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Court issues arrest-warrant for former booze can boss

By NUNATSIAQ NEWS

DENISE RIDEOUT

There’s a warrant out for the arrest of Joseph Morneau, former operator of the booze can in Iqaluit.

The warrant was issued after Morneau failed to show up for a trial in Iqaluit on Jan. 22.

Morneau faces seven counts of violating Nunavut’s Liquor Act. He’s accused of illegally selling alcohol at the “Arctic Explorers’ Club,” which was commonly known in Iqaluit as “the booze-can.”

Crown prosecutor Christine Gagnon said Morneau is believed to be living in Maniwaki, Que., but authorities haven’t been able to contact him yet. Gagnon told the court that when Morneau’s wife was contacted she said her husband travels frequently and isn’t easy to reach.

The Crown asked that the warrant for his arrest be unendorsed, meaning if police find Morneau they can hold him in custody until he is sent to Iqaluit to face the charges.

Morneau also failed to appear in court for a hearing in Iqaluit on Jan. 8.

Morneau used to run the notorious booze can, an illegal bar operating under the guise of the “Arctic Explorers’ Club.”

He claimed the club was devoted to northern arts and culture. But when police raided the place, they discovered Morneau was illegally selling alcohol.

Last summer Morneau was convicted on other charges of selling alcohol without a permit. Shortly after, he was let go from his teaching job at Inuksuk high school following pressure from the Iqaluit district education authority.

Another court hearing has been scheduled for Jan. 29 to deal with the current charges against him.

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