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Kinngait council bans alcohol for two weeks

Meaghan Richens/NNSL photo. Cans of beer for sale at Yellowknife's downtown liquor store.

Facing an epidemic of partying and too much alcohol consumption, the Hamlet of Cape Dorset is imposing a prohibition on liquor from May 11-May 24.

Bringing alcohol into Kinngait (Cape Dorset) will be banned between May 11-24. Excessive drinking and partying are leading to Covid-19 safety precautions being ignored, according to mayor and council.
NNSL file photo

No alcohol may be purchased during this period. Anyone caught bringing liquor into the community faces a fine of $500-$5,000 and/or being put in jail for up to 30 days.

Excessive drinking is proving problematic in the community, Mayor Timoon Toonoo stated in a letter to the Department of Finance, which oversees liquor distribution in the territory. Due to alcohol-related offences, there have been recent occasions when multiple residents have been lodged in the same jail cell -- up to 11 people at once.

"...if one of (the) prisoners had Covid-19, a lot of people would have been infected," the letter reads.

Drinking and partying are also enticing Kinngait (Cape Dorset) residents to gather in households where social distancing is not being observed, thereby disregarding orders by Nunavut's chief public health officer to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. No more than five people are allowed to get together at once due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Hamlet council is empowered to put liquor bans in place up to three times per year.

About the Author: Derek Neary

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