On Tuesday, October 2, Ottawa City Council will be listening to the public's feelings regarding the possibility of full-blown casino gaming being introduced to the city's urban quarters. In advance of the session and the subsequent council vote, which is to take place later that day, the National Capital Region Harness Horse Association has taken out a full-page ad in a local paper to get its point across.
The NCRHHA, which represents local individuals that compete at Rideau Carleton Raceway, ran its ad in the Sunday edition of the Ottawa Sun, asking those who are against a new casino to call their councillor and tell them they “oppose making downtown Ottawa look more like downtown Las Vegas.”
The NCRHHA also informing the public about the situation through the website unluckyottawa.ca.
As it has been in every area affected by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp.'s gaming modernization plan, the polarizing issue has caused a great deal of debate amongst individuals on both sides of the topic.
Progressive Conservative MPP Lisa MacLeod has been a strong proponent of the slots-at-racetracks program, and has gone to bat for the industry in the Ontario Legislature with her private members motion. She recently got into a heated back-and-forth on Twitter about the controversial topic with Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, who is backing the idea of Ottawa being a willing host to an urban casino expansion.
Macleod has since issued an open letter to her followers that encourages them to contact Ontario Auditor Jim McCarter in regard to the review of the OLG; Liberal Government House Leader John Milloy to call for the third reading of Monte McNaughton's bill regarding mandatory referendums prior to casino decisions; and to Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson in order for there to be a transparent and fair process before a decision is made in regard to a casino in urban Ottawa.
The complete information regarding Tuesday's public meeting appears below, followed by the contents of the NCRHHA's full-page ad in the Ottawa Sun.
• Tuesday, October 2
• Ottawa City Hall - Andrew S. Haydon Hall
• 9:30 a.m.
• Diane Blais
• 613-580-2424 (Ext. 28091)
• [email protected]
Three in 5 Ottawa residents believe it is important that the government not threaten the 60,000 jobs that benefit from the Slots-at-Racetracks Program.* So why is Mayor Jim Watson helping his Toronto friends push a casino in downtown Ottawa?
Fifty-nine per cent of Ottawa residents disapprove of the government of Ontario’s plan to build more casinos.* However, that doesn’t appear to be stopping our Mayor from pressing the idea at Council this month.
Sixty-one per cent of Ottawa residents approve of expanding gaming at racetracks by adding tables such as Roulette, Blackjack and Poker.* In May 2011, Ottawa City Council voted 20-3 to allow the Rideau Carleton Raceway to add gaming tables. Now Mayor Watson is pushing to build a full-blown casino in the middle of our city.
The Rideau Carleton Raceway sustains hundreds of jobs in our area and has provided more than $45 million in revenue to City Hall in the last 10 years. If Mayor Watson and his Toronto associates want more gaming profits in Ottawa, they should listen to residents and Council and expand gaming at the Rideau Carleton Raceway.
If you oppose making downtown Ottawa look more like downtown Las Vegas, call your city councillor and tell them to vote ”NO” to a new casino in our city. Decisions about what happens in Ottawa should stay in Ottawa.
Mayor Jim Watson - 613-580-2496
Stephen Blais (Ward 19 — Cumberland) 613-580-2489
Rainer Bloess (Ward 2 — Innes) 613-580-2472
David Chernushenko (Ward 17 - Capital) 613-580-2487
Rick Chiarelli (Ward 8 — College) 613-580-2478
Peter Clark (Ward 13 — Rideau Rockcliffe) 613-580-2483
Diane Deans (Ward 10 — Gloucester-Southgate) 613-580-2480
Steve Desroches (Ward 22 — Gloucester-South Nepean) 613-580-2751
Keith Egli (Ward 9 — Knoxville-Merivale) 613-580-2479
Eli El-Chantiry (Ward 5 — West Carleton-March) 613-580-2475
Mathieu Fleury (Ward 12 — Rideau Vanier) 613-580-2482
Jan Harder (Ward 3 — Barrhaven) 613-580-2473
Katherine Hobbs (Ward 15 — Kitchissippi) 613-580-2485
Diane Holmes (Ward 14 — Somerset) 613-580-2484
Allan Hubley (Ward 23 — Kanata South) 613-580-2752
Peter Hume (Ward 18 — Alta Vista) 613-580-2488
Maria McRae (Ward 16 — River) 613-580-2486
Scott Moffatt (Ward 21 — Rideau-Goulbourn) 613-580-2491
Bob Monette (Ward 1 — Orléans) 613-580-2471
Shad Qadri (Ward 6 — Stittsville) 613-580-2476
Mark Taylor (Ward 7 — Bay) 613-580-2477
Tim Tierney (Ward 11 — Beacon Hill-Cyrville) 613-580-2481
Doug Thompson (Ward 20 — Osgoode) 613-580-2490
Marianne Wilkinson (Ward 4 — Kanata North) 613-580-2474
(* - Results from a Forum Poll that was conducted September 6, 2012 among a randomly selected sample of 1,086 Ottawa residents 18 years of age and older. The poll has a margin of error ± 3%, 19 times out of 20.)
Ad sponsored by the National Capital Region Harness Horse Association.