Two Nunavut communities vote in liquor plebiscites

Kimmirut will no longer be a “dry” community


People in two Nunavut communities voted Feb. 27 on proposed changes to their liquor regulations, Elections Nunavut said in a news release.

Voters in Kimmirut, a southern Baffin Island community with a population of about 410, decided to end a prohibition on alcohol and establish an alcohol education committee.

This committee will have the power to decide who possesses, purchases or brings in alcohol to Kimmirut.

Of the 141 eligible voters over 19 who voted, 95 or 67 per cent voted to end the prohibition, while 46 voters or 33 per cent voted to maintain the prohibition.

Voters were asked to answer “yes” or “no” to the following question: “Are you in favour of ending the current system of liquor prohibition in Kimmirut and establish an alcohol education committee?”

In all Nunavut liquor plebiscites, there must be a 60 per cent “yes” vote for any change to take place.

In the High Arctic community of Resolute Bay, which has about 230 residents, 25 eligible voters or 34 per cent voted to dissolve the local alcohol education committee, but 48 voted in favour of retaining the committee.

Without the 60 per cent of voters in favour the change, the alcohol education committee will continue to operate in Resolute Bay.

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