Town votes to keep 100-year-old booze ban

A Canadian town has overwhelmingly voted in favour of keeping a 100-year-old ban on the sale of alcohol.


Cardston Alberta Temple

Cardston in Alberta was founded by Mormon settlers in 1887 and has enforced a ban on the sale of alcohol for the past 109 years, since Alberta first became a province.

Yesterday, residents voted on a non-binding plebiscite which would have restricted the sale of alcohol to restaurants with a meal or at recreational facilities.

It had been pushed for by local business owners who were concerned they were losing sales.

However residents in the predominantly Mormon town made their wishes very clear voting overwhelmingly in support of maintaining the ban.

Of the town’s 3,500 residents, 1,089 voted no and 347 in favour of the move, as reported by the Windsor Star. 

About 80% of the town’s residents are Mormon – a religion that prohibits tea, coffee and alcohol.

Speaking to the Windsor Star, Cardston Mayor Maggie Kronen said: “I am not surprised because at the end once the people have had the chance to really consider the outcome of the prohibition law, it’s very difficult to have a middle ground. At this point I would say this puts it to rest. I think perhaps you would have to have a new generation of people before that happens again.”

Marilyn Williams, a Cardston resident and member of the Mormon church, spoke out in favour of allowing the sale of alcohol.

“I agree that the restaurants and the golf course should be able to because they lose thousands of dollars every month,” Williams said.

“So I’m for alcohol in the restaurants but not to be sold in liquor stores on the streets. I don’t drink and make my choice. I don’t shop on Sunday either but the stores are open.”

The two nearest communities where alcohol can be bought are Fort Macleod, 64km to the north and Lethbridge, 79km to the northeast.

The town is home to the Cardston Alberta Temple – the first Mormon temple to be built in Canada and the first outside of the US.

Finished in 1913, the temple took 10 years to build with its ground’s spreading across 10 acres.

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