WATCH: Quebec to pull sugary, high-alcohol content drinks from depanneur shelves
Premier Philippe Couillard says his government will use its powers to have sugary drinks with a high alcohol content pulled from store and depanneur shelves.
The premier confirmed the move Tuesday — beverages such as Four Loko and Fckd Up will only be sold at SAQ outlets.
The announcement comes two weeks after a 14-year-old Laval girl, Athena Gervais, died after she apparently consumed a can of Fckd Up — which is the equivalent of drinking four glasses of wine or beer.
As things stand now, malt liquor drinks with an alcohol content of less than 12 per cent can be sold in depanneurs. Such beverages are generally sold at a shade under that — 11.9 per cent.
Meanwhile, the premier also wants the federal government to move on restricting such drinks on its end.
"We have played our role and I call upon the federal government to play its role," the premier said. "They have to look carefully at the real issues regarding safety, health issues around these type of products that are specifically designed to attract youth — you just have to look at the packaging — and this is something we should all be cognizant of and act upon."
The premier says he expects legislation restricting the sale of the drinks passed by June. The new rules would see such drinks with an alcohol content of 7 per cent or higher to be sold at SAQ outlets.
The makers of Fckd Up have already ceased production of the drink, and the Couche-Tard depanneur chain has already pulled it from its shelves, though similar products, like Four Loko, remain available.
Couche Tard has already decided to remove Fckd Up from its shelves, while the Geloso Group, which makes that product, has ceased production, although similar products remain available.