After violent death, Fort Good Hope mulls ban on booze

People in Fort Good will meet next week to decide whether to impose a total ban on alcohol in the wake of the violent death of Charlotte Lafferty last month.

Temporary liquor ban in place; Community meeting planned for April 16 to discuss options

People in Fort Good Hope, N.W.T. are under a temporary liquor restriction following a violent death last month.

Police found the body of Charlotte Lafferty, a young mother of three, on March 22. A 17-year-old male has been charged with first-degree murder.

Chief Greg Laboucan says the community asked their local airline not to bring in any booze orders shortly after the tragedy. 

“People that are travelling on the winter road are still able to bring in alcohol,” Laboucan says, but that road is expected to close any day now.

Fort Good Hope is one of nine communities in the N.W.T. that allows restricted access to alcohol. People in the community are allowed 1.1L of spirits and one dozen beer per week, or equivalent amounts of beer and wine.

Under the current rules, the community is only able to ban liquor for 10 days at a time. However, in this case, North-Wright Airways agreed not to deliver any booze orders for 30 days.

Laboucan says the community will hold a meeting April 16 to talk about what happened, and to consider a more comprehensive ban on alcohol.

“We just want to see where the community is at and we need to come together as a community and talk about the issue itself,” he says.

Laboucan says the problem of alcohol is not unique to Fort Good Hope.

“It’s pretty much the same as every other community in the North, but with the liquor store in Norman Wells having an open system where anybody can purchase any amount of alcohol, it does create problems for us and the other outlying communities within the Sahtu region.”

If Fort Good Hope were to ban alcohol, it would join seven other N.W.T. communities who don’t allow booze at all.

So far, Laboucan says community members are supportive of the temporary ban.