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Booze to stay in hamlet

Paulatuk elders will try again

Jorge Barrera
Northern News Services

Paulatuk (Dec 18/00) - Mary-Evik Ruben wanted a dry Christmas for Paulatuk this year but she's not going to get her wish.

Paulatuk residents elected a new council last week and voted 55 to 53 against restricting liquor distribution in the hamlet.

"There are so many problems in communities when people start drinking," said Ruben,75, who was among a group of elders who pushed for the liquor plebiscite.

According to Gilbert Thrasher, chair of the Paulatuk Justice Committee, alcohol comes in from Inuvik because the community of 300 is too small to support a liquor store.

"A group of elders and concerned citizens approached us on holding a plebiscite," said Thrasher.

The committee presented the request to the Hamlet council who agreed to support the process. The committee then received approval from the Department of Justice to hold the plebiscite.

Paulatuk mayor Keith Dodge said a liquor restriction would have been good for the community.

"With a restriction there is a limited amount of alcohol coming in which makes community events better and helps relationships to get better," he said.

Dodge said this is the third time the liquor restriction issue went before voters, and the gap between yes and now has narrowed.

Paulatuk resident Andy Kudlak said he was surprised with the final outcome.

"I was wishing for the restriction to stop bootleggers," said Kudlak.

"Everyone voted for it (the restriction) but it didn't come out that way."

The story isn't over yet. Ruben said will give the plebiscite another go.

"We have to look at our grand children growing up, how are they going to grow up like this,"she said.