March 19th, 2018

NDP is calling for an immediate study on alcoholic beverages

To protect our children and prevent tragedies like the one that has devastated Athena Gervais’ family, the NDP is tabling a motion calling on the Liberals to hold an emergency study at the health committee to better regulate beverages with high alcohol content, caffeine, and sugar. The motion is also calling for the study’s recommendations to be reported back to the House by June 2018, at the latest.

“Public Health authorities everywhere in North America have been issuing warnings about these drinks for nearly a decade,” said NDP Health Critic Don Davies. “It’s time for the federal government to work with provinces and have the courage to better regulate these beverages.”

On March 9th, Davies wrote to the Health Minister with a request to restrict the maximum allowable alcohol concentration in these drinks, to reduce the can size, and to add warning labels about the dangers of mixing alcohol, caffeine and sugar.

“Without leadership from Health Canada, Quebec took action by banning the sale of these products in convenience and grocery stores, but we need national standards for the sale of these products,” said Brigitte Sansoucy, the NDP Critic for Communities, Families and Children. “I salute the hard work of Mr. Alain Gervais, father of the late Athena Gervais, who is fighting to make sure better regulatory standards are placed on these products.”

The NDP motion will be debated on Monday at the Standing Committee on Health. While the NDP welcomes the announcement that Health Canada is launching a consultation, this motion will give the committee the opportunity to work in more depth, and to hear experts’ and stakeholders’ concerns about this issue.