Residents of small Alberta town to vote in plebiscite to allow alcohol sales

A ban on alcohol sales that has been in place since Alberta became a province will be voted on in a plebiscite in the town of Cardston today.

CARDSTON — A ban on alcohol sales that has been in place since Alberta became a province will be voted on in a plebiscite in the town of Cardston today.

The predominantly Mormon town, 240 kilometres south of Calgary, has been dry for the past 109 years.

Cardston was founded in 1887 by Mormon settlers and the religion prohibits drinking coffee, tea and alcohol, and believes Sundays are holy and should be about reflection.

About 80 per cent of its 3,500 residents are Mormons, also known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

The non-binding plebiscite limits the sale of alcohol at restaurants with a meal or at the local golf course or recreational facility. It does not call for the opening of liquor stores.

The plebiscite, which also asks about fluoride in the water and allowing backyard hens, simply asks “Are you in favour of alcohol sales within the Town of Cardston?”

Currently the two nearest communities where alcohol can be obtained are Fort Macleod to the north and Lethbridge to the northeast.

Mayor Maggie Kronen says if the vote is in favour of allowing liquor sales it will be up to the province to amend the liquor laws as they apply to Cardston.

She acknowledges the change could result in economic spinoffs.

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