McNaughton: Bill 76 Waiting To Be Addressed

Published: October 5, 2012 02:10 pm EDT

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. has been making a lot of noise recently with its casino expansion information sessions. Driving full-steam ahead with its prospective locations and revenue-sharing formulas, the OLG brass --- and the Ontario Liberal Government for that matter --- seems to be consciously overlooking the fact that the whole undertaking could be for not.

It is a subject which has seemingly been on the backburner for the last little while, but Bill 76, the private member’s bill introduced this past spring by Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MP Monte McNaughton, does have the ability to tear the blinders off the OLG/Liberal runaway.

McNaughton's Bill 76 would make it necessary for a municipality to hold a referendum before a casino can be built. The OLG --- and therefore, by deduction, the Ontario Liberals --- has stated that it does not support municipal referendums for casino expansion. The OLG has been actively pressuring potential host jurisdictions to make up their minds under short timelines --- timelines which would make it extremely tough to hold a referendum on the issue.

In an article by Peter Hendra in the Kingston Whig-Standard, McNaughton has brought interested readers up to speed on where the bill stands currently.

After having passed first and second readings, McNaughton's bill has reached the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs. The MP has explained that the committee has yet to vote on the bill, as it has not assembled since the summer recess.

“I think, according to OLG’s numbers and the Ministry of Finance, that they’re wanting to raise almost $3 billion a year from casinos," the report has quoted McNaughton as saying." I think, before they take that much out of the economy, there needs to be some kind of process, and, in my opinion, there needs to be some sort of process, and a referendum, in my opinion, is the right one.

“Other than that, leave the gaming facilities where they’re at, because at least (in) those communities, they’ve been there for a long time.”

McNaughton is not the only one that is calling for the Ontario Liberals to take a firm hold of the OLG. Speaking about the pressured timelines that the OLG has imposed on potential host municipalities that are dependent on gaming revenue, Ontario New Democratic Party Leader Andrea Horwath recently spoke out on the situation.

“I think the most egregious (part) about the situation that cities and towns find themselves in right now with the OLG’s modernization plan is that they’re backed into a corner,” a report by the Toronto Sun has quoted Horwath as saying. “They are being forced to make decisions on OLG timelines as opposed to community timelines.”

Horwath didn't stop there, as she called out the reigning minority Liberals on their handling of the provincial agency.

“I think that is where the Liberals have shown no leadership whatsoever and, in fact, have been allowing the OLG to create havoc in communities across Ontario,” she said.

“It’s something that the Liberal government should have been more direct about, and I believe they still can. In fact, I believe the minister should put a directive to the OLG to back off the pressure tactics to give communities the respect they deserve to make those decisions.”

(With files from the Kingston Whig-Standard and the Toronto Sun)



“I think that is where the Liberals have shown no leadership whatsoever and, in fact, have been allowing the OLG to create havoc in communities across Ontario,” this is so true, I also believe the Ontario Liberals are out of control. To quote Dwight Duncan, "they are mired in mud and waste!" Bill 76 needs to be addressed Immediately. PLEASE

There's nothing new in this. It's not a modernization plan..IT'S A PRIVATIZATION PLAN ????Godfrey has a agenda to downsize the racing and upside the BINGO AND OFFTRACK BETTING AT TANENBAMS casinos..HE STATED THAT AT HIS OLG conference six months out Godfrey the horsemen are not going to take this lying down..

I believe Andrea Horwath is correct in that the subject communities, should the community deems it appropriate, have the option of holding a referendum on the subject of full blown casinos and their location as these things may end up bankrupting the local community or at least costing the people in the community a ton of money. Bruce T. Winning Remember The Budget which the NDP abstained from voting on contained the idea that no referendum on the casino issue was necessary for the OLG to install a casino in any community is Ontario.

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