YK Chamber calling for liquor law changes to support businesses

Yellowknife's downtown liquor store. (Supplied by anonymous.)
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Liquor at retail stores, BYOB on tourism trips, and more on-site breweries.

That’s what the YK Chamber is calling for from the GNWT, who is currently reviewing its Liquor Legislation.

The review process began in July 2020 to try and modernize the current rules, which were first introduced in 2008.

The GNWT recently lifted the $200 daily purchase limit at liquor stores in the territory, which had been imposed at the start of the pandemic.

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Minister of Finance Caroline Wawzonek says the limitations were enacted to combat overconsumption and bootlegging activities throughout the territory.

“A year after the imposition of these restrictions, we have determined that the restrictions have neither led to a reduction in alcohol consumption nor bootlegging activities,” she adds.

Wawzonek says substance abuse, bootlegging, and the associated consequences are still a problem in many NWT communities.

“The GNWT remains committed to taking a holistic and whole-of-government approach to addressing these complex issues – including the root causes and resulting negative effects and impacts,” she adds.

The maximum daily purchase of six 375 ml mickeys is still in effect.

The chamber said in a statement the GNWT had a chance to help support entrepreneurs and businesses with the changes.

“This is an opportunity for the Government of the Northwest Territories to support entrepreneurship and economic development — access to liquor is important to socially responsible consumers, and businesses are willing to be partners in supporting responsible consumption,” the Yellowknife Chamber said in a statement.

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