Nunavut Liquor Act Review Task Force (Details)

Name of province/ territory:


City/ Region:


Description of Initiative:

The Nunavut Liquor Act Review Task Force was asked to conduct a comprehensive review of the Liquor Act and make suggestions for change to modernize the Act. The Task Force also conducted extensive community consultations across the territory, seeking meaningful recommendations for changes to the Act. The Task Force also sought to make suggestions for promoting responsible use of alcohol in the territory. The Task Force was made up of 10 people from various backgrounds in the territory and included a police representative. The Task Force consulted with community representatives, municipal councils, alcohol education committees and other social advocacy groups. Upon completion of the community consultations, the Task Force made recommendations to the government of Nunavut in a final report. The recommendations that affect policing are focused on enhanced search and seizure provisions, targeting the illegal sale of alcohol and enhanced sentencing provisions.

Initiative Key Objectives:

The Nunavut Liquor Act Review Task Force had several objectives:

  • review and make recommendations for modernizing the territorial Liquor Act;
  • consult extensively in the community;
  • promote and make suggestions on the responsible use of alcohol in the territory;
  • make recommendations on illegal liquor sales, including suggestions on law enforcement and appropriate sentencing provisions; and
  • make recommendations on how to reduce the opportunity to benefit from the sale of liquor and legislate provisions for the recovery of proceeds from the illegal sale of liquor.

Section Responsible for Implementation:

Criminal Operations supporting enforcement units

Key Contact:

Hilton Smee

Groups/ Agencies/ Key Partners Involved:

  • community groups
  • other government departments/agencies

Level of Involvement (consultative - information sharing) and/or cooperative - direct involvement):

The RCMP’s involvement across the territory was both consultative and cooperative. It was consultative because detachment members took part in interviews. It was also cooperative because the RCMP had a representative on the Task Force.

Amount of Time Initiative has been in Place:

This intitiative has been in place since April 2010.

Reason for Undertaking the Initiative:

The NWT and the Yukon have enhanced their Liquor Acts, setting up the need to do the same in Nunavut. Significant revenue is lost because of the method of sale of alcohol in Nunavut. The use of alcohol is abused throughout the territory, contributing to the high incidence of violent crime. The irresponsible use of alcohol is also affecting the health and welfare of a large segment of the population. Many are benefitting from the illegal sale of liquor, which is contributing further to the harm in all communities.

Resources Required to Implement this Initiative:

The costs associated with the implementation of this initiative were borne by the government of Nunavut’s Department of Finance.

Method of Implementation:

The recommendations are now before the Government of Nunavut and we are awaiting decisions about implementation and the enhancement of the Liquor Act.

Key Outcomes of the Initiative:

The Task Force consulted extensively across the territory and obtained grassroot views about the use of alcohol. They heard about the need to curtail bootlegging of alcohol and the need for harsher penalties for those involved in this illegal activity.

The need to reduce opportunities to benefit from the proceeds of the illegal sale of liquor was also expressed. The Task Force responded to the views of the communities by making recommendations to enhance police effectiveness in reducing this activity. They also responded by making recommedations to enhance sentencing provisions so that the courts can support police activity in the interests of the health and welfare of Nunavummiut.

The Task Force tabled its recommendations to the government of Nunavut in its final report, which has been tabled before the legislature. A working group has been created to review the recommendations. A decision on the recommendations will be forthcoming in 2013.

Availability of a Communication Strategy:


Key Messages used to Publicize the Initiative:

  • Everyone has a role to play in the safe distribution and consumption of liquor and is welcome to participate fully in the review.
  • The Liquor Act is an important tool in ensuring that liquor does not contribute to harm in Nunavut communities.
  • Legislation has to be reponsible, balanced, progressive and reflect the needs of the people of Nunavut.
  • Education about the role and purpose of the Liquor Act assists in making decisions about responsible use of alcohol.

Forms of Evaluation by which the Initiative will be Assessed:

  • quantitative
  • qualitative
  • social return on investment

Evaluation Completed or Community Feedback Received:


Summary of the Outcomes:


Summary of the Performance Measure Data Collected:


Economics of Policing Pillars:

Further Details:


Additional Comments or Suggestions:

We have no further comments.

Record Entry Date:


Date modified: