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Communication breakdown in Baker Lake

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, December 19, 2007

BAKER LAKE - A lack of communication led to a special meeting between Baker Lake hamlet council members and representatives of Baker's alcohol education committee this past week.

The problems began when the seven members of the alcohol education committee did not receive the hamlet's request for the annual ban on shipments of alcohol into the community during the holiday season until Dec. 10.

The hamlet had sent its requests to the airline carriers on Nov. 30.

The acting chair of the alcohol education committee, Rhoda Perkison, said the one-day notice was not acceptable to the committee because it did not leave enough time to notify the public about the alcohol restrictions.

She said better lines of communication have to be established between the hamlet and the committee for things to run smoother in the future.

"We (alcohol education committee) agree with the annual restrictions on alcohol shipments into Baker Lake, but we need to be given enough time to make sure the public understands what's about to happen," said Perkison.

"The committee met with council and the issue has been resolved so, hopefully, communication will improve from this point."

Perkison said this was not the first time the hamlet gave the committee short notice concerning an issue.

She said the committee also received very late notice when the hamlet wanted to restrict liquor shipments during a youth forum in the community earlier this year.

"We never received an explanation on why we got the request for the ban during the youth conference about five days before the event.

"They told us our notice was overlooked for the holiday restrictions because they were so busy writing letters to other companies.

"We can accept that, but in the future we need enough time to make the public aware of what is going on if the hamlet expects us to support its applications.

"As long as the hamlet gets its applications to us in time, things will be fine."

Baker Lake Mayor David Aksawnee could not be reached for comment before press time.