Northern Saskatchewan community bans beer in bottles; 
cans still allowed

Canadian Press 

Wednesday, April 10, 2002

LA LOCHE, Sask. (CP) - Beer in a bottle is verboten (forbidden) but you can still quaff (guzzle) a can of the cold stuff in this northern Saskatchewan community. A two-year beer-bottle ban took effect on April 1. Mayor John Janvier said too many residents were using broken beer bottles as weapons and bottle fragments were posing a hazard to children at swimming pools and playgrounds. 

"We've been working on this for the last two years, to see if we can get the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Commission to do away with the beer bottles in La Loche," Janvier said. 

"(We're) the first community to have this, and we're really happy about it." 

Janvier said as soon as the liquor store sells the rest of its stock of bottled beer, "it will only be straight cans for the next two years." 

Const. Danielle Bernard of the La Loche RCMP called the ban a great idea. 

She noted that between Jan. 1, 2001, and Dec. 7, 2001, there were 23 assaults with beer bottles in the village of 2,136, some of which were very serious. 

"I think our biggest concerns were the fact people were getting hit with beer bottles, both empty and full, and the fact that there's glass all over the playground," Bernard said. 

"If someone's hit with a beer bottle, there's almost always stitches required, whether it be three or 23. Whether or not they reach for something else remains to be seen." 

Liquor Authority Minister Ron Osika said despite the ban, people bringing bottled beer into La Loche will not face any fines. 

(Saskatoon StarPhoenix)

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