The Rise And Fall Of Prohibition In — страница 3

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attention on the older population. Prohibition also gained support in areas of education. After much lobbying, the provincial government passed a mandatory act that required all public schools to offer temperance education to their students. At the risk of losing grant money, the schools complied, much to the delight of the prohibition movement.19 In a landmark decision during 1895, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that a province did not have the right to halt the marketing or production of alcohol.20 This monumental judgement, however, was overruled the following year by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. This reversal also declared that only when an area was already prohibitory did the province’s right not apply. A later upholding by the same committee of the

Manitoba Liquor Act five years later solidly established a province’s right to block transaction of liquor in their area.21 Again, prohibitionists rejoiced. The Laurier Federal Government finally bowed to overwhelming pressure from the public on the prohibition issue. A national plebiscite was held in 1898. While the national results showed a small majority in favour of prohibition, it should be noted that prohibitionists campaigned vigorously to obtain greater public support, while anti-prohibitionists did not.22 The fact that a large number of voters did not even vote was no doubt a factor in the indecision that plagued the federal government on the prohibition question. Several interesting points do emerge from this plebiscite of those who did vote. The Maritimes and

Manitoba emerged as strongly in favour of prohibition, whereas Western Canada was moderate and Quebec vehemently opposed.23 ‘Wet or Dry’ voting patterns seemed very strongly influenced by ethnic origins with cities voting wet and rural areas voting dry.24 Prohibition was once again thrust into the arms of the provinces. Several small bills were introduced in the years 1900 to 1905 in Nova Scotia. These were usually private-member bills dealing with liquor transportation and inevitably failed. A 1906 amendment, however, did succeed in prohibiting the sale of liquor to a dry-area resident. This was followed by a ban on the marketing and production of alcohol in all of Nova Scotia except for Halifax.25 Ontario, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Nova Scotia all

had enacted province-wide prohibition by the end of 1916. British Columbia followed suit in 1917. In 1916, the Borden Federal Government added their support with the introduction of a bill in that disallowed the sale of alcohol into a province where it was prohibited. This was followed with a prohibition on the use of food stuffs or grain in the distilling of spirits and was in effect for the length of the war. It failed, however, to affect the wine makers and brewers.26 Other laws under the War Measures Act included the non-legalization of 2.5% proof imports in 1917 and the 1918 measure forbidding the transportation of liquor of any kind for any use into a province where it was prohibited. A further law in March of 1918 stated that until the end of the war plus one year, the

production of liquor would be halted as would its transportation between provinces. Quebec eventually joined the prohibition movement. In 1919 Quebec adopted a law prohibiting the sale of liquor with the exception of light beer, cider, and wine. This move came from the results of a provincial plebiscite held there. Despite this plebiscite, Quebec still was the only legal place in Canada for alcohol when American prohibition passed. Nova Scotia’s referendum in 1920 resulted in the prohibition of import liquor in every county except Halifax, effective 1921. Under this law, alcohol could be made for exportation but not for consumption in Nova Scotia. Coupled with the debate on prohibition, this 1920 plebiscite was also memorable as it was the first time women could vote in Nova

Scotia. Even with these laws, prohibition was still not easy to enforce. The appointment of provincial inspectors working in the individual municipalities seemed like the right start to enforcing prohibition successfully. Unfortunately, the corruption ran deep. Many Americans reached out to Nova Scotia for a bootlegged supply of alcohol. For example, the schooner, I’m Alone, was purchased from Lunenburg shipbuilders by a group of American bootleggers. From 1924 to 1928, the ship carried illegal alcohol to smaller coastal boats off the shores of America.27 Revenues secured by fines from boot leggers tended to create a distressing paradox. Maximum revenues could only be obtained if rum-running and boot-legging were successful. To solve this, occasional fines kept everyone happy