Advance poll for Fort Simpson liquor plebiscite opens Thursday

Fort Simpson is still waiting nine months later for a plebiscite to be held on liquor restrictions in the village. Photo: Sean Whelly

A vote to remove Fort Simpson’s liquor restrictions will take place in the coming week. Community leaders have spent most of the year pressuring the territory to hold such a plebiscite.

An advance poll will run on Thursday, November 5 from 10am until 3pm at the community hall, returning officer Tammie Cazon posted to Facebook.

The main polling date is November 12, when voting will be available from 10am until 7pm at the same location.

Proxy voting will be accepted on the main election date, Cazon said. Masks will be required to enter the community hall and vote.



Cabin Radio previously reported a dedicated entrance and exit will be used to control the number of people in the building while voting takes place.

Those heading to vote should bring at least one piece of government ID in case their name does not appear on the voters’ list.

The vote comes after a petition with more than 150 signatories was handed to the village council last year. That petition requested action be taken to remove the current liquor restrictions.

Permanent liquor restrictions in NWT communities can only be amended by a plebiscite, or public vote.



Currently, Fort Simpson residents have a daily purchasing limit of:

  • three 375-ml containers of spirits and 12 containers of beer; or
  • three 375-ml containers of spirits and two bottles of wine; or
  • two bottles of wine (maximum two litres) and 12 containers of beer; or
  • one bottle of wine and 24 containers of beer.

If residents vote to end those limits, the community would still need to abide by this year’s pandemic-related territory-wide restrictions for as long as they remain in place.

Those restrictions limit customers to a maximum spend of $200 per day at any NWT liquor store and six mickeys (375-ml bottles) of spirits in a 24-hour period.