To sell or not to sell? The penultimate question about alcohol in Northern Canada

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Alcohol abuse is an ongoing health issue in many of Canada’s northern communities.

Some hamlet or village councils have voted to become dry communities where alcohol is not permitted. Others have voted for some restrictions. Still others have voted for their communities to have unregulated alcohol sales.

Harry Tulugak, the general manager of the local cooperative in Puvirnituq, a community in the Inuit region of Nunavik in northern Quebec, says their board made the decision to sell wine and alcohol in 2015 after much soul-searching, including asking the question: was it better for the co-op to profit from alcohol sales or leave that to the bootleggers?

Tulugak looks back on the controversial decision with Radio-Canada reporter Émilie Dubreuil.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Mental health in Canada – Can community programs in Arctic Canada make the difference?, Eye on the Arctic

Finland: Finland’s alcohol consumption declines by 15%, YLE news

Sweden: Gender stereotypes behind high suicide rate, Radio Sweden

United States: Drinking, smoking consumption in decline, but suicide plans on the rise among Alaska teens, Alaska Dispatch News

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