From Drinks, Drugs and Riots, Canada’s Temperance Foundation Is Born

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June 13, 2012; Source: Winnipeg Free Press

On Friday, former Manitoba broadcasting exec Miles Craig launched Canada’s Temperance Foundation. If the name (which was referred to as the “Canadian Temperance Foundation” in the Winnipeg Free Press) calls to mind the prohibition era, that is more or less what Craig is shooting for. The launch was reportedly timed to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Final. For those who are not hockey fans, the Boston Bruins defeated the Vancouver Canucks, and as a result, many of the residents of Vancouver undertook a pretty serious rampage of destruction that included burning cars, busting windows and stealing from stores.

“When I saw the riot unfold on TV, I came to the realization that it was probably caused by alcohol and drug misuse,” says Craig, who wants to prevent such riots in the future by promoting greater temperance.

Does Canada really have a drinking problem? A study published by the Canadian Medical Association Journal last year found, according to the Globe and Mail, that Canada’s “binge drinking problem is getting out of control.” However, the rates reported in the study still put Canada well below many other nations in terms of binge drinking, prompting an array of responses from Canadian readers that seem to enjoy the drink on the Globe and Mail website. Here are a few of those user responses:

“They’ve changed the definition of binge drinking. It used to mean getting sh*tfaced drunk…” –Paul Thompson

“They’ve been saying this since I was in school twenty years ago. Maybe this is what we need to get the birth rate up—people loosening up…” –drunk wookie

“I’ll tellll you wem I had enuff…” –NS_Guy

Comments like these illustrate the magnitude of the culture shift that would be needed for Canada’s Temperance Foundation to accomplish its mission. Promoting responsibility when it comes to alcohol and drugs is a tough but admirable task. We wish Craig and his cohorts the best of luck, but in terms of preventing future riots, it might be easier to invest in a better hockey team. –Mike Keefe-Feldman