Substance use researcher says B.C. government poised to link booze prices to alcohol content

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      This morning, the director of the UVic-based Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research said that there will be a significant change in alcohol pricing.

      In an interview on CBC Radio One's Early Edition program, Tim Stockwell said that the B.C. government is about to link prices to the percentage of alcohol content.

      It's something that Stockwell has been advocating for years—and Manitoba is already doing this.

      Stockwell was on the radio show to discuss a report card that the institute released on Canadian provincial and territorial alcohol policies.

      "Alcohol has surpassed tobacco in terms of being the most costly drug in Canada when it comes to harms," Stockwell said earlier this year when the report card was released.

      B.C. posted the second highest score, "D+", only behind Ontario's "C". The evaluation took place before Ontario introduced its "buck-a-beer" program under Premier Doug Ford and before the NDP took power in B.C.

      Unlike the former B.C. Liberal government headed by Christy Clark, the B.C. NDP government is not making frequent announcements loosening liquor regulations. However, a recent leaked memo from B.C. Ferries indicated that it's about to launch limited beer and wine sales on its Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay run, possibly as soon as this June.