Plebiscite on Retail Cannabis


1,155 voters cast their ballots in the polls, including advanced polls on October 8th, 2020, mail in ballots, and mobile polling stations. That is a voter turnout of just over 36%. Of those 1,155 voters, 692 voted “yes” to the question: “should licensed retail cannabis stores be allowed in Altona?” Read more about the results at

  Yes No Total Votes
Poll 1 226 136 362
Poll 2 197 143 340
Mobile Poll 1 37 62 99
Mobile Poll 2 14 31 45
Advanced Poll 218 91 309
Total 692 463 1155

On January 30, 2020, the Town of Altona received a petition calling for a plebiscite on the retail sale of cannabis within the Town of Altona. The petition made the following statement:

The undersigned persons, being eligible voters of the Town of Altona in the Province of Manitoba, petition council for a plebiscite with the following question:

“Should licensed retail cannabis stores be allowed in Altona?”
– Yes, they should be allowed
– No, they should not be allowed

After extensive review by Town Administration, the petition was deemed sufficient on February 25th, 2020, and Council set a date of May 13, 2020 to hold the plebiscite. Due to the unforeseen events of COVID-19, Council postponed the plebiscite until October 14, 2020.

What is a Plebiscite?
A plebiscite is a direct vote by eligible voters to decide an important public question.

Why is a Plebiscite Being Held On This Issue?
When cannabis was legalized federally in 2018, Manitoba’s legislation (the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Control Act) allowed for a plebiscite to be held in any municipality to prohibit the local sale of cannabis in the municipality. There are a few ways that the legislation states a plebiscite could be held. One option would be for Council to initiate the plebiscite by passing a resolution. Altona’s Council did not do so in 2018, although some other municipalities did. The other method of initiating a plebiscite includes a petition asking for a public vote signed by at least 20% of the electors of the municipality. The petition that was received by Administration in January of 2020 had signatures from at least 20% of the eligible voters in Altona, and was therefore deemed sufficient to hold a plebiscite.
Am I Eligible to Vote?

In order to be eligible to vote, a person must be:

  • at least 18 years old
  • A Canadian Citizen
  • a resident of the Town of Altona for at least six (6) months immediately prior to October 14, 2020 OR the actual registered owner of property in the Town of Altona, for at least the SIX (6) month period immediately prior to October 14, 2020

Any person who is temporarily absent from the Town of Altona (eg. study purposes, extended vacation), has not established Permanent Residency elsewhere, and has not been placed on an electors list in another municipality in Manitoba is eligible to vote, provided that they otherwise meet the above requirements.

How To Vote

Step One: Learn About the Issue

The Town of Altona hosted a live video stream on September 15th, 2020 at 7 pm on the Town of Altona Youtube Channel. “A Conversation About Cannabis” featured discussions among a panel, including Mayor Al Friesen, Police Chief Perry Batchelor, Town CAO Dan Gagné, and Manager of Training and Education at Delta 9 Cannabis, Jehna Grobety.

Step Two: Register to Vote.

The Town of Altona maintains a voters list. If you think that you may not be on the voters list as you have moved, turned 18, or become a Canadian citizen within the last two years, you can register online or at our office.

Step Three: Decide where and when you intend to vote.

Click through the four different options to learn more about voting in person at the polls or via mobile polls, in advance, or by mail-in ballot.

In Person on Voting Day (October 14th, 2020)Mobile Polls on Voting Day (October 14th, 2020)In Person in Advance (October 8th, 2020)By Sealed Envelope Ballot (Mail-In)
If you are voting in person on voting day (October 14th, 2020) here is what you need to know. The polls will be open from 8 am to 8 pm at the Rhineland Pioneer Centre (227 10th Ave NW). Identification is required to vote. You will need to show one piece of government issued photo identification, or at least two other documents that provide proof of identity.

Due to the ongoing threat of COVID-19, you will be required to respect physical distancing and practice excellent hand hygiene at all times while attending the polls. Masks are strongly encouraged, and disposable masks will be provided if you do not have one of your own. You are also welcome to bring your own pencil if you would prefer to.
For the purpose of accommodating persons who are qualified to vote, but reside at a health care facility, a mobile voting station will be set up at the following facilities on voting day, October 14th, 2020:

  1. Gardens on Tenth, 140 10th Avenue NE, Altona, MB between 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  2. Eastview Place, 240 6th Street NE, Altona, MB between 10:45 a.m. and 11:45 a.m.
  3. Buffalo Apartments, 60 Buffalo Trail SW, Altona, MB between 1:00 p.m. and 2:45 p.m.
  4. The Poplars, 116 Centre Avenue SW, Altona, MB between 3:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
  5. Centre Courts, 122 Centre Avenue SE, Altona, MB between 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.
  6. Centre Point Plaza, 56 Centre Avenue SE, Altona, MB between 9:45 a.m. and 10:45 a.m.
  7. Katherina Courts, 115 4th Avenue NE, Altona, MB between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.
  8. Wheatland Estates, 250 2nd Avenue SE, Altona, MB between 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.
  9. Pineview Manor, 15 1st Street SW, Altona, MB between 2:15 p.m. and 3:15 p.m.

Please note, these polls are subject to change if public health orders restrict access to certain locations. If you live in a healthcare facility, and are concerned that mobile polls may be cancelled, please sign up to vote via Mail-In Ballot.

Advanced polls were provided on October 8th, 2020 at the Altona Civic Centre (111 Centre Avenue) from 8 am to 8 pm. Thank you to those who chose to vote early.
A voter who is unable to go in person to the voting place or vote in advance, may apply for a sealed envelope ballot in person at the Altona Civic Centre, in writing by mail at PO Box 1630, Altona, MB, R0G 0B0 or by fax at 204-324-1550.  A voter may apply between September 16th, 2020 and October 11th, 2020.

A voter applying in person may pick up a sealed envelope ballot package at the time of application.  If an application in writing is received by the senior election official before October 2, 2020, the voter will receive a sealed envelope ballot package by regular post.  Otherwise a voter may make alternative delivery arrangements with the senior election official to ensure the ballot can be returned by 8:00 p.m. on voting day.

Step Four: Vote!

Having your say in this issue is your right and responsibility as an Altona voter! We want to hear what you have to say, and this vote is your opportunity to tell us.