Canadian Alcohol Policy Evaluation

Project Funded by: Health Canada, Substance Use and Addictions Program, Public Health Agency of Canada and Canadian Institutes of Health Research

This project is ongoing, both past and present. CAPE was initially developed and implemented in 2013 (CAPE 1.0) and then updated, refined, and expanded in 2019 (CAPE 2.0). The next round (CAPE 3.0) will be launched in 2022 alongside a national alcohol policy community of practice.

The Provincial and Territorial Canadian Alcohol Policy Evaluation Project is a rigorous assessment of the extent to which evidence-based alcohol policies have been implemented in all 13 jurisdictions in Canada. The study design is based on a similar model conceived of and implemented by MADD Canada assessing the progress of policy measures to reduce impaired driving. The types of alcohol policies being evaluated at the provincial and territorial level include those with direct evidence of direct effectiveness as a means of reducing population level consumption of alcohol and/or related harms such as: 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; and liquor law enforcement. We also assess evidence-based strategies that more indirectly facilitate implementation of the direct policies mentioned above. These strategies include: control systems for the distribution and sale of alcohol; provincial and territorial alcohol strategies; monitoring and reporting of alcohol related harms; and health and safety messaging. A report card is available for each jurisdiction and comparisons made with a previous national exercise completed in 2013, which was also based on the MADD Canada design. Reports and resources can be found on the project website.

Peer-reviewed papers from the CAPE project

1. Thompson, K., Stockwell, T., Wettlaufer, A., Giesbrecht, N, & Thomas, G (2017). Minimum alcohol pricing policies in practice: a critical examination of implementation in Canada. Journal of Public Health Policy, 1-19

2. Giesbrecht, N., Wettlaufer, A., April, N., Asbridge, M., Cukier, S., Mann, R., McAllister, J., Murie, A., Pauley, C., Plamondon, L., Stockwell, T., Thomas, G., Thompson, K., & Vallance, K. (2016). Strategies to Reduce Alcohol-Related Harms and Costs in Canada: A Comparison of Provincial Policies. International Journal of Alcohol and Drug Research, 5(2), 33-45. doi: 10.7895/ijadr.v5i2.221

3. Giesbrecht, N., Wettlaufer, A., Stockwell, T., Thomas, G., Thompson, K, April, N., Asbridge, M., Cukier, S., Mann, R., McAllister, J., Murie, A., Pauley, C., Plamondon, L., & Vallance, K. (2015). Pricing of Alcohol in Canada: A comparison of Provincial Policies and Harm-reduction Opportunities. Drug and Alcohol Review, 35, 289-297. doi: 10.1111/dar.12338

4. Giesbrecht, N., Wettlaufer, A., Stockwell, T., Vallance, K., Chow, C., April, N., ... & Thompson, K. (2020). Alcohol retail privatisation in Canadian provinces between 2012 and 2017. Is decision making oriented to harm reduction? Drug and Alcohol Review, early online

5. Vallance, K., Stockwell, T., Wettlaufer, A., Clifton, C., Giesbrecht, N., April, N., Asbridge, M., Callaghan, R., Cukier, S., Hynes, G., Mann, R., Solomon, R., Thomas, G., Thompson, K. (2021). The Canadian Alcohol Policy Evaluation project: Findings from a review of provincial and territorial alcohol policies. Drug and Alcohol Review. DOI: 10.1111/dar.13251