The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

'Dry' Manitoba community discovers it never had an official booze ban

  • Print

STEINBACH, Man. - A dry community in southern Manitoba has discovered it's actually wet.

Staff with the Rural Municipality of Hanover discovered this week that a ban on alcohol sales, which has existed as long as anyone can remember, was never actually put into law. It's something residents, politicians and others have always just assumed was official.

"I didn't know any better," Reeve Stan Toews said Thursday.

Toews, 63, has lived in the area his whole life and said the municipality's dry status pre-dates him.

Like other communities in the area south of Winnipeg, where there is a large Mennonite population, Hanover has considered allowing booze sales in the past. Alcohol is readily available in stores and restaurants in some neighbouring communities. The city of Steinbach voted to end its dry status more than a decade ago. The Rural Municipality of Stanley followed three years later.

Hanover held a referendum on allowing liquor in 2006, but it was defeated by a narrow 30-vote margin.

City staff were preparing to hold another referendum this fall, to coincide with the Oct. 22 municipal election, when they discovered no Hanover council had ever passed a bylaw to officially ban booze.

"We weren't quite sure yet, so then we hired some municipal lawyers and they went through all the records and they could not come up with anything either," Toews said.

"We went back to 1880 and we could not find a bylaw that said Hanover is dry."

One restaurant owner in Hanover has already expressed interest in serving alcohol — it's what prompted plans for this fall's referendum. Toews said the owner can now simply apply for a provincial liquor licence like any other establishment.

To be fair, Hanover has not been completely booze-free. There is a small convenience store, with a provincial liquor outlet inside, on the southern edge of the sprawling municipality. Municipal officials have left it alone.

"It's been there since the early '70's and I've often asked, 'How did this come about?' but nobody seemed to have the history," Toews said.

— By Steve Lambert in Winnipeg

— Follow @stevelambertwpg on Twitter

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Willy wants to get back to winning

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • An American White Pelican takes flight from the banks of the Red River in Lockport, MB. A group of pelicans is referred to as a ‘pod’ and the American White Pelican is the only pelican species to have a horn on its bill. May 16, 2012. SARAH O. SWENSON / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Local- Korea Veterans Association stained glass window at Deer Lodge Centre. Dedication with Minister of Veterans Affairs Dr. Rey Pagtakhan. March 12, 2003.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you think e-cigarettes should be banned by the school division?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google