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Province to encourage a “culture of moderation”

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Manitoba will put together a new strategy to encourage a "culture of moderation" when it comes to alcohol consumption.

Healthy Living, Seniors and Consumer Affairs Minister Jim Rondeau made the announcement today.

The strategy will look at everything from binge drinking to health issues like fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

"For many Manitobans, a drink in the backyard or at the lake is a chance to unwind and most do that responsibly, but there are situations where excessive alcohol can lead to serious health and safety issues," Rondeau said. "We're bringing families, industry and experts together to have their say and create a plan that will ensure Manitobans can enjoy a drink responsibly and ensure that more supports are in place for those that need them."

A committee chaired by chief provincial public health officer Dr. Michael Routledge will develop the strategy.

Representatives from government, Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries, the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba, the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, the Manitoba Hotel Association and the Canadian Restaurant and Food Services Association will sit on the committee.

The strategy is being developed at the same time the province is liberalizing its liquor control laws strategy.

The legislation is slated to pass in December.

The new strategy is also partly in response to a study done by the Centre for Addiction and Health that found Manitoba and Prince Edward Island did not have a provincial health strategy that included alcohol as a priority issue.

The March 2013 study compared provincial policies to reduce the harms associated with alcohol abuse.

History

Updated on Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at 11:55 AM CDT: Updates from news conference.

1:16 PM: Adds sound clip.

2:45 PM: Removed extra graph.

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