices as, 126; in Quebec, 16, 131; server intervention as, 35, 48, 50–2, 54, 185, 191; strategies for, 310–17; support for, 53, 54 “Alcohol Control Policies in Public Health Perspective” (Bruun et al.), 24 alcoholics. See alcohol abuse Alcoholics Anonymous, 22 alcohol industry: and advertising, 210, 238, 250, 254, 262; and Daviault case, 282, 284, 303; education programs of, 220–1, 225–6, 233, 262; and market, 26–30; power of, 53; and privatization, 161–2, 168, 184–5; trade associations, 27; and warning labels, 210, 220–1, 223, 224–7, 228–33, 262. See also beer industry; spirits industry; wine industry

Alcoholism Research Foundation. See Addiction Research Foundation alcohol policy, 4, 298–307; in Canada, 6–7, 50–1, 297–8, 307–10; commercial pressures on, 254, 306; and consumption, 290–1; governments and, 53, 293, 297, 299–302, 303, 307; and harm reduction, 5–6, 45, 292, 308, 312, 314–15; health interests and, 290–2, 297, 304, 307; and health issues, 310–17; media and, 54; in Ontario, 50–1; outcomes of, 305–7, 310–17; outside Canada, 43–6, 47, 291; politics of, 43–51, 189; public and, 34–6, 53, 54, 303, 304, 315; research and, 23–6, 50–3, 54, 66–9, 307–10, 315–16; and smuggling, 101–2, 104–9, 115, 125; weaknesses of, 291–2, 297–8, 307. See also policy Alcohol Policy Council (us), 49 Alcohol Policy Network, 194n4, 309 American Council on Alcoholism, 49 Andrés Wines Ltd., 29, 143 Archibald, David, 22 Arthur Andersen, 188 Association de directeurs et directrices de succursales de la SAQ (addsqlc), 142 Association of Canadian Distillers (acd), 27, 30; and advertising, 241–3, 246, 254–5; education programs of, 225–6; and privatization, 154, 162, 185; and smuggling, 109, 115; and taxes, 104–5, 156; and warning labels, 225 Association of Grocery Retailers of Quebec, 142 Association of Local Official Health Agencies, 184 Association of saq Middle Managers, 142 Association to Reduce Alcohol Promotion in Ontario, 194n4, 309 Australia, 45–6, 54, 279–80, 281–2 automatism, 268, 276, 277, 279–80, 282 Baggott, R., 44–5, 52 Bain, Beverly, 269 barley, 82, 88 Baumgartner, F.R., and B.D. Jones, 59 bc Government and Service Employees Union, 301 Beauchamp, D.E., 47

index beer: advertising of, 28, 237, 238, 254, 256; minimum price for, 86–8, 89–90; sales of, 32–3. See also beer industry; beer parlors beer industry, 28–9; and container deposits, 86, 92; and estimates, 110; foreign ownership in, 37n6; and imports, 85–6; in Ontario, 28, 86–90, 175–6, 177–8, 206; and privatization, 185, 193, 206; in Quebec, 84, 129–30, 132; and spirits advertising, 246; sponsorships by, 26, 28, 237, 238; strength of, 83–4; and trade issues, 82, 305; and United States, 28–9, 74–5, 82, 85–8, 92–3; and warning labels, 223, 224–7, 229 beer parlors, 17–18, 23 The Beer Store. See Brewers Retail (Ontario) Berridge, V., and B. Thom, 52, 54 Bindman, S., 273 Biron, Rodrigue, 134 Biron Project, 133–8 Board of Broadcast Governors, 238. See also crtc Bradford, John, 280 Brandt, Andrew, 107, 189 Bratt system, 16 Breton case, 282 brewers. See beer industry Brewers Association of Canada (bac), 27, 82, 223, 224–7, 243 Brewers Association of Ontario, 182 Brewers Retail (Ontario), 28, 175–6, 194n3 Bricker, Roy, 167 British Columbia: advertising regulation in, 238; vs. Alberta, 162, 166; liquor permits in, 16; Liquor Policy Review (1987), 157; privatization in, 127, 157, 166, 207, 301; prohibition in, 15; research in, 25; retail sales in, 17–18; and us beer, 86; wine industry in, 27, 29, 83 British Columbia Liquor Control Board, 16 British Columbia Wine Council, 27 Bruun, K.E., 24, 234 Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (us), 49 California, 47–8 Canada: abstention in, 33; harm prevention in, 20–1; and imports, 76–82; price vs. consumption in, 290; research in, 292,

373

311; smuggling into, 97–122. See also Canada: legislation; trade agreements Canada: legislation: Broadcasting Act, 237; Charter of Rights and Freedoms (1982), 242, 246, 255, 266, 272, 275, 277, 284; Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act (1928), 19; Self-Induced Intoxication Act (1995), 265–6, 276–80, 284, 338 Canadian Advertising Association. See Advertising Standards Canada Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women, 273 Canadian Association of Broadcasters, 243, 246, 249 Canadian Bar Association, 277, 284 Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (ccsa), 20, 21, 23, 225 Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors, 162 Canadian Federation of Agriculture, 88 Canadian Medical Association, 227 Canadian Psychiatric Association, 277, 280 Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (crtc), 249–52, 301; and advertising, 9, 20, 61, 237, 305, 337; on education programs, 241; and health interests, 246; and spirits advertising, 238–9, 242–3, 245–6, 254–5, 260–2 Canadian Wheat Board, 88 Caring Together, 223 Carter, Henry, 23 Casswell, S., L. Stewart, and P. Duignan, 46, 52, 54 Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (csap), 20 Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (csat), 20 Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, 23, 192, 309–10. See also Addiction Research Foundation Centre for the Study of State and Market, 187 Christie, Nils, 307 cider, 238 Clinton, Bill, 50 Coalition for Ontario Private Enterprise (cope), 187 College of Physicians and Surgeons, 225

374

index

The Common Sense Revolution (Ontario pc Party), 178 Concerns Canada, 195n4 Connect Logistics Inc., 159 Conseil de la coopération au Québec, 137–8 Conseil du patronat du Québec, 135 Conservative governments: in Alberta, 153–5; federal, 76, 213, 215; in Ontario, 78–180, 186, 188–90 consumers, 30–4; and alcohol, 18–19, 293–7; and privatization, 140, 142, 166, 168 Consumers’ Association of Canada – bc, 166 consumption (of alcohol), 30–3, 118–19; advertising and, 247; alcohol policy and, 290–1; attitudes toward, 33–4; changes in, 26–7, 30, 194, 294, 306, 311; and criminal intent, 267; damage caused by, 290, 291; and driving, 19, 35, 44, 292, 310; legal age for, 50, 51, 54; marketing and, 293–4; outside Canada, 33, 290; price and, 72, 290; privatization and, 164, 168–9, 201; problems of, 20–1, 44, 48, 53; of smuggled alcohol, 116 container deposits, 86, 92 Contemporary Drug Problems, 280 Coors Brewing Co., 37n6 Copps, Sheila, 215 Corby Distilleries Ltd., 29–30 corner stores. See grocery stores Cory, Peter, 268, 281 Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health for Canada, 227 crime: intoxication as, 274, 275, 276, 278; intoxication as defence in, 9–10, 265–88, 337–8; privatization and, 164–5, 169–70, 206–7; sexual assault as, 267, 274; specific vs. general intent in, 267. See also smuggling Crime Stoppers Association, 109 Criminal Code of Canada, 266–8, 274–5; and drinking-driving, 292; reform of, 274–8, 279, 284, 337–8 Criminal Law Reports, 282 crtc. See Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Daviault, Henri, 265. See also Daviault case

Daviault case, 9–10, 265–6, 302, 305, 337–8; as agenda setting, 63; alcohol industry and, 282, 284, 303; consultation on, 276–7, 283–4; defence based on, 272–4; expert witnesses and, 278–81; federal government and, 273–4, 275–8; media and, 269–72, 283; public opinion on, 35, 269–74, 277, 283; research and, 279, 283–4; Supreme Court decision, 268, 269, 279, 281 Decaire case, 282 decision making, 64, 67, 68–9, 314 Decore, Laurence, 155 Le Devoir, 133, 136 Diageo, 30 Dingwall, David, 221, 337 distillers. See spirits industry drinking: establishments for, 17–18, 23, 35, 48, 50–1, 52. See also consumption Dubuc, A., 135–6 Dunn case, 282 Edmonton Journal, 269 Educ’alcool, 142 education programs: alcohol industry and, 220–1, 225–6, 233, 262; crtc on, 241; need for, 44, 313; “responsible drinking” campaigns, 248, 262; support for, 55, 306 Edwards, G., et al., 201, 291 environmental movement, 89–91, 316–17 Epp, Jake, 215 estimates, 109–14, 116–19 European Action Plan on Alcohol, 297, 316–17 European Comparative Alcohol Studies project, 291 European Union, 85, 90, 195n9; and alcohol policies, 47, 291; gatt complaints, 76–82, 83–4, 335; research in, 292, 311. See also Nordic countries; United Kingdom Eves, Ernie, 188, 335 Federal Court of Canada, 241, 246, 260 federal government: and Aboriginal Canadians, 20; and advertising, 243, 248–9, 264, 301; and alcohol control, 19–21; and alcoholism treatment, 23; and alcohol policy, 297, 307; and Daviault

index case, 273–4, 275–8; and free trade, 76, 83–4; and health issues, 20–1, 313; Non-Medical Use of Drugs Directorate, 21; and provincial trade, 75–6; and tobacco taxes, 101; and warning labels, 213–17, 221, 227, 228, 234, 261. See also Canada: legislation; crtc; Health Canada; House of Commons; Justice Canada Finland, 24, 51–2, 290 Flanagan, G., 166 foetal alcohol effects (fae), 35, 222–3 foetal alcohol syndrome (fas), 213 Fonds de solidarité de la Fédération des travailleurs du Québec (ftq), 143 Forensic Investigative Associates, 109 Foster’s Brewing Group, 37n6 France, 291 Fraser Institute, 165, 187, 190 free trade, 76, 82–4. See also trade agreements; specific agreements Free Trade Agreement (fta), 29, 61, 76, 82–3, 86, 293 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (gatt), 8–9, 29, 76–88, 92, 154, 335. See also World Trade Organization General Agreement on Trade in Service (gats), 301 Giesbrecht, N., T.K. Greenfield, L. Anglin, and S. Johnson, 46, 52–3 Giesbrecht, Norman, 46, 49, 52–3 Gigantes, Philippe, 276 globalization. See trade agreements Gonthier, Charles, 269 Gothenburg system, 16 governments: and alcohol policy, 53, 293, 297, 299–302, 303; changes in, 61; downsizing of, 140, 251; jurisdictional concerns, 72, 75–6; and privatization, 206; as retailers, 305–6. See also federal government; provincial governments; subgovernment Greenfield, T.K., 46, 49, 52–3 grocery stores: in Alberta, 154, 162–3; in Ontario, 177, 187, 191, 193; in Quebec, 27, 132, 134, 135, 139 harm reduction, 5–6, 20–1, 45, 292, 308, 312, 314–15

375

Harris, Mike, 178, 189, 335 Hawks, D., 45–6 health: alcohol abuse and, 130, 310–11; alcohol policy and, 310–17; attitudes toward, 34, 35; commercial interests and, 131, 254, 289–329; communication about, 311–12, 313; federal government and, 20–1, 313; funding for, 156, 309; media and, 102, 103–4; politics and, 44–5; privatization and, 142–3, 164, 169–70, 182–4, 187; research and, 64, 90–1, 292; trade agreements and, 72–3. See also Health Canada; health interests; health system Health Canada, 21, 221, 225, 228, 250, 261; Minister of Health, 215, 216, 221, 227, 234, 248–9 health interests, 89–91; and advertising, 244–5, 248–9, 252, 255–6, 261, 262; advocacy by, 309–10, 312–13, 316–17; and alcohol policy, 290–2, 297, 304, 307; commercial interests vs., 302; crtc and, 246; and illegal alcohol, 106, 115, 116, 125–6; and prices, 106; and privatization, 142–4, 165, 182–4, 193, 206–7; and tobacco, 101, 126; and trade disputes, 303; and warning labels, 220, 227–8, 233, 261 health system, 22 Heclo, H., 67 G. Heileman Brewing Co., 85, 87 Hillebrand Estates Winery, 84 Hiram Walker and Sons, 29–30 Hoberg, G., and E. Morawski, 62 hospitality industry, 184–5 House of Commons: Bill C-337/C-222 (warning labels), 213, 217–28, 261–2, 336–7; Bill C-72 (self-induced intoxication), 276–80, 338; private member’s bills in, 213, 216; standing committees, 213, 215, 276–8; and warning labels, 213–17, 260 Iacobucci, Frank, 268 imports, 75–82, 85–6, 162 Interbrew, 37n6 intoxication: criminal, 274, 275, 276, 278; as defence, 9–10, 265–88, 337–8 Iowa, 154, 165

376

index

Jazairi, Nuri, 186 Jellinek, E.M., 23 Johnson, Daniel, 106 Justice Canada, 273–4, 276–7, 281, 284; Minister of Justice, 278, 279 Kalant, Harold, 277, 279, 280 Karakatsanis, Andromache, 109 Kaskutas, L.A., 48 Kendall, Perry, 280 Kennedy, Bill, 107 Kennedy, Joe, 49 Kingdon, J.W., 62, 63–4, 68, 304 Klein, Ralph, 153 Koski, H., and E. Österberg, 47 Kowalski, Ken, 153, 155 KPMG Investigation and Security Inc., 106 Kriche, Greg, 163 Labatt, 28 labelling, 209–10, 212, 264; “standard drink,” 51, 54, 219–20, 221, 227. See also warning labels La Forest, Gérard, 268 Lamer, Antonio, 268 Laxer, Gordon, 163, 164, 190 LeDain Commission on Non-Medical Use of Drugs, 20–1 Ledermann availability hypothesis, 52 Lévesque, René, 134 L’Heureux-Dubé, Claire, 268 Liberal governments: federal, 76, 251; in Ontario, 190; in Quebec, 139–40 Liberal Party: in Alberta, 155, 157, 161; in Ontario, 178, 190; in Quebec, 136, 138, 139–40 Lindquist, Evert A., 60, 67, 68 liquor. See liquor boards; spirits liquor boards: advertising by, 186; and alcohol abuse, 131–2; commercialization of, 201, 206–7, 306; and estimates, 110; modernization of, 300; as monopolies, 201; roles of, 295–6; and smuggling, 115–16; and social responsibility, 291, 312. See also specific provincial boards; liquor stores Liquor Control Board of Ontario (lcbo), 175, 176; agency stores, 176, 193; and Brewers Retail, 194n3; employees of, 180, 185, 187; Illegal Alcohol Task Force

(iatf), 108; marketing by, 186, 193–4; modernization of, 185–90, 192, 193–4, 300; and privatization, 107, 178–80, 335; revenues from, 185–6, 192, 193–4, 206, 300; roles of, 177, 185, 295–6; and smuggling, 107, 115, 117; and social responsibility, 185, 192. See also Ontario Liquor Board Employees’ Union Liquor Licensing Board of Ontario (llbo), 108–9, 115. See also Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario liquor permits/licences: in Alberta, 154, 155, 162–3, 167, 168; in British Columbia, 16; in Quebec, 130, 131; in Saskatchewan, 17 liquor stores, 16–17, 138, 167–8; accessibility of, 191, 293, 296; server intervention in, 35, 185. See also liquor boards; privatization; retail sales madd. See Mothers Against Drunk Driving Major, John, 269 Mäkelä, K., et al., 21 Manitoba, 17, 22, 25, 30 Manitoba Alcoholism Commission, 22 Manitoba Liquor Enquiry Commission (1955), 23 Maritime provinces, 15. See also specific provinces market: alcohol industry and, 26–30; for barley, 82, 88; liberalization of, 293 McGuinty, Dalton, 190 McIntyre, Sheila, 269–71 McLachlin, Beverley, 268 media: and advertising, 252–4; and agenda setting, 63; and alcohol policy, 54; and Daviault case, 269–72, 283; and health issues, 102, 103–4; and privatization, 133, 159, 161, 179–80; and smuggling, 102–4; and warning labels, 217 Metro Action Committee on Public Violence against Women and Children, 277 Mexico, 89 Miller, Dennis, 162 Miller Brewing Company, 37n6 Moffit, L.W., 17 Molson, 28, 185, 210, 256 Morgan, P., 47–8 Mothers Against Drunk Driving (madd), 48, 227, 243; influence of, 292, 307, 310; and privatization, 169, 195n4

index Mulroney, Brian, 76, 87 National Action Committee on the Status of Women, 269 National Alcoholic Beverage Control Association (nabca), 141 National Association of Women and the Law, 273–4, 276, 277, 284 National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse (us), 20, 308 National Union of Public and General Employees (nupge), 195n8 Native Physicians Association of Canada, 221, 223, 225 Nelson, Pat, 157 New Brunswick, 15, 238 New Democratic Party, 87, 91–2 “A New Era in Liquor Administration: The Alberta Experience” (alcb), 165 Newfoundland, 15, 27 New Zealand, 46, 52 Nordic Council of Alcohol and Drug Research, 47 Nordic countries, 46–7, 291, 292. See also specific countries North American Free Trade Agreement (nafta), 61, 76, 82, 89, 293, 335 Northwest Territories, 212, 220, 233 Northwest Territories Liquor Commission, 220 North York Public Health Department, 227 Norway, 33, 52 Nova Scotia, 207 O’Connor case (Australia), 281 Onex, 37n6 Ontario: and advertising, 20, 238, 254, 256, 305; alcohol policy in, 50–1; attitudes in, 33–4; beer industry in, 28, 86–90, 175–6, 177–8, 206; Conservative Party in, 78–180, 186, 188–90; consumption in, 31–3; container deposits in, 86, 92; distillers in, 30; drinking age in, 50; grocery stores in, 177, 187, 191, 193; health activism in, 309; Liberal Party in, 178, 190; political agenda in, 300; and privatization, 128, 168, 175–200, 201–8, 300–1, 334–5; prohibition in, 15; research in, 307–8; retail sales in, 17, 18, 22, 119;

377

server intervention in, 54; and smuggling, 107–9, 126, 336; and taxes, 101, 107; and trade disputes, 86, 87–8, 91–2, 335; wine industry in, 27, 29, 83, 84, 175–8, 206. See also Liquor Control Board of Ontario; Ontario government Ontario Community Council on Impaired Driving, 195n5 Ontario government: and gatt, 84–5, 86; Inter-Ministerial Committee on Substance Abuse, 191; Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations, 183; Ministry of Finance, 183, 191; Ministry of Health, 22, 309; and privatization, 78–180, 186, 188–90; and research findings, 25, 190 Ontario Liquor Board Employees’ Union (olbeu), 180, 186–90, 192, 193 Ontario Neighbours for Responsible Alcohol Sales and Service, 194–5n4 Ontario Public Health Association, 227, 309 Oregon, 48, 52 Parliament. See House of Commons Parti Québécois (pq), 132, 136–7, 139–40; as government, 134–8, 140–3 Peterson, David, 189 Phillip Morris, 37n6 Poland, 290 police, 106, 108, 110–11, 118 policy communities, 59–60 policy development, 8, 66–9 policy networks, 60–6, 67–9, 314 policy science, 7–8 policy windows, 8, 64, 65 Popham, R.E., W. Schmidt, and J. de Lint, 290 Prairie provinces, 15, 18. See also specific provinces La Presse, 133, 135–6 prices: and consumption, 72, 290; as control policy, 126; minimum, 86–8, 89–90; privatization and, 154, 166, 168; and smuggling, 71, 105–7 Prince Edward Island, 15, 28, 238 privatization, 9, 127–208; advantages, 165–6, 202; alcohol industry and, 161–2, 168, 184–5; beer industry and, 185, 193, 206; consultation process in, 202, 207; consumers and, 140, 142, 166, 168; and

378

index

consumption, 164, 168–9, 201; creeping, 296, 305; and crime, 164–5, 169–70, 206–7; disadvantages, 166, 168, 169–70, 202; employee unions and, 127, 135, 138–40, 155, 160–1, 180, 202; governments and, 206; health interests and, 142–4, 165, 182–4, 193, 206–7; health issues in, 142–3, 164, 169–70, 182–4, 187; madd and, 169, 195n4; media and, 133, 159, 161, 179–80; opposition to, 178, 182–5; outside Canada, 195n9; and prices, 154, 166, 168; provincial governments and, 61, 299–301; public opinion on, 163–4, 186, 190–3; rationale for, 153, 154, 167; research and, 143–4, 157, 186, 190, 303; results of, 165–6, 167–9; and revenues, 166, 206; social issues in, 166, 169–70; spirits industry and, 154, 162, 185; support for, 187; symposia on, 183, 190; trade agreements and, 139, 143, 154, 202–6; unions and, 127, 155–6, 160–1, 202; wine industry and, 184, 193, 206. See also individual liquor boards, provinces, and states Progressive Conservative Party. See Conservative governments prohibition, 16, 29; in Canada, 15, 18, 19, 97, 307 Pross, A.P., 59 provincial governments: and advertising, 238, 254; and alcohol control, 19, 21–3, 291; and alcoholism treatment, 21–3; and alcohol policy, 297, 307; and alcohol production, 15; and drinking-driving, 292; as importers, 75–6; and privatization, 61, 299–301; and sales, 15–16; and trade agreements, 72, 83–4, 91–2. See also specific provinces; liquor boards public, 30–6; and advertising, 35, 243–5, 248, 251, 261; and alcohol policy, 34–6, 53, 54, 303, 304, 315; attentive, 59; and Daviault case, 35, 269–74, 277, 283; and privatization, 163–4, 186, 190–3; and smuggling, 117; and warning labels, 35, 224–5, 233, 261–2 public health. See health Quebec: advertising regulation in, 238; alcohol control in, 16, 131; beer industry

in, 84, 88, 129–30, 132; consumption in, 31–3, 118–19; distillers in, 30; grocery stores in, 27, 132, 134, 135, 139; legislation in, 129, 130, 131, 137–8; Liberal Party in, 136, 138, 139–40; liquor permits in, 130, 131; privatization in, 127, 129–49, 201–8, 300, 334; and prohibition, 15, 19; research in, 25; retail sales in, 17, 27, 132, 143; sales in, 131–2; and smuggling, 105–8, 118–19, 130, 336; sovereignty issues in, 136–7, 138, 202; and taxes, 101, 105–7; temperance movement in, 130, 131; wine industry in, 29, 85, 132, 134, 139, 144n3. See also Quebec government; Société des Alcools de Québec Quebec Bar Association, 277 Quebec Court of Appeal, 138 Quebec government: Biron project, 133–8; Bourbeau project, 139–40; Comité permanent de luttes aux toxicomanies, 26; Committee of Inquiry and Information on Alcoholism, 26; cooperative project, 136–8; Groupe de travail sur le secteur des boissons alcooliques, 140–1, 143; Groupe de travail sur l’examen des organismes gouvernementaux, 140; Landry project, 140–3; Office of Prevention and Treatment of Alcoholism and Addiction (optat), 26, 310; and smuggling, 126; Thinel Commission, 130–1, 132. See also Parti Québécois Quebec Health Survey, 308 Quebec Liquor Board, 130 Quebec Liquor Commission, 129–30. See also Société des Alcools de Québec Quebec Stakeholders Report, 105–6 Quiet Revolution, 131 Rae, Bob, 87 research: on advertising, 246–7, 250–1, 303–4; on alcohol problems, 311; and Daviault case, 279, 283–4; “enlightenment model,” 52, 54, 66–7; funding for, 308; and health issues, 64, 90–1, 292; and policy making, 23–6, 50–3, 54, 66–9, 307–10, 315–16; and privatization, 143–4, 157, 186, 190, 303; programs for, 24–5,

index 307–8; role of, 67–9, 303–4; and warning labels, 222–4, 234, 261, 262, 303–4 researchers, 68, 303; as activists, 307, 308 restaurants, 18 retailers: advertising by, 241; and alcohol sales, 27; as employers, 166, 168; governments as, 305, 306; importing by, 162; wine producers as, 29. See also liquor stores; privatization; retail sales retail sales (of alcohol), 15, 16–18, 27, 35; mixed-system, 150–2, 201–2, 295; revenue from, 156–7, 166; and social responsibility, 17, 192, 291. See also specific provinces and liquor boards; liquor stores; privatization; retailers Rock, Allan, 279 Rockefeller, John D., Jr., 16 Room, Robin, 52 Rowntree, J., and R. Sherwell, 23 Royal Canadian Mounted Police (rcmp), 106, 118 Ruby, Clayton, 272 Russia, 16, 290, 291 Sabatier, P., 61, 67, 68 safety. See crime Saltz, R.F., 48, 52 Saskatchewan, 16, 17, 18; advertising regulation in, 238; alcohol policy in, 23–4; and privatization, 207; research in, 25 Saskatchewan Alcoholism Commission, 22 Seagram’s (Joseph E. Seagram and Sons), 29–30, 50 Seeley, J.R., 290 server intervention, 35, 48, 50–2, 54, 185, 191 sexual assault, 267, 274 Single, E., 30 Smart, R.G., 54, 247 Smirnoff, 256 smuggling, 9, 32, 71, 123–6, 336; adverse effects, 98–100, 106, 115; border crossings for, 97–8, 106; from Canada, 97; into Canada, 97–122; as criminal activity, 102, 104, 116; estimates of, 109–14, 116–19, 304; as health issue, 106, 115, 116, 125–6; liquor boards and, 107, 115–16, 117; media and, 102–4; police

379

and, 106, 108, 110–11, 118; policy responses to, 101–2, 104–9, 115, 125; on political agenda, 123–5, 299; prices and, 71, 105–7; into Quebec, 105–8, 118–19, 126, 130, 336; surveys on, 117; symposia on, 109; taxes and, 71–2, 100–1, 104–7, 305; of tobacco, 98, 100–2, 126, 336 Société des Alcools de Québec (saq), 131–2; acces (Actions concertés contre les économies souterraines), 108; consumers and, 140; and cooperative project, 136–8; employees’ union, 135, 138, 139, 140, 142, 300; and health issues, 131–2, 136; as monopoly, 129, 132, 135, 139; vs. private sector, 134–5; and privatization, 129–49, 300, 334; and smuggling, 106; as wine bottler, 132, 135, 139, 142, 143; and wine industry, 134, 135 Société de Vin International Ltée, 143 Sopinka, John, 269 sovereignty: national, 6–7; Quebec, 136–7, 138, 202 spirits: advertising of, 238, 241–2, 245–6, 254–5, 301–2, 305, 337; by the drink, 18, 22, 23–4; sales of, 26–7, 32–3, 110, 118–19; taxes on, 104–7, 242; temperance movement and, 18, 241. See also smuggling; spirits industry spirits industry, 29–30; and estimates, 110, 115; and export market, 30; foreign control of, 30, 74; and free trade, 82; and privatization, 154, 162, 185; sponsorship by, 305; on taxes, 110 Sterling, Norman, 188, 335 Stroh, 85, 87 subgovernment, 59, 61 superstores, 162–3 Supreme Court of Canada, 255, 279, 282. See also Daviault case Sûreté du Québec, 118 Sweden, 16, 52, 195n9, 207 Symposium on Privatization/Deregulation of Alcohol Sales and Distribution (1995), 183 Szabo, Paul, 213, 215–17, 220–5, 227, 234, 336–7 tariffs, 86, 87

380

index

taxes, 20, 23, 52–3, 54; in Alberta, 156–7, 162, 168; anti-dumping, 86; environmental, 86, 87, 88; flat, 156, 162, 168; in New Zealand, 46; in Ontario, 101, 107; and prices, 71–2, 126; in Quebec, 101, 105–7; and smuggling, 71–2, 100–1, 104–7, 305; on spirits, 104–7, 110, 242; spirits industry and, 104–5, 156; on tobacco, 100–1, 104, 105; in United States, 46, 49, 52–3 television. See advertising; crtc temperance movements, 19, 47, 307; in Quebec, 130, 131; and spirits, 18, 241 Tibbet and Britten Group Canada Inc., 159 Tigerstedt, C., and C. Sutton, 52 tobacco: control of, 90; health interests and, 101, 126; policies on, 297, 316–17; smuggling of, 98, 100–2, 126, 336; taxes on, 100–1, 104, 105; warning labels for, 222, 264 Toronto Board of Health, 183–4, 244, 245, 247; Alcohol Advisory Committee, 182–3, 194n4 Toronto Star, 269, 271–2 trade, 8–9, 74–96, 123–6, 335; health interests and, 303; and national sovereignty, 6–7; and political agenda, 123–5, 299, 301. See also trade agreements trade agreements, 74–96, 306, 335; 1980–98, 75–82; and alcohol industry, 61, 82, 83–5, 305; beer industry and, 82, 305; and health, 72–3; Ontario and, 86, 87–8, 91–2, 335; and privatization, 139, 143, 154, 202–6; provincial governments and, 72, 83–4, 91–2; Quebec and, 139; wine industry and, 75, 82, 83–5, 305. See also specific agreements Tremblay, Rodrigue, 132 Tsubouchi, David, 188, 335 udv, 30 unions: and policy disputes, 106; and privatization, 127, 155–6, 160–1, 202; and warning labels, 220, 225–6. See also individual unions United Kingdom, 43–5, 52 United States: advertising in, 49–50, 242, 256n2; alcohol control system in, 18, 47–50; beer industry in, 28, 85–8;

consumption in, 33, 290; drinking age in, 51, 54; environmental movement in, 89; as export market, 28–9, 30; gatt complaints, 76–82, 83, 86; harm prevention in, 20; legislation in, 48–50, 234; prohibition in, 16; research in, 292; smuggling into, 97; taxes in, 46, 49, 52–3; warning labels in, 48–50, 212, 223, 234, 305; wine industry in, 75; and wine subsidies, 85. See also United States government; specific states United States government: Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (ttb), 20; Committee of Fifty to Investigate the Liquor Problem, 23; Department of Health and Human Services, 20; Federal Communications Commission (fcc), 50; Federal Trade Commission (ftc), 50 University of Toronto, 187 Valverde, M., 284 Veilleux, Ron, 162 Vickberg case, 282 Vienneau, D., 269, 272 Vin Andrés du Québec Ltée, 143 Vincor, 29 Vineland Estates, 84 Wagenaar, A.C., 51 warning labels, 9, 212–36, 260–4, 336–7; alcohol industry and, 210, 220–1, 223, 224–7, 228–33, 262; costs of, 221, 223, 226–7, 228–33; effectiveness of, 219, 220, 223, 228; federal government and, 213–17, 221, 227, 228, 234, 261; health interests and, 220, 227–8, 233, 261; House of Commons and, 213–17, 260; legal issues, 234; media and, 217; in Northwest Territories, 212, 220; opposition to, 219–21, 228–33, 262; public opinion on, 35, 224–5, 233, 261–2; research and, 222–4, 234, 261, 262, 303–4; responses to, 218–28, 261, 305; support for, 219, 220, 224–5, 227, 302; for tobacco, 222, 264; unions and, 220, 225–6; in United States, 48–50, 212, 223, 224, 305 Weiss, C.H., 66–7, 68 West, Douglas, 165–6, 187, 190, 193 West, Stephen, 153, 154, 156, 162

index wine, 32–3, 132, 135, 238. See also wine industry Wine Council of Ontario, 27, 83 wine industry, 27, 29, 84; advertising by, 237; in Alberta, 162; in Australia, 46; and estimates, 110; in Ontario, 27, 29, 83, 84, 175–8, 206; and privatization, 184, 193, 206; prohibition and, 29; in Quebec, 29, 85, 132, 134–5, 139, 144n3; and trade issues, 75, 82, 83–5, 305; in United States, 75; weakness of, 83–4 women’s groups, 269, 273–4, 276–8, 280–1, 283–4, 310

381

World Health Organization, 294, 313; European Action Plan on Alcohol, 297, 316–17; Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, 90 World Trade Organization, 76, 90, 293. See also General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade Yale Center of Alcohol Studies, 23 York University, 195n10 Yukon Territory, 212 Yukon Women’s Directorate, 273