Quebec prohibition referendum, 1919

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The Quebec referendum on the prohibition of alcohol, held on April 10, 1919, [1] considered the legalization of the sale of beer, cider and wine in the province of Quebec, Canada. The 'yes' side won with 78.62% of the votes.

Beer alcoholic drink

Beer is one of the oldest and most widely consumed alcoholic drinks in the world, and the third most popular drink overall after water and tea. Beer is brewed from cereal grains—most commonly from malted barley, though wheat, maize (corn), and rice are also used. During the brewing process, fermentation of the starch sugars in the wort produces ethanol and carbonation in the resulting beer. Most modern beer is brewed with hops, which add bitterness and other flavours and act as a natural preservative and stabilizing agent. Other flavouring agents such as gruit, herbs, or fruits may be included or used instead of hops. In commercial brewing, the natural carbonation effect is often removed during processing and replaced with forced carbonation.

Cider fermented alcoholic beverage from apple juice

Cider is an alcoholic beverage made from the fermented juice of apples. Cider is popular in the United Kingdom and Ireland, especially in the West Country, and widely available. The UK has the world's highest per capita consumption, as well as its largest cider-producing companies. Cider is also popular in many Commonwealth countries, such as India, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Aside from the UK and its former colonies, cider is popular in other European countries including Portugal, France, northern Italy, and Spain. Central Europe also has its own types of cider with Rhineland-Palatinate and Hesse producing a particularly tart version known as Apfelwein. In the U.S. and parts of Canada, varieties of fermented cider are often called hard cider to distinguish alcoholic cider from non-alcoholic "cider" or "sweet cider", also made from apples.

Wine alcoholic drink made from grapes

Wine is an alcoholic drink made from fermented grapes. Yeast consumes the sugar in the grapes and converts it to ethanol, carbon dioxide, and heat. Different varieties of grapes and strains of yeasts produce different styles of wine. These variations result from the complex interactions between the biochemical development of the grape, the reactions involved in fermentation, the terroir, and the production process. Many countries enact legal appellations intended to define styles and qualities of wine. These typically restrict the geographical origin and permitted varieties of grapes, as well as other aspects of wine production. Wines not made from grapes include rice wine and fruit wines such as plum, cherry, pomegranate, currant and elderberry.


The question asked

The question asked in English on the ballot paper was: "Should sale of light beer, cider and wines be allowed?" [2]

In French, the question was: "Êtes-vous d'opinion que la vente des bières, cidres et vins légers, tels que définis par la loi, devrait être permise?" [3]

The results of the vote

178,112 persons (78.62%) voted in favor of the proposal, while 48,433 (21.38%) voted against; proposal was therefore passed with a majority of 129,679 votes. The analysis of the vote by riding reveals that all voted in favour except for seven: Pontiac, Compton, Dorchester, Huntingdon, Brome, Stanstead and Richmond. [3]

Electoral district (Canada) federal or provincial electoral district in Canada

An electoral district in Canada, also known as a "constituency" or a "riding", is a geographical constituency upon which Canada's representative democracy is based. It is officially known in Canadian French as a circonscription, but frequently called a comté (county).

Pontiac is a provincial electoral district in the Outaouais region of Quebec, Canada that elects members to the National Assembly of Quebec. It includes the Aylmer sector of the city of Gatineau as well as the municipalities of Pontiac, Shawville, Fort Coulonge, Sheenboro, Bryson and Waltham.

Compton was a former provincial electoral district in the Estrie region of Quebec, Canada. It elected members to the National Assembly of Quebec.

The result of the vote was that the subsequent prohibition law which became effective on May 1, 1919 only applied to spirits. The victory of the "moderate" prohibitionists over the "radicals" did not have immediate repercussion on the legal sale of alcohol for in 1919, 90% of Quebec municipalities were prohibiting its sale locally. [4] Indeed, Trois-Rivières, Lévis, Lachine, Sainte-Agathe, Louiseville, Sainte-Rose and Terrebonne had voted for local prohibition in 1915, [5] while Quebec City had done the same on October 4, 1917. [6] All these regulations had to be rescinded, one municipality at a time.

Trois-Rivières City in Quebec, Canada

Trois-Rivières is a city in the Mauricie administrative region of Quebec, Canada, at the confluence of the Saint-Maurice and Saint Lawrence rivers, on the north shore of the Saint Lawrence River across from the city of Bécancour. It is part of the densely populated Quebec City–Windsor Corridor and is approximately halfway between Montreal and Quebec City. Trois-Rivières is the economic and cultural hub of the Mauricie region. The settlement was founded by French colonists on July 4, 1634, as the second permanent settlement in New France, after Quebec City in 1608.

Lévis, Quebec City in Quebec, Canada

Lévis is a city in eastern Quebec, Canada, located on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River, opposite Quebec City. A ferry links Old Quebec with Old Lévis, and two bridges, the Quebec and the Pierre Laporte, connect western Lévis with Quebec City.

Lachine, Quebec Borough of Montreal in Quebec, Canada

Lachine is a borough (arrondissement) within the city of Montreal on the Island of Montreal in southwestern Quebec, Canada. It was an autonomous city until 2002.

Prohibition was finally abolished on May 1, 1921 when the Alcoholic Beverages Act creating the Commission des liqueurs du Québec entered into force. [7]

Société des alcools du Québec

The Société des alcools du Québec, often abbreviated and referred to as SAQ, is a provincial Crown corporation in Quebec responsible for the trade of alcoholic beverages within the province.


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Quebec cider

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