Montreal

Group wants 'alcohol does not equal consent' label on beer, wine and liquor bottles

A group of Quebec women is pushing for bottles of beer, wine and liquor in the province to carry a label stating that "alcohol does not equal consent."

Idea inspired by warnings on cigarette packages, says McGill student behind campaign

​Kharoll-Ann Soufrant, a McGill University student, is part of the group who came up with the idea for the petition.

When a major U.S. brewer marketed one of its brands as "the perfect beer for removing 'no' from your vocabulary for the night," some saw it as proof of just how far there is to go when it comes to education around alcohol and consent. 

While Bud Light quickly scrapped the campaign in response to public pressure, a group of Quebec women still decided to take action.

They want a label stating that "alcohol does not equal consent" on beer, wine and liquor bottles sold in the province, and they've launched a petition with the support of Québec Solidaire MNA Manon Massé

The group also wants any establishment with a liquor licence to display posters with the same message.

​Kharoll-Ann Soufrant, a McGill University student and one of four women behind the idea, said the labels would help raise awareness about the link between alcohol and sexual assault.

"We were inspired by the messages we see on packages on cigarettes, so basically we would want to do something similar," Soufrant told CBC Montreal's Daybreak.

"We believe it's a step in the right direction. Of course it won't resolve everything."

Labeling would costly, bar association says

​Jean Jacques Beauchamp, board president of the Quebec Bar Owner Association, said he's in favour of a campaign against sexual assault. 

But he said it would be difficult to get breweries on board with the labeling and the cost would likely be passed on to consumers.

"The labelling is useless, but what is more useful is a yearly campaign or a permanent presence of signs of some sort in bars," he said. 

"That would be quite easier in selling."

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