Public meeting tonight on potential sugar tax

The Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories. (Photo by staff.)
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If you are a fan of sugary drinks, you might not like a new tax proposal.

The GNWT are pursuing a potential tax on sugary drinks. The Government of the Northwest Territories is citing the tax as “a way to reduce sugar consumption and improve public health”. They are looking for the public’s opinion on the purposal. They have had a public meeting in Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk on January 28th, and a meeting in Yellowknife on the night of January 29th. The Yellowknife meeting will be in the Lynx Room of Chateau Nova Hotel from 7:30 p.m. till 9 p.m.

Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Kami Kandola says that the tax would be only for artificial sugared drinks.

“Specifically they will be sugar sweetened beverages, so all drinks that are artificially sugared, excluding fruit juice which has 100% natural sugar, dairy products are excluded sweetened and not sweetened and drinkable yogurts.”

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She says there is no GNWT study on sugar drinks consumed in the GNWT, but she cited a study by the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation.

“What they estimated on average every person drinks about 100 litres of sugar sweetened beverages per year. That would bring it to about 4.4 million litres consumed in NWT”

The GNWT says the information from the public engagement sessions will be added to the responses already received from the online survey.

“Together, the information gathered will help guide the GNWT as we decide whether or not to implement a sugar-sweetened drinks tax.”

Those who wish to participate in a meeting in an NWT official language other than English are asked to contact (867) 767-9158.

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