Bootleg booze common in Kimmirut, despite lift of alcohol ban
Residents voted one year ago to allow booze into hamlet
It's been just over a year since Kimmirut residents voted to allow alcohol into the hamlet, but bootlegged booze is still making its way into the Nunavut community.
Last February, 67 per cent of voters said yes to allowing. Since then, liquor has been flowing in, both legally and illegally.
For years, a snowmobile trail connecting Kimmirut and Iqaluit has been used by bootleggers to bring alcohol from Nunavut’s capital.
It is still being used for that purpose, despite the fact that liquor is now legal in Kimmirut.
CBC North's special report Booze Beyond 60° is running all week on radio, television and online.
Check out the special web page for more.
"I believe it's more to do with bootlegging that causes more issues more than anything," said Saqitaq Temela, the hamlet's senior administrative officer.
A household in Kimmirut can now order alcohol once a month, but the family must get approval from the Alcohol Education Committee. Quantities are limited, orders can be denied and there is a cap on how much each individual can order.
RCMP Const. Martin Noel works as a relief officer in Nunavut. He said it's too soon to say if lifting the ban on alcohol will change crime rates in the hamlet.
"At this time here, you know, it's one of those things where we're going to have to wait several years to see the impact."
Noel said the problems in Kimmirut can be attributed to a few people, not the community as a whole.
Hamlet officials say more education is needed so that those who want to drink alcohol do so responsibly.