Canadian Alcohol Policy Evaluation

Canadian Alcohol Policy Evaluation (CAPE) and Community of Practice
A blue map of Canada with red lettergrades on each province and territory representing alcohol policy scores
Alcohol policy scores across Canadian jurisdictions from CAPE 2.0 (2019)

Join the CAPE Community of Practice

Inscrivez-vous à la CdP de l’ÉPCA

The Canadian Alcohol Policy Evaluation (CAPE) is an ongoing research project, and related community of practice, that systematically evaluates the degree of implementation of provincial, territorial, and federal alcohol policies under 11 evidence-based alcohol policy domains.

The 11 CAPE domains are: Pricing and Taxation; Physical Availability; Alcohol Control System; Impaired Driving Countermeasures; Marketing and Advertising Controls; Minimum Legal Age; Health and Safety Messaging; Liquor Law Enforcement; Prevention, Harm Reduction and Treatment (formerly SBIR); Alcohol Strategy; and Monitoring and Reporting.

CAPE has a track record of strengthening Canada’s response to alcohol-related harm. The project was initially developed and implemented in 2013 (CAPE 1.0), and then updated, refined, and expanded in 2019 (CAPE 2.0). The third round (CAPE 3.0) launched in 2022 along with the national alcohol policy community of practice.

The CAPE CoP offers a national email listserv, research presentations, roundtable discussions, policy forums, and cross-sectoral and -jurisdictional networking sessions related to alcohol policy. 

Members receive regular communications in relation to CoP events, resources and updates about the CAPE 3.0 project. There is no cost associated with joining and members are welcome to participate in whatever capacity works best for them.

To sign up, please fill out this short membership formPour vous inscrire, veuillez remplir ce court formulaire.

The CAPE CoP has more than 200 members, from all 13 provinces and territories plus Canada-wide and international jurisdictions. Members include those working in public health/health services, government alcohol regulation/distribution/retail, public safety, cancer-related and other NGOs, advocacy groups, people with lived and living experience, peer organizations, students, research organizations and more. 

If you have any questions about the CAPE CoP, please contact the coordinators directly at

Please note: materials produced by CAPE are available in both English and French. Simultaneous interpretation in either French or English is provided for webinars/presentations. Email correspondence is primarily in English.

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

The basics of alcohol pricing and taxation mechanisms: minimum unit pricing, excise tax, sales tax, and markups

Raising prices on alcohol through taxes and pricing policies remains one of the most cost-effective interventions to reduce alcohol related harm. It can also be challenging to understand! Join us for this webinar to learn about the fundamentals of alcohol pricing and taxation policies: what they are and why they are important. We will look at key concepts and terminology including minimum unit pricing, excise tax, sales tax and markups.  

Presenters: Ashley Wettlaufer, Research Methods Specialist, Institute for Mental Health Policy Research (IMHPR), Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Tim Stockwell, Scientist, Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research. Adam Sherk, Scientist, Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research. 

Simultaneous French interpretation will be available for this event.
This is a members-only event. Not yet a member? Join the CAPE CoP  Inscrivez-vous à la CdP de l’ÉPCA

Current Activities

Last updated November 2022

Alcohol labelling
There has been growing interest in alcohol labelling initiatives in Canada and elsewhere. In Canada, much of this interest has stemmed from the recently updated Low Risk Drinking Guidelines, which recommend mandated labels on alcohol products. Some CAPE CoP members have engaged in writing letters in support of these initiatives (see below). These letters represent the views of the individuals who have sent them.

Canada: Motion M-61 National Warning Label Strategy for Alcoholic Products

Canada: Bill S-254 An Act to amend the Food and Drugs Act (warning label on alcoholic beverages)

Canada: Other letters to government

 

Ireland: Public Health (Alcohol) Act (2022 labelling regulations)

Event Recordings, Slides, and Summaries

Launch of CAPE 3.0 and CoP

January 19, 2022: This public launch event featured an overview of CAPE research, an update on alcohol policy changes in Canada, a look ahead at CAPE 3.0 and introduced the CAPE Community of Practice (CoP).

 

Alcohol Warning Labels: Informing Canadian Consumers

March 16, 2022: This webinar featured experts in Canada and beyond presenting current initiatives and lessons learned regarding implementing alcohol warning labels, legal considerations for Canadian jurisdictions, and discussion of potential next steps. 

 

Alcohol Warning Labels (AWLs) Roundtables

Roundtables are not recorded. High level discussion summaries are available upon request from 

Les tables rondes ne sont pas enregistrées. Des sommaires de discussion de haut niveau sont accessibles sur demande à l'adresse suivante: 

March 30, 2022: AWLs Roundtable: Exploring the Legal Issues. 
An exploration of the legal issues and considerations around implementation of warning labels in Canadian jurisdictions.

April 13, 2022: AWLs Roundtable: Advocacy Approaches - Australian Perspective
Team members from the Foundation for Alcohol Research & Education (FARE) in Australia provided an overview of the process of developing pregnancy warning labels in Australia and the advocacy approaches used to support their implementation in 2020.

May 4, 2022: AWLs Roundtable: Advocacy Approaches - Canadian Perspective
An exploration of advocacy approaches to support the implementation of alcohol warning labels in Canada.

 

Overt and Covert Alcohol Industry Activities: Navigating the Canadian Landscape

June 8, 2022: This webinar explored how health promotion intersects with private alcohol interests. Alcohol companies employ a range of strategies that contribute to the normalization of alcohol including actively promoting their product through marketing as well as undermining evidence-based alcohol health information through alcohol industry corporate social responsibility (CSR) bodies. Presenters from the UK and Canada provided an overview of how industry CSR bodies operate and highlighted some specific examples of alcohol marketing and CSR activities in the Canadian context.

 

Alcohol Strategies and Action Plans in Canada: Experiences, Opportunities and Challenges

September 28, 2022: This webinar explored the process and progress of alcohol strategies and action plans in Canada. Several Canadian jurisdictions have strategies or action plans under development, active or on-the-shelf. Presenters and panelists discussed their experiences in relation to planning, development, implementation and review of strategies and actions plans, highlighting the challenges and opportunities at the regional, provincial/territorial, and federal levels.

 

Other CoP Documents

CAPE 3.0

CAPE 3.0 is currently underway with project results to be released in Spring 2023.

CAPE 2.0

Infographics 

Presentations

Federal 

Provincial/Territorial 

By province/territory

CAPE 1.0

Guidance and Fact Sheets

Journal Articles and Research Papers

Media Releases

Media Coverage

CAPE 2.0

CAPE 1.0

Project overview

The aim of CAPE is to encourage greater uptake of evidence-based alcohol policies and practices and thereby reduce the considerable alcohol-related health and social harms in Canada.

The CAPE project began in 2013 (CAPE 1.0) with an initial systematic and comparative review of evidence-based alcohol policies and programs across all Canadian provinces (territories were not included).

The CAPE study design was based on a similar model conceived and implemented by MADD Canada that assessed the progress of policy measures to reduce impaired driving (see 2015 Provincial Impaired Driving Report).

The second iteration of the project (CAPE 2.0) conducted in 2019, performed a rigorous assessment of the extent to which evidence-based alcohol policies were implemented in all 13 Canadian provinces and territories as well as at the Federal level. The alcohol policies assessed were grouped into domains and categorized as either:

Direct: those with evidence of direct effectiveness as a means of reducing population level consumption of alcohol and/or related harms (e.g. pricing and taxation; physical availability of alcohol; impaired driving countermeasures; marketing and advertising controls; minimum legal drinking age laws; screening, brief intervention and referral programs; liquor law enforcement); or

Indirect: those that more indirectly facilitate implementation of the direct policies (e.g. control systems for the distribution and sale of alcohol; provincial, territorial and national alcohol strategies; monitoring and reporting of alcohol related harms; health and safety messaging)

The third iteration (CAPE 3.0) being conducted in 2022, once again performs a rigorous assessment of the extent to which evidence-based alcohol policies have been implemented in all 13 Canadian provinces and territories as well as at the Federal level.

CAPE 3.0 is currently underway with project results to be released in early 2023.

 

Funding bodies

  • Health Canada, Substance Use and Addictions Program (CAPE 3.0 & 2.0)
  • Public Health Agency of Canada (CAPE 3.0 & 2.0)
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Connection Grant (CAPE CoP)
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CAPE 1.0)

Alcohol Warning Labels

Alcohol and Cancer

Other Alcohol Policy Evaluations

Alcohol and Public Health Reports and Guidance

Alcohol Consumption and Harm Data Tools

Alcohol and COVID-19

Detailed policy tracking tables of changes that have occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic are available for each province and territory from CCSA. To request policy tracking tables, please contact Dr. Catherine Paradis

Alcohol Industry

Liquor Acts and Regulations

Alcohol Strategy Documents

Municipal Alcohol Policies

Ressources disponibles en fran├žais

Researchers

  • Dr. Tim Naimi (Co-Principal Investigator)
  • Dr. Tim Stockwell (Co-Principal Investigator)
  • Norman Giesbrecht (Co-Principal Investigator | Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, ON)
  • Dr. Marilou Gagnon (Co-Investigator)
  • Dr. Russell Callaghan (Co-Investigator)
  • Dr. Adam Sherk (Co-Investigator)
  • Mark Asbridge (Co-Investigator | Dalhousie University, NS)
  • Jacob Shelley (Co-Investigator | Health Ethics, Law & Policy (HELP) Lab, Western University, ON)
  • Kevin Shield (Co-Investigator | Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, ON)
  • Robert Solomon (Co-Investigator | Western University, ON)
  • Dr. Kara Thompson (Co-Investigator | St. Francis Xavier University, NS)
  • Amanda Farrell-Low (Communications Officer)
  • Ashley Wettlaufer (Methods Specialist, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, ON)
  • Kate Vallance (Research Associate)
  • Nicole Vishnevsky (Research Assistant)
  • Elizabeth Farkouh (Research Assistant )
  • Bella Priore (Research Assistant)
  • Tina Price (Project Coordinator)
  • Julie McEachern (Project Coordinator)