party responsibly urges PROVINCES/territories TO launch national
pro-active
"Gather responsibly"
risk mitigation STRATEGy targeting
19-29 year olds.

Partyresponsibly.ca is urging each provincial/territorial government to:

 

Mandate the Liquor Boards/Beer stores in their province/territory to work with the other provinces/territories to launch a national pro-active "gather responsibly" risk mitigation campaign (under "gatherresponsibly.ca banner") targeting the 19-29 year old demographic, university/college aged young adults. 

The campaign would consist of:

 

1. Changing messaging from "stop gathering" to "While the most responsible way to gather right now is not to gather at all,  if restrictions (in your province) allow, gather responsibly.  Here's how".

2. Educating 19-29 year olds on how to gather responsibly through implementation of a mandatory mobile phone app certification program for young adults aged 19-29 (or a broader range - it is up to each province).   The certification would show that whoever completes (passes) the program has read and understands the risks associated with social gathering in a COVID 19 environment and how to gather socially while restrictions are in place - even if that means not gathering socially/partying at all.  Upon successfully completing the program young adults would have to show "proof" (scanned via their phone) that they have completed the program at Liquor Board/Beer store checkout in order to purchase alcohol .  The certification would consist of 3 one hour modules.   The certification includes a declaration signed by each young adult, that they pledge to adhere to restrictions.    If they do not, they lose certification, and as a result will not be able to purchase alcohol/beer.

 

3. Implementing a "gather responsibly" integrated/targeted ad campaign through the Liquor Boards/Beer stores in each province/

territory, which includes strong in-store presence throughout the store, through checkout (POS), and on product (product will have education/ awareness information on it/attached to it), complimented by social media ad campaign and website.

This approach is not banning liquor/beer sales, simply providing an incentive to young adults to understand the risks associated with COVID-19 and gathering/partying.  It is educational in nature, pro-active, and creative.

It should not materially impact revenues at Liquor Boards/Beer Stores.

Saying "stop" gathering has not worked.  A targeted/integrated campaign that says "gather responsibly" will.   

Clearly, the expectation is not that this will stop the spread, but it will help.  Also, clearly the expectation is not that young adults will all take the message to heart, but this format does motivate them to read, understand and get constant reinforcement about the risks.  That will have an impact.

The next "trigger" event is coming quickly: reading weeks/spring break are weeks of high social engagement among 19-29 year old university and college aged young adults.  A ban on non-essential international travel in February and March (as called for by partyresponsibly.ca), will impact one element of COVID-19 growth.  A targeted strategy such as "gather responsibly" will impact another - local gatherings.  Together they will have an impact.

Such a  program can be up and running in ten days (from approval) and help turn the tide in the fight to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the months ahead while we wait for the vaccine to be administered widely.  It is not too late.