Municipal Alcohol Policy (MAP)

Welcome to the District of Tofino's page about the development of our Municipal Alcohol Policy. 


1. What is a MAP?

Municipal Alcohol Policies provide clarity around the use of alcohol on municipal property and facilities.

The role of the municipality is not to duplicate the provincial liquor licencing process or to prohibit alcohol use in a community, but to provide a set of guidelines about the appropriate use of alcohol on public property.

2. Why Have a MAP?

The District of Tofino has heard from many sectors and members of the community about the importance of creating dialogue around the use of alcohol on the West Coast.

In Tofino and the West Coast region, alcohol use contributes to 80% of RCMP calls, 50% of Ambulance calls, and 20% of presentations to the ER of Tofino General Hospital. In addition, there are broader alcohol-related harms to consider, such as:

  • Alcohol-caused or related ill-health and mortality;
  • Alcohol-impaired driving;
  • Alcohol-related mental health and social harms.

However, not all alcohol use is problematic - the District recognizes that alcohol can be used responsibly and enjoyably in casual settings, celebrations and events. 

The goal of Tofino's MAP is two pronged:

  1. To promote the health, enjoyment, safety, and inclusivity of events on District property.
  2. To be part of a broader dialogue and harm-reduction approach to alcohol-related issues in our community.
3. What Would the Policy Do?

A Municipal Alcohol Policy only applies to events held on District property. It does not apply to events on private property, licenced establishments, or home consumption of alcohol.

Policy Provisions Being Considered Include:

  • Introducing increased safety measures such as:
    • Event Safety Plans;
    • Mandatory notification to Responding Agencies for events over 200 attendees.
  • Introducing harm-reduction strategies for alcohol-related concerns, such as:
    • Requirements for safe ride home programs;
    • Requirements for public education / responsible consumption and how/where to seek care locally;
    • No "Last Call" - studies have shown that "Last Call" can encourage binge-drinking at the end of an event, and should be avoided; 
    • Separate stations for non-alcoholic drinks - Providing easy access to non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Determining whether there are certain spaces where events serving alcohol should not be permitted.
    • Think: Parks, Playgrounds, Docks, Trails, etc.
    • Rationale: Some locations could be seen as "community" spaces (Parks, Playgrounds, etc.) and the addition of alcohol is not inclusive of all members; some locations may pose safety risks to patrons or responders. 
  • Determining whether there are certain types of events where alcohol should not be permitted.
    • Think: Events focused on the community-at-large, families, children, youth, etc.
    • Rationale: Some events could be deemed "community events" that invite the general public to participate in celebrations (such as Canada Day or Family Day) may not require the addition of alcohol, other events could be deemed "adult-oriented" and provide appropriate venues for alcohol. 
4. Timeline and Process

In November of 2019, District staff were directed to create a Municipal Alcohol Policy. Since that time, the following process and timeline has been developed.

As consultation can take time, and we are interested in hearing from many different parts of our community, the proposed timeline may shift slightly. 



Roundtables with Public Health / Safety Stakeholders

February, 2020

Roundtable with Event Producers and Community Members

March, 2020

Compile “What We Heard” and a draft policy

March, 2020

Present draft policy at a Committee of the Whole meeting with an Open House beforehand.

  • Receive feedback from the Public and Committee

April, 2020

Finalize policy and implementation plan for adoption:

  • Draft consequential amendments to District policies and bylaws 

  • Create deliverables and supporting materials

  • Advertise to event producers and public

May-June, 2020



Feedback Form

Update August 4, 2020: This Survey is now closed. Thank you for your input.

Reports to a Committee of the Whole meeting will come forward in Summer/Fall 2020 with a summary of all feedback recieved from the public and stakeholders. A draft policy will be presented for consideration.


Elyse Goatcher-Bergmann
Manager of Corporate Services
250-725-3229 ext. 610