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Natuashish needs booze ban: Innu Nation

By Motorhead, Mar 9, 2010 | |
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  1. Motorhead
    Natuashish needs booze ban: Innu Nation

    The head of Labrador's Innu Nation says the northern reserve of Natuashish should keep a controversial ban on alcohol, despite a vow by its newly elected chief to repeal it.

    Simeon Tshakapesh, who narrowly won a community election last week, said he instructed the RCMP immediately to stop enforcing a prohibition on beer and liquor that was introduced in 2008, following a community vote.

    The RCMP, though, is still implementing the ban, and said only a community plebiscite can repeal it. As well, the force said since the ban came into effect, violent crime has dropped by half.

    Mark Nui, the grand chief of the Innu Nation, said the prohibition has reduced suicides and helped improved the quality of life in Natuashish, where many residents have had long-running struggles with substance abuse.

    "There are already people [who are] very afraid of what's happening, and people don't realize we're going downhill from here,"

    Nui also said a plebiscite is needed to deal specifically with whether the ban should stay or go.

    Tshakapesh said the ban has been worthless in halting social problems, including public drunkenness.

    Ban will be enforced: RCMP spokesman

    But Sgt. Wayne Newell, a spokesman for the RCMP in Newfoundland and Labrador, said the ban has been a valuable ally in reducing crime in the area.

    "We have a feeling that the ban has the support of the community and we'll continue to enforce it, as I say, and we'll have to work with the present council," Newell said.

    Tshakapesh has not responded to the RCMP's promise to continue enforcing the ban.

    But Tshakapesh also has legal problems of his own, as well as a personal interest in the ban.

    He is scheduled to appear in provincial court on March 13, on a charge of violating the ban himself.

    March 09, 2010
    CBC News
    http://www.cbc.ca/canada/newfoundla...03/09/innu-nation-natuashish-alcohol-309.html

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