Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 94, Issue 3, pp 201–206 | Cite as

Public Perception of Alcohol Policy Issues Relating Directly or Indirectly to Privatization

Results from a 1999 Ontario Survey
  • Lise AnglinEmail author
  • Norman Giesbrecht
  • Anca Ialomiteanu
  • Janet McAllister
  • Alan Ogborne


Objective: The purpose of this study is to measure public opinion on alcohol policy issues relating to youth, litigation, outlet density, and government action. The authors comment on the implications of public opinion with regard to proposals for privatization of alcohol retailing in Ontario.

Method: Using data from a 1999 provincial survey (n = 1,288), the authors examine the opinions of Ontario adults (male and female over the age of 18) on seven alcohol policyrelated items. In order to identify characteristics of persons tending to express certain opinions, the opinion items are cross-tabulated with sex, age, drinking pattern, marital status, and education. A scale is created to show the level and strength of aggregate support for alcohol controls. A logistic regression confirms associations between demographic characteristics and opinions.

Results: The majority expresses opinions favouring alcohol controls and disagreeing with privatization (73% of total sample against). However, differences of opinion are observed within groups, between groups, and between items. In particular, higher-risk drinkers stand out for their dislike of most control measures.

Discussion: Taken as a whole, the results suggest that privatization of alcohol retailing in Ontario would run contrary to the wishes of the majority. Disapproval would probably be even stronger if more people realized there is often a connection between privatization and increased outlet density, relaxation of other controls, and less consideration for public health.


Objectif: Le but de cette étude est de découvrir ce que pense la population des politiques sur l’alcool en ce qui concerne la jeunesse, les procès intentés aux compagnies qui vendent de l’alcool, la densité des points de vente et la réglementation gouvernementale. Les auteurs examinent les implications de l’opinion publique au cas où la privatisation de la vente d’alcool en Ontario serait realisée.

Méthode: Un sondage de 1999 a fourni des données sur l’opinion des adultes de l’Ontario (des hommes et des femmes ayant au moins 18 ans) sur certains aspects de la réglementation de l’alcool. Les auteurs ont analysé les opinions selon le sexe, l’âge, le niveau de consommation, la situation de famille et le niveau d’instruction. On a créé une échelle pour montrer le niveau total d’accord avec la réglementation de la vente d’alcool. Une régression logistique confirme l’association entre les caractéristiques démographiques des répondants et leurs opinions.

Résultats: Les résultats démontrent des différences d’opinion intéressantes, mais l’échantillon total est nettement contre la privatisation et pour les contrôles. Les auteurs mettent l’accent sur la privatisation de la vente d’alcool, compte tenu de l’importance politique de cette question aujourd’hui.

Discussion: Ces résultats montrent que les projets gouvernementaux visant à abandonner la responsabilité de réglementer la vente d’alcool ne traduisent pas la volonté de la majorité des citoyens. Il se peut que l’opposition à la privatisation augmente encore quand les recherches sur le sujet seront mieux connues.


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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lise Anglin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Norman Giesbrecht
    • 1
  • Anca Ialomiteanu
    • 1
  • Janet McAllister
    • 1
  • Alan Ogborne
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Addiction and Mental HealthTorontoCanada

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