Kugluktuk brings back curfew bylaw to curb growing vandalism

Children 12 and under must be home from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.

The Hamlet of Kugluktuk is again enforcing its curfew bylaw after recent incidents of vandalism. (File photo)

By Jeff Pelletier - Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Faced with increased incidents of vandalism, the Hamlet of Kugluktuk backtracked on its decision to relax its curfew bylaw this summer.

As the school year ended, the hamlet’s council decided to temporarily not enforce the bylaw so that families could take part in outdoor activities.

Depending on the weather, families might want to get out early or come home later, said Mayor Simon Kuliktana.

However, recent incidents of vandalism forced council to back down on that decision.

Community members were alerted earlier this week to expect to hear the curfew alarm sound again Monday to Friday at 9:45 p.m.

“Due to the vandalism that has occurred, the hamlet council figured that reinstating would deter future vandalism,” Kuliktana said in an interview.

Vandals, who are mostly children around the age of 10 or 11, have caused thousands of dollars of damage to the community, he said.

Kuliktana highlighted one example that occurred recently at the airport.

“I don’t really know all the details, but I know they got hold of some fire extinguishers and they just sprayed, which cost a lot of money to clean up,” he said.

Under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, children under the age of 12 cannot be prosecuted.

However, Kugluktuk has a bylaw that cites parents if their kids stay out beyond the curfew.

Children under the age of eight must be supervised by a parent or guardian at all times. Those between the ages of eight and 12 are required to be at home between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Youths aged 13 to 16 fall under looser curfew restrictions that allow them to be out until 1 a.m. on nights that aren’t followed by a school day.

Fines may be up to $100, or 50 hours of community service for breaching the curfew.

“It’s always the parents’ responsibility to know where their children are, and it’s not the hamlet’s responsibility,” Kuliktana said.

Kugluktuk is not alone in having a bylaw requiring children to be home at night.

Clyde River has a similar bylaw, requiring everyone aged 17 and younger to be home by 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. Some towns in the south have curfews, too.

In 2018, a possible curfew was discussed by Iqaluit city council but no such curfew was instituted.

Kuliktana said it’s not clear how effective the bylaw has been since it came back into effect last Sunday, but he hopes it works.

“I’m hoping it has made a difference, but time will tell,” he said.

“If we have no vandalism happening, then it’s effective.”

Nunavut RCMP did not respond to a request for comment on recent vandalism in Kugluktuk.


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(25) Comments:

  1. Posted by Totally Pointless on

    This will have absolutely no impact whatsoever. The vandalism is happening in the wee hours of the morning. Does the Council and Hamlet Admin think that parents who could care less where their children are at 3 or 4 AM will care if they follow some silly air raid siren telling them that it’s time to go home. This is a “well it’s the least we can do” approach to the lack of of parenting and juvenile delinquency that is readily apparent on a daily basis. I don’t know what the solution is, but this ain’t it.

    • Posted by Umingmak on

      It’s also ignoring that adults are every bit as guilty as kids when it comes to vandalism. I’d actually bet that 75% of vandalism is caused by drunkers leaving parties.

    • Posted by Putting this out there on

      However when there are hundreds of kids running around at all hours it is easy for a few to get into trouble because they feel they can get lost in all the other kids. but if there are only a few out, and they are seen to be out if there is trouble the happens they will be the ones pointed out first.

  2. Posted by Northern Inuit on

    you hear it time and time again from people whether in person or on social media.

    “oh the kids are being bad, where is the By Law Officer and why aren’t they patrolling at night”

    it’s not the job on the By Law Officer to make sure your kids are not out at all hours of the night! it’s not their job to make sure they are not breaking and entering into places they shouldn’t be. it’s not their job to make sure they are not vandalizing property or setting fires. parents have to step up and smarten them up.

    yes, when I was a kid, i stayed up in the summer. i played out and wandered around. but I wasn’t breaking into the Youth Shelter. or setting a fire. we went fishing. played baseball. rode a bike (not a stolen one btw). it’s up to you to bring your children up respectful.

  3. Posted by Qavvigarjuk on

    Need this in every Nunavut community.

  4. Posted by Oh? on

    And who do they think will enforce this bylaw? Rcmp?

    • Posted by Confused on


      • Posted by John WP Murphy on

        By-Law?? Ask the other hamlet staff if you can find them.

        By-law can’t enforce the helmet laws.

        Wouldn’t want management to manage their staff.

        Wait till someone gets killed.

        • Posted by TP on

          How are one or two bylaw officers supposed to enforce something If all they ever get is resistance from the community. And there have been deaths from impaired driving, driving without a helmet, etc. Even a death of an impaired driver while in police custody after having been apprehended by a bylaw officer. Guess what, there were no consequences and no repercussions on bylaw or the rcmp. There is no way to prevent people from being stupid.

      • Posted by Dilusioned on

        Do they even have bylaw officers in kug? And if they do You really must be confused if you think these small town by-laws gonna do anything about anything.

        • Posted by Confused on

          Other Hamlets in Nunavut need to learn from the Baker Lake Hamlet bylaws officers, they are good at enforcing their laws, scarier than the rcmp’

  5. Posted by Hunter on

    Municipal officials must make sure they are not forcing/sending these kids to go back to a home infested with alcohol and drug abuse.

    Without municipal employees doing proper checks to make sure the home is safe first will open the municipality up to liability.

    A lot of times it is safer for the kid to be out and about than at home when people in the home are abusing drugs and alcohol.

    Please check the home of the child to make sure it is safe for them and people are not abusing drugs or alcohol within the home or are being violent.

    • Posted by Concerned on

      So what do they do if the home is infested with drugs and alcohol? Are there foster homes on standby for these circumstances? I doubt it. I would not allow by-law to come into my house and look around.

      • Posted by Hunter on

        If you think about it no body needs to go into someone’s house to determine there is a parting.

        Observations from the street, asking the child a few simple questions and I would assume as the child is now in the custody of the by-law officer or who ever they must release the child to a sober responsible adult and they would have to knock on the door to speak to someone.

        If you don’t want people knocking at your door with your child in hand after 10 pm make sure you kids are home then. That responsibility falls on you as a parent.

      • Posted by Hunter on

        There is a social and legal responsibility to protect children.

        What should happen in the event the house is deemed not safe for the child? That should all be in the curfew by-law/regulations they are enforcing. But if it is not. I suggest:

        1. Bring a child to a relative’s house(where there is a sober responsible adult and the child will be safe)

        2. If option 1 is not available Family Services should get involved and the child placed in foster care so the child is safe.

        The time for turning a blind eye is gone.

        We as a society as a community, as family have an obligation to nurture and protect all the innocent children in our communities, obligation to raise them all into healthy productive members of our communities.

  6. Posted by Bob on

    You should talk about the fact that youth have absolutely nothing to do in this community. No wonder there’s so much vandalism.

    • Posted by Kellit on

      So true, and to expand on it… no one has anything to do. Our communities are virtual prisons.

      • Posted by 867 on

        Boredom is relative. These are small communities with limited funds and resources. You cannot compare kugluktuk to edmonton or yellowknife, it isn’t fair. Plus in the big cities you don’t see kids out at night.

        • Posted by Who are you talking to? on

          Who is comparing our communities to a place like Edmonton?

  7. Posted by Aputi on

    Start charging the parents for the damage the kids cause

  8. Posted by ArrowJohnny on

    Like most ABO communities across Canada, there are always a few children that make up the majority of the incidents in each community. And as sad as it is to say, it’s always card game kids that had grown up with very little influence from older children and very little rules to learn from. Know matter how much we have tried to clean up children’s behavior, we have to make change first for them to see their own potential of what they can become, from change. We need more youth programs again, not new video games, new computers, go play out with your youth group, summer camps….Right!!

  9. Posted by Ole Teacher Chris on

    I remember when Coppermine used to be a great place to rise a family,
    Everyone was respectful of each other as well of the community. Very sad to read this article. Accountability is key, parents have a part in this hard time, remember they are just children. Work as a whole to find situation. I know its easier said then done. Come on KUGLUKTUK, pull together and tell the government what is needed. use your MLA, Does Bobby even speak for anything since being elected? The good old saying “Someone Should”. KUG you really need some real MLA’s not just past and present reps that just get in for the cash. HEY BOBBY! be a voice for your community. Silent sam…..

    • Posted by TP on

      Curious to know when you lived in Kugluktuk? Though if you refer to it as Coppermine it’s obviously a long time ago. It certainly has not been a good place to raise a family in the last 30+ years.

  10. Posted by Confused on

    Kids have a reason to stay out, the town needs to become dry first so they don’t live in fear 🙁

    • Posted by Northern Inuit on

      Gjoa Haven and Kugaaruk are dry and the happiest people laughing all the way to the bank are the bootleggers. you see them loading thousands of dollars on to Northern or Coop Prepaid Credit Cards. and the same ones are the ones mad that they have to pay $3 for the transaction fee. they will prey on addictions and are so greedy that they hate the transaction fee.


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