We don’t need another bar


Dear Mr. Mayor and councillors:

This letter is in response to a petition going through Iqaluit to get support for the opening of another drinking establishment, the “Uvagut Bar.” As a resident of Iqaluit, I would like to express my concerns about this matter.

Does Iqaluit need another bar? When a need is met there should be a benefit. What would the benefits to our community be? After seeing first-hand what alcohol has done to lives here, there are no benefits to be enjoyed. You cannot justify the employment of a few to the unemployment and social decline of the many. Who enjoys watching families being destroyed, children going hungry, drunkenness on the streets, domestic violence and destruction of private property?

Over 90 per cent of crimes committed and charges laid in Iqaluit are alcohol-related; just ask the RCMP. The vast majority of inmates in Baffin Correctional Centre are there because of alcohol-related crimes. How much of our taxes go to health care (this includes accidents, fights, liver and other health problems, mental problems, infant FAS problems, and so on) because of alcohol abuse?

What about the cost to social services for welfare money to people not able to work because of alcohol-related problems? What about the cost of more drug and alcohol programs? Why is it that many of the victims of suicide are often drunk before taking their own life?

It isn’t that alcohol is the root of the problems in Iqaluit, but it is the vehicle that releases all the destruction here. Why should we allow or promote something that is ultimately destroying our community? We don’t need another bar.

Being the capital of Nunavut, Iqaluit should be an example for the rest of the communities. Our community is the gateway to the rest of the Arctic, and whether we like it or not, visitors’ first impressions of the people of the North are formed in Iqaluit.

What impression do they get on a Friday or Saturday night? Does Iqaluit really need another bar? Will it contribute to the overall weliness of our community? We already have at least six establishments that serve alcohol, and it has added nothing to the social welfare of the residents here. Putting a freeze on further liquor licenses would seem more appropriate.

The elected officials are voted into office because the public has chosen them to represent their best interests. Is having another bar in Iqaluit in the best interests of the people here? There are no benefits in business, social or otherwise, that can compensate for the overall destructive nature of alcohol to the people of Iqaluit by having another bar here; on the contrary it has proven to undermine the business community and destroy people spiritually.

We hope and pray that our municipal government will use wisdom and good will to guide them to act in this matter.

Mark O’Keefe

Share This Story

(0) Comments