Kugluktuk brings back curfew bylaw to curb growing vandalism
Children 12 and under must be home from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.
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.