No opposition to CamBay Elks liquor license application at May 30 hearing
Nunavut Liquor Licensing Board approves the Elks’ application on May 31
(updated, June 1, 7:45 a.m.)
A May 30 Nunavut Liquor Licensing Board hearing in Cambridge Bay attracted only two dozen people eager to discuss an application from the Ikaluktutiak Elks Lodge 593 for a club liquor license.
All but one of those who showed up for the 6 p.m. meeting at the Luke Novoligak hall were Elks Club members.
From start to finish, the hearing lasted 30 minutes.
Because there were no written submissions against the Elks’ application, and no one wished to speak out against the apllication, the board said “yes” on May 31 to the Elks’ request for a club license.
David Wilman, who chairs the board, said in a May 31 news release, that “in reaching its decision, the Board took into account the fact that the public hearing was well attended and no one spoke against the application. It is important that the liquor laws be applied consistently throughout the Territory.”
The board was “impressed with the fact that the Elks were well-organized in preparing and submitting their application,” the news release said, and “particularly in the fact that they have already ensured that a number of their members have received server training. Furthermore, the Applicant has not requested any additional hours of operation.”
At the hearing, Keith Lear, the lodge’s “exalted ruler,” spoke in favour of the Elks’ application, listing how the Elks donate about $80,000 to $100,000 a year to groups in Cambridge Bay and also organize many public events for the community.
“All of our activities and events are run by volunteers,” Lear said.
Bessie Joy, the lodge’s “Leading Knight” also spoke in favour of the Elks’ application to the board.
Liquor board members in Cambridge Bay included the board’s chairperson Wilman and Ralph Porter Sr., with John Maurice and Leesa Sowdluapik joining in by phone.
“What the Elks have done in Cambay is bring the consumption of alcohol into the public and provide acceptable rules and behaviours for drinkers to follow,” Vicki Aitaok, a member of the Elks since 2001, told them.
The Elks want the club license for their small clubhouse at 2 Kopannoak St., which can seat up to 65 people.
Under the Nunavut Liquor Act, the Nunavut Liquor Licensing Board has the power to issue liquor licenses.
Some applications for licenses — such as one to open a commercial bar in a community that’s dry or limits alcohol — require a plebiscite.
But since the Elks clubhouse plans to continue operating as a facility open solely for members and their guests, a plebiscite wasn’t required, but a hearing was.
At present, the Elks clubhouse opens two evenings a week, on Tuesdays for the Victoria Island Dart League and on Fridays for members.
Lear told those at the hearing that the Elks have no intention to open more often.
A five-member operating committee runs the clubhouse, he said.
When the clubhouse opens, one committee member acts as manager for the evening and walks around, mingling, cleaning, talking to people, and “keeping an eye out for those that may be over consuming so they can be stopped,” he said.
Drink ticket sales are cut back at 9:30 p.m. to a maximum of two per person in order to reduce over-consumption, he said.
Wilman said server training would be required for all volunteers who work when the clubhouse is open.
After the hearing, Lear said he was “very happy with the turnout and the overwhelming positive response for this application.”