October 16, 2019

SGI Partners With Ministries of Justice and Corrections and Policing to Expand Northern Alcohol Strategy

Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) is partnering with the ministries of Justice and Corrections and Policing to invest $250,000 into the expansion of the Northern Alcohol Strategy in 2019-20.

“Since this work began in 2016, it has gathered significant support and buy-in from community leaders in the north,” Corrections and Policing Minister Christine Tell said.  “We are excited to move into the next phase of this work with SGI’s help, so that we can continue to reduce alcohol-related harms and help people make informed decisions about responsible alcohol use.”

“The Northern Alcohol Strategy aligns with our government’s goal to reduce the number of impaired driving injuries and fatalities across Saskatchewan, and SGI is pleased to support this initiative,” Minister Responsible for SGI Joe Hargrave said.

This investment will expand the Northern Alcohol Strategy to La Loche, Creighton, English River First Nation and surrounding communities.  The funding will provide for Northern Alcohol Strategy personnel and resources in these communities in the 2019-20 fiscal year.  These personnel will support local leadership in the development of local solutions to reduce the impacts of alcohol misuse in these regions.

“I’m proud of my community’s collaborative work on our alcohol strategy so far and am looking forward to the next steps,” La Loche Mayor Robert St. Pierre said.

The communities of the Lac La Ronge region began work on alcohol management planning in January of 2016.  Since then, Northern Alcohol Strategy staff have worked closely with stakeholders in the region to provide information on best practices to address the impacts of alcohol misuse in the region.

The Lac La Ronge region has since reported an eight per cent reduction in alcohol-related emergency room visits for between November 2017 and March 2019.

“These initial successes reflect the collaborative efforts of community agencies and organizations in working toward healthier communities through supporting moderation in alcohol-use, enhanced support in addictions treatment, and expanded family and youth alcohol-free activities,” Medical Health Officer Dr. James Irvine said.

The Northern Alcohol Strategy is informed by best practices, support from the University of Victoria and the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research, and cross-jurisdictional data on the consequences of alcohol misuse.