TORONTO – There are moves in Ontario to open up the sale of beer and wine. The LCBO, along with The Beer Store have operate a virtual monopoly in Ontario n the sale of alcohol. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario is responsible to regulate the sale, service and consumption of beverage alcohol in Ontario.
The Thunder Bay Police responded to 55 alcohol related calls so far in June in the Fort William Business District. There were eight related calls for alcohol related incidents in the ‘Entertainment District’ in the downtown north core. Across the city are places where the evidence of alcohol and substance abuse demonstrate that too many in our community can’t handle the access to alcohol that is currently available.
The large number of incidents in the Fort William Business District where there are two bars, contrasted to the downtown north core are likely a demonstration that the AGCO is already in over its head, and unable to handle the problems it currently has reported to the local inspectors.
Premier Kathleen Wynne, questioned on the issue of alcohol abuse in our region commented that the addition of more inspectors, and more inspections would be a positive step.
Likely more than more access to alcohol, what is needed is more responsibility and more education starting with young people in our community.
Thunder Bay remains a community where many feel ‘getting drunk’ is a goal for a fun night. That is an attitude left over from years long gone by in most cosmopolitan cities. Here, some old attitudes seem to be brushed aside. It is one of the city’s dirty little secrets. On of those issues many see, but few are willing to step up and do something past a photo-op to deal with solving.
For those seeking increased access to alcohol, it is an obvious lack of understanding of real problems, and a lack of working to real solutions.
Getting drunk on the weekend, or a couple of time s a week isn’t a sign of maturity, it is a sign that there is a problem. Based simply on the costs in policing, anyone in Thunder Bay who supports more access needs to be thinking how this city could afford the price.
Over the past twenty four hours, Thunder Bay Police had their hands full. Dealing with alcohol related incidents top the charts for police.
Dealing with the core issues of addiction are a goal.
Until the Ontario Government steps up, and the Alcohol and Gaming Commission get a handle on the issues, the idea of more access to alcohol is a demonstration of a government having its priorities out of whack.