Alberta liquor plebiscite, 1957

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The 1957 Alberta Liquor Plebiscite was the fourth province-wide plebiscite conducted in Alberta, Canada, and it was held on October 30, 1957. Unlike the other three plebiscites held in Alberta, the 1957 vote was not held in conjunction with a provincial election. At the time, the Alberta Liquor Control Board operated only a few stores from which liquor could be legally purchased. The plebiscite asked voters in every district if they were in favour of adding extra ALCB outlets.

Background[edit]

The province of Alberta decided to hold a plebiscite after divisive debate in the legislature on the need to deal with demands to loosen regulatory restrictions to liquor that had been in place since the prohibition era.

The vote to hold a plebiscite had carried on a recorded division by a single vote after much debate.[1]

In addition to the liquor controversy growing in the province. A decision was also made in the legislature to hold a plebiscite to establish a compulsory egg marketing board. That plebiscite was originally to be held in June 1957, but Leonard Halmrast the Minister of Agriculture decided to hold at a similar date to liquor plebiscite so that Egg producers could be enumerated at the same time as voters for the liquor plebiscite to save costs.[2] That decision later led to controversy when numerous producers were missed after the plan was defeated in a close vote.[3]

Question B[edit]

In Calgary, and Edmonton, as well as the parts of Gleichen, Banff-Cochrane and Clover Bar, that were within the Calgary and Edmonton city limits, a second question was put on the ballot asking if "mixed drinking" should be permitted in beer parlours. Men and women had not been allowed to drink together in Albertan bars since 1928, four years after Prohibition has been repealed.

Results and impact[edit]

The province-wide question on new liquor store locations saw mixed results across the province: the more conservative rural areas voted overwhelmingly against, and urban areas voted overwhelmingly for. After the votes were counted, the "for" side won the plebiscite by a wide margin. The second question regarding mixed drinking in the major cities passed with an almost 4 to 1 margin. This was the second province-wide plebiscite in Alberta's history, and cost the province $355,309.62 to run.

The Alberta government abolished gender-based segregation of bars in the rest of the province (without an additional plebiscite) in 1967.

Plebiscite results[edit]

October 30, 1957 Alberta liquor plebiscite results[4]
Question A: Do you approve additional types of outlets for the sale of beer, wine and spirituous liquor subject to a local vote?
Totals For % Against % Total Votes For/Against Rejected Eligible Turn Out
171,786 63.92% 96,963 36.08% 268,749 For 33/17 2,528 580,893 46.70%
Question B1: Should mixed drinking be allowed in beer parlours in Calgary and the surrounding areas?
Question B2: Should mixed drinking be allowed in beer parlours in Edmonton and the surrounding areas?
Totals For % Against % Total Votes For/Against Rejected Eligible Turn Out
B1 Total 49,789 81.13% 11,578 18.87% 61,367 For 3/0 379 115,247 53.58%
B2 Total 49,721 76.09% 15,625 23.91% 65,346 For 2/0 657 129,599 50.93%
B Combined 99,510 78.53% 27,203 21.47% 126,713 For 5/0 1,036 244,846 52.18%
Results Breakdown by District
District Name For % Against % Total Votes For/Against Rejected Eligible Turn Out
Acadia-Coronation A 1,526 53.92% 1,304 46.08% 2,830 For 48 5,404 53.26%
Alexandra A 908 46.60% 1,083 54.40% 1,991 Against 20 5,963 33.73%
Athabasca A 1,161 64.11% 650 35.89% 1,811 For 62 5,774 32.44%
Banff-Cochrane A 2,324 78.33% 643 21.67% 2,967 For 37 6,237 48.16%
B1 115 87.12% 17 12.88% 132 For 0 242 54.55%
Bonnyville A 1,716 66.05% 882 33.95% 2,598 For 31 6,988 37.62%
Bow Valley-Empress A 1,818 54.86% 1,496 45.14% 3,314 For 11 6,341 52.44%
Bruce A 980 36.69% 1,691 63.31% 2,671 Against 21 6,108 44.07%
Calgary A 47,382 77.41% 13,830 22.59% 61,212 For 391 114,986 53.57%
B1 49,669 81.12% 11,561 18.88% 61,230 For 379 114,986 53.58%
Camrose A 1,378 32.84% 2,818 67.16% 4,196 Against 12 7,721 54.50%
Cardston A 473 20.94% 1,786 79.06% 2,259 Against 13 4,296 52.89%
Clover Bar A 3,035 67.87% 1,437 32.13% 4,472 For 75 9,655 47.10%
B2 1,076 88.78% 136 11.22% 1,212 For 35 2,320 53.75%
Cypress A 1,090 44.87% 1,339 55.13% 2,429 Against 18 5,361 46.64%
Didsbury A 1,356 40.88% 1,961 59.12% 3,317 Against 34 6,535 51.28%
Drumheller A 1,597 62.70% 950 37.30% 2,547 For 14 5,377 47.63%
Edmonton A 46,219 71.98% 17,994 28.02% 64,213 For 620 127,279 50.94%
B2 48,645 75.85% 15,485 24.15% 64,134 For 622 127,279 50.88%
Edson A 2,222 82.08% 485 17.92% 2,707 For 17 7,823 34.82%
Gleichen A 1,440 61.02% 920 38.98% 2,360 For 13 4,885 48.58%
B1 5 100.00% 0 0.00% 5 For 0 19 26.32%
Grande Prairie A 1,462 58.57% 1,034 41.43% 2,496 For 9 8,907 28.12%
Grouard A 1,388 69.99% 595 30.01% 1,983 For 48 8,426 24.10%
Hand Hills A 1,669 57.87% 1,215 42.13% 2,884 For 19 5,504 52.74%
Lac La Biche A 1,059 66.15% 542 33.85% 1,601 For 9 4,678 34.42%
Lac Ste. Anne A 1,507 70.16% 641 29.84% 2,148 For 54 6,482 33.97%
Lacombe A 1,205 37.47% 2,011 62.53% 3,216 Against 52 6,302 51.86%
Leduc A 1,701 62.95% 1,001 37.05% 2,702 For 10 6,996 38.77%
Lethbridge A 4,012 49.34% 4,119 50.66% 8,131 Against 66 15,974 51.32%
Little Bow A 1,584 51.50% 1,492 48.50% 3,076 For 1 5,715 53.84%
Macleod A 1,892 49.78% 1,909 50.22% 3,801 Against 46 7,476 51.46%
Medicine Hat A 2,728 50.04% 2,724 49.96% 5,452 For 98 12,586 44.10%
Okotoks-High River A 2,088 62.18% 1,270 37.82% 3,358 For 33 6,602 51.36%
Olds A 1,164 38.24% 1,880 61.76% 3,044 Against 32 7,332 41.95%
Peace River A 1,871 68.09% 877 31.91% 2,748 For 14 10,020 27.57%
Pembina A 1,375 52.12% 1,263 47.88% 2,638 For 75 7,240 37.47%
Pincher Creek-Crowsnest A 1,656 65.87% 858 34.13% 2,514 For 9 6,009 41.99%
Ponoka A 1,280 46.04% 1,500 53.96% 2,780 Against 53 6,317 44.88%
Red Deer A 3,565 56.88% 2,703 43.12% 6,268 For 80 14,151 44.86%
Redwater A 1,589 76.28% 494 23.72% 2,083 For 17 5,838 35.97%
Rocky Mountain House A 1,286 52.58% 1,160 47.42% 2,446 For 7 5,950 41.23%
Sedgewick A 1,362 44.39% 1,706 55.61% 3,068 Against 9 5,921 51.97%
Spirit River A 762 53.81% 654 46.19% 1,416 For 29 6,160 23.46%
St. Albert A 2,546 70.27% 1,077 29.73% 3,623 For 92 8,184 45.39%
St. Paul A 1,321 58.40% 941 41.60% 2,262 For 18 6,080 37.50%
Stettler A 1,765 49.82% 1,785 50.28% 3,550 Against 9 6,743 52.78%
Stony Plain A 2,372 72.01% 922 27.99% 3,294 For 38 8,663 38.64%
Taber A 941 32.86% 1,923 67.14% 2,864 Against 35 6,627 43.75%
Vegreville A 1,187 56.04% 931 43.96% 2,118 For 32 5,795 37.10%
Vermillion A 1,258 53.92% 1,075 46.08% 2,333 For 15 5,758 40.79%
Wainwright A 1,631 49.35% 1,674 50.65% 3,305 Against 33 6,897 48.40%
Warner A 762 35.26% 1,399 64.74% 2,161 Against 21 5,197 41.99%
Wetaskiwin A 1,773 48.78% 1,892 51.62% 3,665 Against 9 7,650 48.03%
Willingdon A 1,400 76.63% 427 23.37% 1,827 For 19 5,979 30.88%

References[edit]

  1. ^ "A Plebiscite". Vol L No 88 (The Lethbridge Herald). March 25, 1957. p. 4. 
  2. ^ "No Plebiscite on Egg Plan This Month". Vol L No 145 (The Lethbridge Herald). June 1, 1957. p. 8. 
  3. ^ "New Vote Asked Following Defeat of Egg Plebiscite". Vol LI No 3 (The Lethbridge Herald). December 13, 1957. p. 8. 
  4. ^ Alberta Gazette 53 (December 31 ed.). Government of Alberta. 1957. pp. 2,247–2,249. 

External links[edit]