Simcoe-Muskoka’s Health Unit is asking area towns to take a pass when it comes to letting wine be sold at area farmers’ markets. New provincial regulations allow Ontario VQA wines to be sold at the
markets for a two year trial period, but the Health Unit board wants townships to use an escape clause that allows the 26 eligible markets in our region to opt out if they want.
The Health Unit’s manager of injury and substance abuse Janet Greco says the new regulation increases the normalization of alcohol consumption. Currently 36 percent of Simcoe and Muskoka residents over the age of 19 admit to drinking above national low-risk guidelines. Local alcohol consumption’s been higher than the provincial average since 2003.