Municipal Alcohol Policy (MAP)

Welcome to the District of Tofino's page about the Municipal Alcohol Policy. 

Policy

This purpose of the Municipal Alcohol Policy is to reduce potential harms at public events serving alcohol and to promote inclusivity at events on public property.

This policy recognizes that responsible alcohol use on public property is based on the following foundational principles:

  • Community Health and Safety
  • Engagement and Support
  • Inclusivity

VIEW: Municipal Alcohol Policy - Events (PDF)

Consultation was undertaken with two main stakeholder groups prior to engaging the broader public:

  1. The primary stakeholder group was drawn from the public health and enforcement sectors (i.e. RCMP, Hospital, Fire, BCAS, Medical Health Officer, etc.). This group was directly involved in setting policy direction and evaluating alternatives.
  2. The secondary stakeholder group included event producers (Tofino Recreation Commission, Theatre Society, EACH Working Group, Pacific Rim Arts Society, etc.). This group provided input on the impacts of proposed policy statements and provided feedback on the comments provided by the public health group.

The public was kept informed of the District’s activities through the District email subscription list, social media accounts, and website. A online feedback form was eventually developed in order to seek public comment on the draft policy.

FAQ

1. What is a MAP?

Municipal Alcohol Policies provide clarity around the use of alcohol on municipal property and facilities.

The role of the municipality is not to duplicate the provincial liquor licencing process or to prohibit alcohol use in a community, but to provide a set of guidelines about the appropriate use of alcohol on public property.

2. Why Have a MAP?

The District of Tofino has heard from many sectors and members of the community about the importance of creating dialogue around the use of alcohol on the West Coast.

In Tofino and the West Coast region, alcohol use contributes to 80% of RCMP calls, 50% of Ambulance calls, and 20% of presentations to the ER of Tofino General Hospital. In addition, there are broader alcohol-related harms to consider, such as:

  • Alcohol-caused or related ill-health and mortality;
  • Alcohol-impaired driving;
  • Alcohol-related mental health and social harms.

However, not all alcohol use is problematic - the District recognizes that alcohol can be used responsibly and enjoyably in casual settings, celebrations and events. 

The goal of Tofino's MAP is two pronged:

  1. To promote the health, enjoyment, safety, and inclusivity of events on District property.
  2. To be part of a broader dialogue and harm-reduction approach to alcohol-related issues in our community.
3. What Does the Policy Do?

The Municipal Alcohol Policy only applies to events held on District property. It does not apply to events on private property, licenced establishments, or home consumption of alcohol.

Policy Provisions Include:

  • Introducing increased safety measures such as:
    • Event Safety Plans;
    • Mandatory notification to Responding Agencies for events over 200 attendees.
  • Introducing harm-reduction strategies for alcohol-related concerns, such as:
    • Requirements for safe ride home programs;
    • Requirements for public education / responsible consumption and how/where to seek care locally;
    • No "Last Call" - studies have shown that "Last Call" can encourage binge-drinking at the end of an event, and should be avoided; 
    • Separate stations for non-alcoholic drinks - Providing easy access to non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Prohibiting the service of alcohol in certain municipal spaces.
    • Rationale: Some locations could be seen as "community" spaces (Parks, Playgrounds, etc.) and the addition of alcohol is not inclusive of all members; some locations may pose safety risks to patrons or responders.  
    • Think: Parks, Playgrounds, Docks, Trails, etc
  • Prohibiting the service of alcohol at certain types of events.
    • Think: Events focused on the community-at-large, families, children, youth, etc.
    • Rationale: Some events could be deemed "community events" that invite the general public to participate in celebrations (such as Canada Day or Family Day) may not require the addition of alcohol, other events could be deemed "adult-oriented" and provide appropriate venues for alcohol. 


Contact

Elyse Goatcher-Bergmann
Manager of Corporate Services
elysegb@tofino.ca
250-725-3229 ext. 610