Eric Rennie

Abstract
While legislation in Ontario prohibited the sale and consumption of alcohol between 1916 and 1927, attitudes of citizens did not always reflect policy. In this paper, the City of Ottawa is used as a case study to show divergent attitudes towards prohibition. The letters to the editor section in the Ottawa Evening Citizen in the days leading up to a referendum on prohibition in 1924 is analyzed to show that many citizens – as much as one third – wrote into the paper opposed to the legislation. Moreover, this paper uses statistics to show that many bars in Hull, Quebec – directly across from Ottawa, and a place where prohibition was in effect only for a short period of time – were frequented by outsiders, and most of the crime in the city was committed by visitors. The crime, drunkenness and disorderly conduct facing Hull were not the result of the different attitude towards the consumption of liquor in Quebec; rather visitors from Ottawa took advantage of Quebec‘s more liberal policies of alcohol control and fostered the problems facing Hull. Legislation in Ontario certainly did not reflect many popular beliefs of citizens of Ottawa.

Résumé
Bien que la vente et la consommation de l‘alcool fussent interdites à Ottawa entre 1916 à 1927 par la loi de prohibition, il semble que les citoyens aient tenté de contourner cette politique entre autres en passant de l‘autre côté de la rivière des Outaouais pour se rendre dans la ville voisine appartenant à une autre province. Cet article développe une étude de cas sur les comportements des résidents de la ville d‘Ottawa pendant cette période. Inspiré par un article d‘André Cellard d‘une part et par les théories de la frontière d‘autre part, cette étude de cas vise à compléter par des statistiques et une étude des lettres à l‘éditeur du The Ottawa Evening Citizen le portrait des comportements reliés à l‘alcool de chaque côté de la rivière des Outaouais. La ville de Hull, au Québec, était alors connue pour être « un petit Chicago »… l‘ivresse sur la voie publique et la conduite contraire aux bonnes moeurs n‘étaient pas le résultat des attitudes des seuls résidants de Hull mais impliquaient souvent des visiteurs du soir venus d‘Ottawa.

Biography
Eric Rennie is in his final year of the honours program in Political Science at Carleton University, where he is focusing on Canadian politics. He has a keen interest in political institutions, having worked for the House of Commons of Canada and the Library of Parliament. He recently spent a year gaining a comparative understanding of the Westminster system of government by interning for a Canadian Member of Parliament in Ottawa and a British Member of Parliament in London, England. His interests include government policy and the interpretation of Canadian culture and heritage.

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