Community input the next step for P.A.’s alcohol strategy

By Jill Sperling
March 18, 2016 - 5:39am

The Prince Albert and Area Community Alcohol Strategy is now ready to launch.

The strategy’s steering committee held their final meeting on Wednesday, March 16, preparing for the launch which will take place next month.

Spokesperson for the committee, Robert Bratvold, said the launch of the strategy would allow the public to see what information had been compiled from focus group meetings held two years ago. He said the community would later have the opportunity to add their suggestions.

"So what we want is the community to become informed about the alcohol strategy, but engaged in helping it become real," Bratvold said.

After the launch, at least two community engagement sessions will be held to allow Prince Albert residents to have some input in the final drafting of the strategy.

"Following that we will finalize the strategy, because it is the community strategy; it's not owned by any particular organization or group," Bratvold said.

At that point, the steering committee will reach out to various agencies, individuals, and organizations essential in implementing portions of the strategy.

Bratvold said the Community Alcohol Strategy is meant to help Prince Albert return to a positive relationship with alcohol.

“We're not talking about prohibition at all,” Bratvold said, “we're talking about making sure that responsible use is the predominant nature of our relationship with alcohol and that if there are people with challenges in terms of addictions, and the misuse or abuse (of alcohol), that there are supports for them in place."

The launch of the Community Alcohol Strategy is a big step forward for a committee which only began its preliminary meetings in Nov. 2015, more than three years after the idea for a strategy was first proposed.

In January, interim executive director, Marcus Winterberger attributed the slow progress to changes in leadership.

Bratvold, said they had a strong steering committee, but still described the executive as interim.

However, he said a long-term chair or co-chair would be selected in the next month or two.

The launch of the Prince Albert and Area Community Alcohol Strategy will be held at the City Hall Foyer in Prince Albert on Tuesday, April 12, at 2 p.m.

--with files from Dana Reynolds


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On Twitter: @jnsperling

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