Nunavut community votes to maintain prohibition

54 per cent of Kugaaruk voters say no to permitting restricted quantities of beer, wine

Fifty-four per cent of voters in Kugaaruk opted to maintain the community’s prohibited status in a Feb. 25 liquor plebiscite. (File photo)

By Sarah Rogers

Kugaaruk residents have opted to keep alcohol prohibited following a Feb. 25 liquor plebiscite in the Kitikmeot community.

On Feb. 25, eligible voters were asked if they wanted to change the current system in favour of allowing residents to possess and purchase limited amounts of alcohol through a restricted quantities system.

But 54 per cent of Kugaaruk voters voted against the proposal on Monday.

This is the third time the community of about 1,000 has gone to the polls over its local liquor rules over the last decade and voted to maintain prohibition.

If Kugaaruk voters had opted for a restricted quantities system, it would have been unique in Nunavut. It would not have required an alcohol education committee to process and approve orders into the community, as Nunavut’s restricted system typically does, and would have allowed the community to set its own import limits.

In Kugaaruk’s case, the community had proposed a weekly import allowance of four litres of wine and nine litres of beer, through spirits would have remained prohibited.

Sanikiluaq proposed a similar system, but voted against it earlier this month.

Both Baker Lake and Kugluktuk voted in 2018 to lift restrictions on how residents import alcohol.

Across the territory, there are currently six communities—including Kugaaruk—that prohibit alcohol, 12 communities that restrict alcohol and seven unrestricted communities.

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(7) Comments:

  1. Posted by Tommy on

    Are you not witnessing what are happening to these “dry” communities? Sooner or later, you will not be able to “control” the prohibition. It just never works.

  2. Posted by Al Capone on

    The bootleggers must be happy , just out of curiousity , how much does a mikey go for in that town, , here its $60

    • Posted by Frustrated on

      Here in Gjoa Haven, a mickey is $100+, so I expect it is similar in Kugaaruk. And the bootleggers sell out FAST.

  3. Posted by Crystal Clarity on

    Stupidest thing ever. The bootleggers must be so happy. Kugaaruk is one of those communities that think prohibition makes a difference. It does not. People are drinking in Kugaaruk all the time and the people benefiting the most are the bootleggers. With the amount of travel in and out of the communities these days there is no shortage of booze. Wake up. Such a backward thing to keep going.

  4. Posted by Illiberal Democracy on

    Behold, the tyranny of the (m)asses. Sad…

  5. Posted by John on

    Good day to be a bootlegger.

  6. Posted by Peter on

    There is too much social problems, not enough mental health programs if any, with so much issues and needs in these communities you don’t want to add to it.

    Work on the social issues first, the trauma, have programs in place before having more alcohol.

    Lots of work needs to be done.

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