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Federal, provincial, and territorial ministers met in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on October 14-5 to discuss issues of justice and public safety in Canada including the impact of FASD. Co-chairs of the meeting were Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Jody Wilson-Raybold, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Ralph Goodale, and the Minister of Justice and Atto2016-09-life-of-pix-free-stock-leaves-red-sky-leeroyrney General of Nova Scotia, Diana Whalen. Five national indigenous groups participated in the meeting: the Native Women’s Association of Canada, the Assembly of First Nations, the Métis National Council, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, and the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples.

Vice-Chief Kim Beaudin from the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples outlined the groups’ priorities to the ministers. Stating that “the most significant issue is violence against women and girls” Beaudin further stressed related issues of FASD, Indigenous girls’ health and safety, violence against Indigenous women, and family justice reforms for Indigenous women.

During the meeting, Ministers discussed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action. It underscores the need to address FASD in action numbers 33 and 34, in particular. Ministers agreed to collaborate on addressing solutions for the economic and social impacts of alcohol abuse and to release their final report on FASD and Access to Justice.

FASD prevention efforts in Canada call for multiple approaches that are holistic and move beyond just advising women not to drink during pregnancy (See: Four-part Model of Prevention). The impact of violence and trauma in all its forms on the mental and physical health and safety of women and their families and communities informs and shapes these efforts.

For more on related topics, see earlier blog posts:


The Center of Alcohol Marketing and Youth at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have created a  Girls, Women and Alcohol infographic.

The Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth monitors the marketing practices of the alcohol industry and their effects on American youth

Also possibly of interest, the Center held a webcast in December on “Virginia Slims in a Bottle: Girls, Women and Alcohol Marketing” which can now be viewed on YouTube. Speakers included Ann Dowsett Johnston, author of Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Woman and Alcohol (see post here about her series in the Toronto Star in 2011 on women and alcohol).

For more on alcohol marketing targeted at girls and women, see earlier posts:


Alc and depression backgrounder cover

The Girls Action Foundation provides spaces for girls to speak out, build skills, and create action on issues that are important and real to them. Their national programs address violence prevention, health promotion, media literacy and leadership.

In the past year, the Girls Action Foundation collaborated with researchers at the British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health to develop a series of information sheets to support the work of facilitators of girls’ empowerment groups. These resources are:

The “Girls, Alcohol and Depression” resource is 12 pages long and discusses the links between depression and alcohol consumption. It also includes sample activities to generate discussion with girls around these issues. The resources are available in English and French.

Overview: Four Levels of FASD Prevention

Information Sheet: What Men Can Do To Prevent FASD