Nunavut liquor board finds Snack, Elks Lodge in breach of Liquor Act

Snack to pay $2,000 fine; board will hold another hearing to determine Elks Club penalty

Local diner-style Iqaluit restaurant must pay a $2000 fine for violating the Nunavut Liquor Act, the Nunavut Liquor Licensing Board says. (Photo by Emma Tranter)

By Emma Tranter

In recent hearings, the Nunavut Liquor Licensing Board has found that two licensed premises in Iqaluit have breached the Nunavut Liquor Act.

In a hearing held on June 27, The Snack restaurant admitted, through an agreed statement of facts, to one count of breaching the act, for allowing an intoxicated person to remain on their premises.

In a separate hearing held the same day, the board found that the Elks Lodge, which faced two counts, breached the act for allowing an intoxicated person to remain on the premises and for serving liquor to an intoxicated person.

According to an agreed statement of facts, a liquor inspector visited The Snack on May 1 at around 7:30 p.m.

When he entered, he saw a man passed out at a booth with his head on the table near the front door. There were no beverages on the table, the statement of facts said.

The inspector noticed a strong smell of alcohol, and determined the man was intoxicated, according to the statement of facts.

The inspector asked The Snack’s shift supervisor to remove the man from the restaurant.

At one point, the man began to speak in a raised voice, causing other customers to leave the building, the statement of facts said.

The shift supervisor confirmed to the inspector that the police had been called only after the inspector had entered the building.

“I am so sorry. I have brand new staff here so I am training them and did not look in front,” the shift supervisor said.

The man then left The Snack, the statement said.

On April 15, an inspector entered the Elks Lodge at 6:30 p.m, according to a record of the decision.

The inspector noticed a man who had urinated on himself staggering to the washroom and holding himself up against a wall.

He determined the man was intoxicated. According to the decision, the inspector knew this man personally.

When the the man responded to the inspector, his words were too slurred to understand, the decision document said.

The decision said the man in question normally has difficulty speaking, but the inspector said he can usually understand him. The decision also said there was no music playing that night.

The man then went up to the bar, where was served two cans of beer, and sat down.

The inspector asked the bartender to ask the man to leave, which he did, the decision says.

At the hearing, Alden Williams testified for the licence holder, the decision says. Williams said he went to the Elks Lodge that night at about 4:30 p.m., had two beers and left by 6 p.m., just before the liquor inspector arrived.

Williams saw the man the inspector described, who he knows personally, and said the man was not drunk.

The individual had worked that day and was not allowed to drink while at work, and had no liquor on his breath.

He had arrived at the bar at around 5 p.m. and drank four beers, Williams said. The man had also recently had a stroke, according to Williams, which meant he does not walk very well.

Williams and the board went back and forth on whether or not the man appeared to be intoxicated, but in the end, the board accepted the liquor inspector’s evidence.

The Elks Lodge entered a plea of not guilty to both counts, the decision says.

The board said they’ll hold another hearing to determine what penalty they will impose on the Elks Lodge, the decision said.

The Board also accepted a joint submission from lawyers that The Snack pay a $2,000 fine and ensure a designated supervisor is on the premises from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily, and that its employees complete an approved alcohol server course on or before July 27, 2019.

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(9) Comments:

  1. Posted by Head shaker on

    Why is it just now that staff needs a smart serve course. It’s a government rule that you have this BEFORE working at serving alcohol. Only in Iqaluit!!!!

  2. Posted by Jeff on

    Not the Elks!? They raise money for charitable causes. Give them a mulligan.

  3. Posted by Antiquated Law on

    The Liquor Act is antiquated and needs to be updated to reflect our current circumstances. The Government of Nunavut opened the liquor store but didn’t set up any harm reduction programs or ensure systems were in place to address a sudden flux of liquor in Iqaluit. I’ve seen Snack deal with intoxicated persons adequately and repeatedly. Day in and day out, they try and address intoxicated persons sensitively yet firmly. They often welcome homeless persons, whom unfortunately also become intoxicated at times. There is no place for intoxicated persons to go to, except the wet homeless shelter that was created by the goodwill of Iqalummiut. Did the GN estimate the number of persons that could be impacted by severe alcoholism or allocate resources or funds to ensure intoxicated persons could be picked up and taken to a safe or sobering place? What options do people have other than to pass out at the Snack? The streets? The cells? I would hope the Liquor Board would really advocate for more realistic amendments or development of programs and services introducing effective harm reduction programs.

  4. Posted by Truth is on

    Liquor inspectors are essentially parasites living off a host.

  5. Posted by Larry on

    I agree, with the GN opening a liquor store they should have also opened a treatment centre and provided more programs.
    We are seeing so many drunk people at all hours in the day now, can’t go to the store without seeing drunk people and the last full moon we had shootings and fires and fights, drunk people everywhere.
    I feel for the families and kids that have to experience this, things need to change and more help is needed.

  6. Posted by Jeff on

    Beer & wine store was a good idea. Regrettably some people have issues & use alcohol as a vehicle to escape their empty & sad lives. I feel for them.

    • Posted by Sandra on

      Some!? It’s not just some, it’s a lot!

      A society with deep social issues and having the luxury of a beer and wine store to cater for some is the problem here, adding fuel to the fire if I my say so.

      It’s too easy to look away, ignore the issues as long as you can go buy your beer and wine in the same day. Never mind the social issues that plague this community and the rest of Nunavut.

      So no, it’s not just some.

      • Posted by How come? on

        Why shouldn’t we enjoy the same “luxuries” as everyone else in Canada, or around the world?

        • Posted by Sandra on

          Maybe because there are deep social issues that plague this community at this time.
          Luxury at this time is not needed, something more important is needed.

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