Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Iqaluit March 17, 2017 - 8:30 am

Iqaluit diner’s liquor licence pitch breezes past public hearing

Small Iqalungmiut audience supports Snack’s proposal to serve beer

PETER VARGA
Snack co-owners Danny Savard, centre, and Michel Gilbert and Alexandre Croteau were happy, if not surprised, after city residents showed complete support for their application to serve beer at their restaurant in a public hearing held March 16. (PHOTO BY PETER VARGA)
Snack co-owners Danny Savard, centre, and Michel Gilbert and Alexandre Croteau were happy, if not surprised, after city residents showed complete support for their application to serve beer at their restaurant in a public hearing held March 16. (PHOTO BY PETER VARGA)

The Snack prides itself on being a casual family restaurant, and the Iqaluit residents who turned up at a Nunavut Liquor Licensing Board hearing March 16 didn’t think adding beer to the menu would change a thing.

Seven of 15 to 20 residents who showed up to give their opinion on the owner’s application for a licence to serve beer at the diner told the liquor board they support the restaurant owners’ application.

No one in the audience expressed disapproval.

“I think it’s a good idea,” said one resident. “I think three beers [per customer] is not over the top. I support their license.”

The man’s comment echoed those of other supporters at the public hearing, held to give the public a say on the restaurant’s application for a license to serve three beers per customer.

The Snack’s three owners, Danny Savard, Michel Gilbert and Alex Croteau, submitted their application last December.

The dining room license would allow customers to add an order of beer with food.

No members of the public had any questions for the three owners.

Liquor board member Terry Dobbin, also a city councillor, said a lot of families with kids might be reluctant to go to the Snack if alcohol were served there.

“How do you respond to that?” Dobbin asked.

“We do not want to serve more than three beers” per customer, Savard replied.

“I’ve been to other restaurants where there’s kids, for example the Navigator, the Frobisher Inn and the Discovery, and children are allowed.”

Another worry Dobbin said he heard from the general public concerns the Snack’s delivery service.

“People are thinking there might be alcohol delivered along with their pizza,” Dobbin said. “Again, how do you respond to that?”

“Well, that would be illegal, for a start,” Savard replied. “It’s against the law. There is no license available to deliver alcohol.”

Board members said they will rule on the permit within days, possibly as early as the following day, March 17.

Savard and his two co-owners purchased the restaurant, which dates back to the 1980s, last summer from Nelson Soucy.

Savard and Gilbert also co-own Upper Base Garage Ltd., and Gilbert owns the Nunavut Tuktu Caribou Cabs taxi service with Croteau.

The Government of Nunavut’s pilot project to open a beer and wine store in Iqaluit this year is what prompted the Snack’s owners to apply for the license, Savard said.

“I mean, you will get a case of beer at the store. Why can’t you come by my restaurant and have a couple of beers?” Savard said after the consultation.

“A lot of people like to have a couple of beers with their meal.”

The Snack’s application is specifically for a “dining room license” for the sale and consumption of liquor in a public dining room, according to the Nunavut Liquor Licensing Board’s codes.

Savard admitted he expected more of a two-sided audience at the public consultation, for and against.

“To be honest, if we were backing up the clock 10 years, it would have been more of an obstacle, and you’d have more people probably against the idea,” he said.

The licensing board invited Iqaluit residents to submit written comments for the application by March 3, which will also factor into their decision on the permit.

If granted, the restaurant will have to hire employees who have experience serving alcohol, Savard said, and conform to liquor laws that limit beer orders to between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m.

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(20) Comments:

#1. Posted by Concerned Eskimo on March 17, 2017

There food is fattening enough and some are quite unhealthy, and now they want to add a depressant to their menus!  If they are trying to attract customers, this is a very poor way to do so!  Taking advantage of addictions is not the best way, but it is allowed!  If you really wanted more customers, then the food should be made better and more economical!

#2. Posted by DOUBLE WHOPPER on March 17, 2017

Concerned Eskimo , if you don t like the food , don t go there. WHINE WHINE WHINE.

#3. Posted by Snack time on March 17, 2017

@1: they’re not a gov agency, they can sell what they want. I bet they’ll attract plenty of new customers.

That being said, if you eat The Snack every day, maybe it’s time to get help.

#4. Posted by Janet on March 17, 2017

Interesting, I did not hear about this hearing until today, I’m sure a lot of us didn’t know about it. How did they inform people of the time and date of this hearing?

#5. Posted by bob on March 17, 2017

Take it easy #1- greasy food and a couple beer never killed anyone….well, do it over years and yeah you’ll have a heart attack. This is just a little bit of indulgence that people are happy to have. Better and more economical?

I don’t know what that means but this is all about personal choice and personal responsibility. If people don’t like the food then they won’t eat there. People are not forced to go there. Making the food better? The menu is virtually unchanged in 30+years. I think it’s plenty good- not good for you but delicious nonetheless. And that’s where the responsibility part kicks in- It’s up to you if you want to put grease and beer in your body.

#6. Posted by Iqaluit Resident on March 17, 2017

Maybe I’m speaking too soon but this meeting last night shows maybe Iqaluit is starting to grow up.

This is the kind of meeting that happens when the local churches are not around to stack the meeting by manipulating the elders to go up to the microphones and blubber and sob about the bad old days.

Finally the real people of Iqaluit got to show up and have their say on a liquor licence without being shouted down by a bunch of religious fanatics. This is a good thing for Iqaluit.

#7. Posted by Look a raving loon on March 17, 2017

O-M-G! A “depressant’  !!!

Seriously though #1 A wee drop of booze is probably the best thing to combine with all that greasy food.

Not only does moderate alcohol consumption reduce your risk of ischemic stroke (when the arteries to your brain become narrowed or blocked, causing severely reduced blood flow)it can also reduce the risk of heart attack.

This is what we call an evidence based approach, not a ranting loony fear approach.

#8. Posted by David on March 17, 2017

Ok this is going out of Hand with this Wine & Beer and now with Food Order’s which they give a Black list of people who cannot order food anymore , how will they keep track of the people who are band for drinking ,

some people are only served two can’s limit from the Bar’s now they will serve under age and charge $10 a can LMFAO with this so called Nunavut our own Nu,Government can’t even run well

David

#9. Posted by what on March 17, 2017

sometimes councillors ask the dumbest of questions like this one:

“People are thinking there might be alcohol delivered along with their pizza,” Dobbin said. “Again, how do you respond to that?”

#10. Posted by Notice on March 17, 2017

#4, it was incredibly well advertised. It was on Iqaluit Public Service Announcements for a very long time, there were notices posted all over town, and not long ago, this very newspaper did a story on it. There was plenty of notice given, and lots and lots of reminders in the days leading up to it.
For all of the commenters on the article about this story from a few weeks ago - the ones who were against the liquor license - that was your chance to have your say. You chose to keep quiet when it mattered.

#11. Posted by Janet on March 17, 2017

Ok I’m not on FB very much, hardly ever use it, but I missed all those notices that are posted in town, I haven’t seen any. I do listen to the radio but not sure if it was mentioned on there, anyway at least a few people showed up.

#12. Posted by It's Their Job on March 17, 2017

#9, The councilor was asking a question that had been expressed to him by the public and is using the proper venue to allow the applicant to respond. That is called representation.

#13. Posted by FFS on March 17, 2017

A couple of points which should be obvious to anyone but bear repeating for “David”:

1) The liquor law states that a person may only have 2 open drinks at once.

2) Anyone who is banned from ordering at The Snack almost certainly is banned because they ripped off the driver or never answered the door or was rude to the staff.

3) Every establishment I know of has a book/list of people who will not be served.

4) There is no evidence that a restaurant that hasn’t had a license to sell alcohol, will now knowingly risk losing their license by selling to minors.

5) The Snack is a eat-in/delivery restaurant and now they will have a license to sell beer with dine-in meals only. Just like The Navigator/Chart Room. Big deal.

#14. Posted by Hunter on March 17, 2017

There are always pros and cons from a business prospective.

At times of the day/week their little dinning area is already jam packed with loyal returning customers.

What is going to happen to these customers when all your tables are filled up with drunks at 11 am? Basically their customer base is going to change first of all.

Secondly is the delivery service going to be able to keep up or is it going to take a hit in service…longer wait times etc?

#15. Posted by Trumptard on March 17, 2017

#14 Why do you assume that will be the case? Because you have such a dim view of Inuit?

Sad…

#16. Posted by Iqaluit on March 17, 2017

#8 they will not deliver the beer, it is against the law and it says in the article.

#17. Posted by Costs??? on March 17, 2017

It’s interesting how Iqaluit continues the full alcohol route. 

A quick search of past news reports and these words are echoed across Nunavut, “Alcohol fuels most of the calls.”.

A news report had an RCMP member addressing the Iqaluit city councillors in 2011. Saying 80% of the Iqaluit RCMP crime stats are alcohol related and it is believed to be a low number.  Would it be a good guess this number in 2017 is much higher?

What are the costs to Nunavut, taking money from other programs/infrastructure projects because continuously have to increase money for policing, court, incarceration, hospitalization of injury, health care, cause of deaths from alcohol only use?

Anyone see Rankin Inlet (or other) capitalize on attracting a healthy and strong work force by going the opposite to Iqaluit’s booze, drunks everywhere route? Promoting a better place to live or have meetings then to deal with drunks, violence, crime, fear of freedom of movement and poor health issues?

#18. Posted by Another low turn-out on March 18, 2017

20 people out of population of around 9k? Yes, 10 years ago you would have had a different opinion because people weren’t as public-meeting’d-out.

#19. Posted by Beer Only on March 20, 2017

Beer only? What if I just simply don’t like the taste of beer?

It’s alright.  I don’t particularly eat from Snack anyhow.  I mostly go to the other restaurants for their food.  On the rare occasion, I ‘ll have wine. 

And yes, I can have more than three beer in the other restaurants.  But I don’t.

The alcohol-fueled violence is usually from hard liquor off the streets.  Combined with unaddressed or repressed trauma passed through intergenerational effects.  Something the licensing board can’t fix on its own.  If you want solutions on alcoholism and trauma, go to the Minister of Health as well as Minister of Family Services.

#20. Posted by FFS on March 20, 2017

#14 “Hunter” said: “What is going to happen to these customers when all your tables are filled up with drunks at 11 am?” The article quoted the owners as saying they would serve no more than 3 beers per customer. Is your understanding of alcohol such that people become legless slurring barflys after consuming 3 cans of Molson Canadian?

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