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1894 Ontario prohibition plebiscite

An Ontario prohibition plebiscite was held on January 1, 1894, in conjunction with municipal elections under the Prohibition Plebiscite Act, on the legality of alcoholic beverages and the implementation of prohibition. Though the plebiscite passed, the results were non-binding and prohibition would not occur in Ontario until 1916.

Plebiscite questionEdit

Are you in favour of the immediate prohibition by law of the importation, manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquors as a beverage?


Response # of votes polled % of votes polled
Yes 192,489 63.5
No 110,720 36.5
Total 303,209 100.0

Though unmarried women and widows were permitted to vote in the plebiscite, they voted in a ballot of a different colour (blue for women, yellow for men).

Provincial prohibition, though having majority support, would face another roadblock in 1896 when the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council determined that provinces do not have the authority to prohibit the importation of alcohol.

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