Two Nunavut communities to vote on allowing access to alcohol
Two Kivalliq communities in Nunavut will vote on potential changes to their local liquor regulations.
Elections Nunavut will host plebiscites in both Arviat and Coral Harbour on Nov. 9. In each community, the ballot will ask voters if they want to move from a prohibited liquor system to a restricted one, where residents can purchase or import limited amounts of alcohol into the community.
For Arviat, the proposed limits would be 8.5 litres of beer (twenty-four 355-ml cans) or eight litres of wine (ten 750-ml bottles) every seven days.
For Coral Harbour, the proposed limits are 18 litres of beer or four litres of wine or one litre of spirits every 14 days.
Across the territory, there are currently six communities that prohibit alcohol—including Arviat and Coral Harbour—12 communities that restrict alcohol and seven unrestricted communities.
Under Nunavut’s Liquor Act, at least 60 per cent of a community’s eligible voters need to vote in favour of a change in order to enact the change.
To explain some of the requirements under the Liquor Act, the Department of Finance is hosting information sessions in both Arviat and Coral Harbour ahead of the plebiscites.
In Arviat, the department will hold two meetings on Oct. 29 at the John Ollie Complex: one at 12 p.m. and another at 6 p.m. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only 100 people can attend each session.
In Coral Harbour, the sessions will run on Oct. 27 at 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. at the community hall, with the same attendance limit.
Although the plebiscites take place on Nov. 9, voters can cast advance ballots in both communities on Nov. 2. Residents who are away for both those dates can contact Elections Nunavut to apply for a proxy certificate, which allows someone else to vote on your behalf.