April 7, 2020 (Inuvik) – Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC) calls on the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) to limit sale of alcohol to individuals. IRC asks that this restriction be put in place immediately to effectively reduce the illegal re-sale of alcohol common in the communities.
IRC recommends this measure at this time as its “necessary for the safety of the communities in their continuing efforts to prevent community transmission of COVID-19,” IRC Chair & CEO, Duane Smith suggests “IRC strongly recommends that GNWT place restrictions on alcohol sales, so residents can continue to make better choices, think clearly and individuals and families are able to stay home safely and that the emergency funds intended to protect the most vulnerable be focused on their comfort, health, and continued safety.”
While governments have undertaken the social responsibility to allow for needed deferrals on public housing rent, increased Income Support, increased GST credits, and increased Child Tax benefits – these additional funds are being used exploitatively by individuals in a way that causes additional threat to the communities at a time of uncertainty and pandemic illness.
IRC is in support of immediate alcohol sales restrictions as an approach to enhance efforts in order to keep the communities safe and people in their homes or out on the land where they are able to follow the Public Health recommendation of physical distancing.