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Iqaluit Beer and Wine Store to stay open permanently

22 June 2020

News Release

Iqaluit Beer and Wine Store to stay open permanently

IQALUIT, Nunavut (June 22, 2020) – Minister of Finance George Hickes today announced the decision to allow the Nunavut Liquor and Cannabis Commission (NULC) to continue operating its Iqaluit store on a permanent basis. The store was originally opened in 2017 as a three-year pilot project.

“The goal of opening the Iqaluit Beer and Wine store was to reduce consumption of hard alcohol, encourage responsible drinking and combat bootlegging,” said Minister Hickes. “The decision to keep the store open permanently allows us to continue moving towards long-term harm reduction.”

To better understand the impacts of the store, NULC completed two surveys – one in 2018 and another in 2020. The 2020 survey key findings show that:

  • 75 per cent of respondents are in support of keeping the store open.
  • Since opening the store, 37 per cent of people reported that they binge-drink less often and 15 per cent reported that they binge drink more often.
  • There is a notable reduction in the number of people (approximately 67 per cent fewer) who purchase alcohol from bootleggers since the store opened.
  • Most respondents (80 per cent) spend the same amount of money or less money on alcohol than they did before the store opened.

The 2020 NULC survey results and the Iqaluit NULC Store Pilot Project Evaluation Report are available on the Department of Finance website at

The NULC spends about $500K per year in social responsibility programs and campaigns. For more information about the Government of Nunavut’s responsible drinking campaign Let’s Be Aware / Ujjiqsuqta, please visit or


Media Contact:

WeiChien Chan
Manager, Communications
Department of Finance