Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut March 28, 2017 - 7:00 am

Elections Nunavut to hold beer-wine store votes May 1 in CamBay, Rankin

GN to hold town hall meetings in each hamlet this April

JANE GEORGE
Right now, the only place to buy alcohol in Cambridge Bay, without ordering it from outside—or buying it through a bootlegger—is at the Elks Club. That could change after a May 1 plebiscite on whether to open a beer and wine store in the community. (FILE PHOTO)
Right now, the only place to buy alcohol in Cambridge Bay, without ordering it from outside—or buying it through a bootlegger—is at the Elks Club. That could change after a May 1 plebiscite on whether to open a beer and wine store in the community. (FILE PHOTO)

Two Nunavut communities will get a chance May 1 to say whether they want wine and beer stores in their communities.

Late March 27, Elections Nunavut announced that Keith Peterson, Nunavut’s finance minister, has issued instructions to the Chief Electoral Officer, Dustin Fredlund, to hold beer and wine store plebiscites May 1 in Rankin Inlet and Cambridge Bay.

Voters in Rankin Inlet will mark their ballot ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to the following question: “Are you in favour of a beer and wine store opening in the Municipality of Rankin Inlet?”

Voters in Cambridge Bay will mark their ballot ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to the following question: “Are you in favour of a beer and wine store opening in the Municipality of Cambridge Bay?”

The results of the plebiscites are non-binding.

The plebiscites were triggered by petitions, with more than 20 signatories, which were sent to the liquor commission in October 2016 and, after that, on to cabinet for a recommendation.

After cabinet’s approval, a date was set for plebiscites aimed at seeking the views of registered municipal voters to a clear question on the issue.

Iqaluit residents said yes in April 2015 to the idea of a strictly controlled wine and beer store in their community.

The proposed outlet in Iqaluit would require residents to set up a permanent account at the store, through which they can purchase one case of 12 beers and two bottles of wine per day.

Earlier this month, the City of Iqaluit’s lands and planning committee said yes to granting the Government of Nunavut the development permit needed to build an addition to the city’s existing liquor warehouse to accommodate the beer and wine store.

In Cambridge Bay, there’s no liquor warehouse, as in Iqaluit or Rankin Inlet, so to establish this would require another process, Peterson told Nunatsiaq News last October.

For non-residents of the two communities, the following restrictions would apply:

• beer and wine up to the daily maximums allowed could be purchased for consumption within the communities;

• for any beer and wine bought for consumption in other communities, the purchaser would be responsible for complying with whatever restrictions normally apply in their community. If there is an Alcohol Education Committee (AEC) in their community, the purchase would need to be approved by that AEC.

In advance of the plebiscites in Cambridge Bay and Rankin Inlet, there will be two town meetings on the upcoming plebiscite:

• in Rankin Inlet, April 6,  at 7 p.m. at the community hall.; and,

• in Cambridge Bay, April 19 at 7 p.m. at the community hall.

An advance poll will take place April 24 at the Rockland Building in Rankin Inlet and at the Curling Lounge in Cambridge Bay.

Voters with mobility issues can cast ballots at the mobile poll on the morning of April 24. Residents of these communities who will be unable to vote on these dates can apply to Elections Nunavut to vote by special ballot.

Soon, if you live in these two communities, you will receive flyers with information about the proposed store and voting opportunities, which will be mailed to each Rankin Inlet and Cambridge Bay post office box, Elections Nunavut said.

You can also see the flyer for Cambridge Bay here and for Rankin Inlet here.

To vote at this plebiscite you must be a Canadian citizen, 18 years of age by May 1, a Nunavut resident for 1 year by May 1 and currently a resident of Rankin Inlet or Cambridge Bay respectively.

Check to see if you are on the voters list or register to vote by contacting us. More information can be found at the Elections Nunavut website.

Email this story to a friend... Print this page... Bookmark and Share

 THIS WEEK’S ADS

 ADVERTISING