With only a few days to go until the Nov. 9 liquor plebiscite in Arviat and Coral Harbour, the arguments for both sides are heating up and there is precious little, if anything, new being said by either side that we haven’t heard before.

Alcohol has a grim reputation in most Kivalliq communities but the fact is that as long as there are people in any community who want to drink, alcohol will find its way to them through the bootlegging element and that strikes a community twice as hard.

Families pay the high prices asked by bootleggers at the expense of food, clothing and community’s most important resources in all of this, the children.

Binge drinking is also in the equation whether some folks want to realize it or not. And, it’s been proposed that binge drinking often takes place when people of a community don’t have easy access to alcohol.

Having to pay so much money for the alcohol they do get through their community’s bootlegging element, it becomes a game of more bang for the buck in getting the most effect for the money, and folks in that situation rarely master the trick of being able to drink sociably or responsibly.

And so, the cycle repeats itself.

It is no easy task, but, if communities want to remain dry, they have to work hard with both law enforcement and their own residents to impose a zero tolerance for bootlegging.

And that, valued readers, is almost mission impossible.

In a perfect world, a community would hold its vote, one side or the other would prevail, and everyone in the community would obey by the standard of democracy that this great nation of ours was founded on.

But it is not a perfect world and those who lose in any voted-upon issue are not always going to play by the rules.

Hence the problems we still deal with today.

One telling sign in all of this is that any community that has gone wet has never had any overwhelming surge of protest against the decision to this writer’s knowledge, and the communities seem to have adapted well to the new way of life a YES vote in their liquor plebiscite brought about.

There are also a number of communities that have stayed dry and seem quite content to stay that way for the foreseeable future.

Big jobs and big money always bring the desire to many folks to enjoy everything their fellow Canadians from coast to coast to coast take for granted and that, for the best or the worst, includes access to readily available alcohol.

The purpose of this piece is not to influence anyone one way or the other in how to cast their vote in the two upcoming plebiscites.

Rather, it is simply to scratch the surface of the complexities that surround the issue on both sides of the ledger.

Hopefully, the folks in Arviat and Coral Harbour will inform themselves as to both sides of the argument and cast their ballot in the way they see being best for their community to follow.

Just as hopefully, one can only wish for those who voted on the losing side of the alcohol plebiscite to accept the majority’s decision and live their lives in accordance with the law.

Best of luck to both communities taking part in the Nov. 9 alcohol plebiscites, and here’s hoping the direction they choose to follow is the right one, whether wet or dry.

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Darrell Greer

Darrell Greer is Editor of Kivalliq News