Alberta News Southern Alberta

Cardston town council rejects alcohol sales, will continue with ‘prohibition’

CARDSTON – With the exception of a small part of Southern Alberta, Prohibition ended across Alberta in 1923 and that remained the case until the provincial government passed Bill 2, the Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Amendment Act on June 17, 2020.

The Bill had the effect of putting the onus on municipalities to prohibit the sale of alcohol within their jurisdictions if they chose to do so. It is a province-wide requirement that an individual or commercial entity having an interest in establishing a liquor sales outlet must make an application directly to the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) for a license.

Based on the results of a Plebiscite held in October 2014, and given the assumption that the town’s demographics have not appreciably changed since then, it seems fairly easy to determine the current mood of the electorate.  

That Plebiscite asked residents two very specific questions. They were:

Are you in favour of alcohol sales within the Town of Cardston?

and

If the province would amend legislation to allow limited access in our area, are you in favour of restaurants and/or recreation facilities within the town of Cardston selling alcohol?

To both questions the responses were resounding “No’s.”  With respect to the first, the  nays were 1,089 and to the second, 956. The corresponding responses in favour were 347 and 456 respectively.

Recently, the town was advised that an application for a license to sell alcohol had been received by the AGLC. As a consequence, Council acted promptly and passed a motion to reject the application.

The effect of that action is to ensure that the sale of liquor is prohibited in the Town of Cardston for the next three years. Should an individual or organization wish to serve alcohol at a special event, they will be required to apply for a time-specific “special event” license.

By William Hill, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter/Temple City Star