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2011 Centre for Addiction
and Mental Health

Public health experts gather to discuss Ontario alcohol policy and alcohol-related harms

For Immediate Release – February 28, 2011 (Toronto) – As the question of how best to address harms associated with the sale and consumption of alcohol in Ontario persists, the Ontario Public Health Association and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) are pleased to present the eighth annual forum, aptly entitled Alcohol: No Ordinary Commodity.

This two day event will be held on Monday, March 7th and Tuesday March 8, 2011 at the North York Novotel Hotel, 5100 Yonge Street / 3 Park Home Ave, Toronto.

Public health professionals, addiction counselors and policy makers will gather from across the province to discuss Ontario’salcohol policy and the actions that need to be taken based on current research, policy, and practical applications that address alcohol-related harm.

This year’s forum will host an evening panel discussion with regional medical officers of health, senior public health executives and a Toronto city councilor. The following day will include presentations from leading alcohol policy researchers and regional initiatives to address alcohol harm across Ontario. The scheduled keynote speaker is:

Dr. Gerald Thomas, Senior Policy Analyst, Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse.

Dr. Thomas has been involved in alcohol policy at both the national and provincial levels since 2004. Among other things, he participated in the creation of the first National Alcohol Strategy for Canada (2007) and the development of a public health approach to managing alcohol for British Columbia (2008).

Panel Speakers Include:

  • Dr. Charles Gardner, Medical Officer of Health, Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit
  • Dr. Jessica Hopkins, Associate Medical Officer of Health for Niagara Region Public Health
  • Ms. Jann Houston, Director, Healthy Living – Healthy Communities, on behalf of Dr. David McKeown, Toronto Public Health
  • Mr. Adam Vaughan, Toronto City Councillor

Other Speakers include:

  • Dr. Norman Giesbrecht, CAMH
  • Dr. Robert Mann, CAMH
  • Mr. Michael Perley, Ontario Action on Tobacco
  • Mr. Tom Martin, Peel Region Public Health
  • Ms. Vanessa Trumpickas, Hamilton Public Health Services
  • Ms. Cathy Edwards, KFL&A Public Health

Funded by the Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion, this year’s forum is a collaboration of the OPHA and CAMH. Support also comes from the, York Region Public Health Services, and the Kingston, Frontenac, and Lennox & Addington Public Health.


To confirm attendance or for further information/full schedule, please contact: Jason LeMar, Program Coordinator at (416) 367-3313 ext 264 or email; Michael Torres, CAMH Media Relations at (416) 595 6015; or email

Established in 1949, OPHA is a voluntary, independent organization of public health professionals that provides leadership on issues affecting the public’s health. The Alcohol Policy Network is a program of OPHA which provides analysis of healthy public policies that influence the consumption of alcohol.

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada's largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital, as well as one of the world's leading research centres in this field. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to transform the lives of people affected by mental health and addiction issues. CAMH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, and is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre.

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