Alcohol & Safety: A Conversation on Community Policies recording

On November 16, Vancouver Coastal Health and the BC Alliance for Healthy Living hosted a dialogue, where participants discussed alcohol consumption and how to keep community members safe and aware about alcohol-related health risks.

The event started with presentations from Dr. Mark Lysyshyn (Vancouver Coastal Health), Kate Vallance (Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research), and then Councillor Tom Stere (District of Tofino).

Dr. Lysyshyn discussed alcohol-related harms, specifically in the Vancouver Coastal Health service area, and the effects of relaxed alcohol policies on health. This affects youth, who are reportedly consuming alcohol in risky ways, with this behaviour lasting into adulthood.

Kate focused on alcohol policy recommendations on a provincial level, while also touching on alcohol-related harms throughout the province. She also presented findings from the Canadian Alcohol Policy Evaluation Project, which showed where BC’s alcohol policies and regulations can improve.

Councillor Stere finished the presentations with what the District of Tofino council has done to reduce alcohol-related harms in the community, and how other municipalities can do so as well in their areas. He emphasized the importance of municipal advocacy: local governments should get involved in consultations and write letters of support when bills are introduced on provincial and federal levels.


Dr. Mark Lysyshyn is the Deputy Chief Medical Officer at Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), where he works closely with the Harm Reduction and Population Health Programs. He is a specialist in Public Health and Preventive Medicine and Internal Medicine. He is also a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia School of Population and Public Health.

Kate Vallance is a research associate at the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research (CISUR) at the University of Victoria. She has worked in coordination and management of a wide variety of alcohol and other drug research projects at both the local and national level, including the Canadian Alcohol Policy Evaluation (CAPE) Project and the Northern Territories Alcohol Labels Study, among many other projects.

Counc. Tom Stere is a councillor with the District of Tofino and has served in the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District board since 2020. He is a Rescue Specialist with the Canadian Coast Guard and worked with the Clayoquot Biosphere Project as a Research Stations Manager. He helped establish Tofino Sea Kayaking in 1988. Tom is a board member of the Tofino Harbour Authority and the Rainforest Education Society.

Additional links:

District of Tofino’s Municipal Alcohol Policy (MAP)

Interior Health’s Local Government Alcohol Toolkit

Warning labels on alcoholic beverages (Bill S-254), introduced by Senator Brazeau

Comments are closed.