Now known as the province with the worst record for impaired driving, Saskatchewan was once entirely dry for nearly a decade.
University of Regina associate professor Bill Brennan is scheduled to speak about the province’s nine-year alcohol ban, which started in 1916, at the Knox-Metropolitan United Church Tuesday.
On Gormley Thursday, Brennan explained the prohibition was brought into effect largely due to patriotic feelings during the First World War.
“Canada was being asked to contribute the best of its manhood to serve in the armed forces overseas and provide people in European countries with food stocks and making liquor just didn’t make sense in those circumstances,” Brennan said.
Brennan said the feeling was that crops could be better served in other ways other than making liquor.
There was a lot of support to ban alcohol, which was reinforced when then-premier Walter Scott announced he would let the people of Saskatchewan vote on the issue.
This vote was also the first time women were allowed to cast a ballot in the province.
But Brennan noted there were issues that arose as each province can determine their own rules when it comes to regulating booze.
“If you were wealthy enough, you could buy a whole case of liquor and have it delivered to you from Winnipeg or from Calgary.”
A petition in 1924 received enough signatures to have a vote the following year to overturn the prohibition.