North

Arviat takes Halloween indoors for 2nd year due to polar bears

Arviat, Nunavut, will be holding its Halloween celebrations indoors for the second year in a row due to safety concerns about children going door to door at night during polar bear season.

Outdoor trick or treating discouraged as polar bears common in area during fall

Polar bears attempt to get at meat wrapped in steel mesh at a "diversionary feeding station" near Arviat, Nunavut, in the fall of 2013. Wildlife officers in the Nunavut community were trying out the technique to help keep polar bears out of the community during freeze-up. (James Tagalik)

Arviat, Nunavut, will be holding its Halloween celebrations indoors for the second year in a row due to safety concerns about children going door to door at night during polar bear season.

Arviat is on Hudson Bay about 250 kilometres north of Churchill, Man., and is visited by polar bears in the late fall.

"The last couple of years we've seen a dramatic increase in the number of bears in our community," says Steve England, the hamlet's senior administrative officer.

"Last year was the first year we hosted Halloween indoors. It went over successfully, so this year the council decided to do the same thing again."

England says they are spending nearly $10,000 on decorations and candy for the Halloween party at the community hall.

RCMP say they will be patrolling Nunavut communities to keep the public safe, and are reminding drivers to watch for children.

"In the communities, you see a lot of parents driving their kids around in Ski-Doos and qamutiks and we just want to encourage everyone to drive safely and be cautious of all the kids walking around," said Cpl. David Lawson.

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