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REPORTING · 16th January 2013
Walter McFarlane
Councillor Corinne Scott took a motion before Council on Monday, January 7th, to apply for a seed grant for $7000 to put towards a Municipal Alcohol Policy Program (MAP) for Kitimat. Scott submitted background information to Council.

“Local Governments can apply for the grant by forwarding a short ‘expression of interest’ letter to BC Healthy Communities (BCHC),” wrote Scott. “A Municipal Alcohol Policy helps support healthy communities by providing clear guidelines for alcohol use in municipal settings and contributing to a culture of moderation in the community.”

The memo explains a MAP follows provincial liquor license regulations to manage alcohol at events in municipally owned settings. MAP’s were adopted in Ontario to reduce: Underage Drinking, Fighting and Vandalism, Police Interventions, Injuries and the number of public complaints.

Two communities in British Columbia which have adopted a MAP program are Whistler and Maple Ridge.

At the Council Meeting, she made her motion to support the program and send the letter or request to applying for the seed grant to develop a MAP. After it was seconded, she stated they received the information from Northern Health Authority.

“BC Healthy Communities is announcing a Municipal Alcohol Policy Program for local governments in BC and they are offering seed grants for up to $7,000 to develop a policy for the Municipality. The Deadline of submission for a letter of interest, not to apply for the grant, but just to say that we are interested is January 16th coming up,” said Scott.

She explained about what The District would get as a part the program and what it would do for the community from her letter to Council.

Councillors Mario Feldhoff wanted more information about the success in other parts in BC. He compared it to a no smoking policy. He wanted to know what the current policy is so Council could fill in the gaps in their policy.

Councillor Phil Germuth wanted to know how this change in policy would affect the other programs in the community. Head of Kitimat Leisure Services, Martin Gould replied this program would enhance the existing program, primarily because their policy which was not written on paper. They follow guidelines passed on by the municipality.

He expressed they might have beer gardens in place for the Bull-O-Rama, July 1st or at the Ice Demon’s Hockey Games. “We do have a program in place and that program ensures the safety of the building and the safety of the patrons as wells as follows Provincial Law which exists right now and they are the ones who regulate the issue of a license to serve alcohol at various locations and without our permission, they are unable to do so on municipal property,” said Gould.

There were no further questions so the motion to send a letter of intent was called and carried.