NDP, PC Want Ontarians To Be Heard

Published: February 26, 2013 02:29 pm EST

On Tuesday, February 26 during question period in the Ontario Legislature, Essex MPP Taras Natyshak (New Democratic Party) called on Premier Kathleen Wynne to halt the privatization of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. and to give communities a say in planning casino openings.

“The Premier has repeatedly said that she wants to create a new relationship and to start listening to the people of Ontario, but, in reality, she’s not listening to communities like Hamilton, Kingston and Toronto when they say they want a chance to decide if they want casinos,” said Natyshak. “The OLG is moving full steam ahead with privatizing gambling without giving communities an opportunity to have their own say.”

Natyshak urged the Premier to allow local referendums on casino locations, and stressed the impact the OLG privatization is having on the horse racing industry.

“The OLG plan to privatize is having an adverse effect on people in urban and rural Ontario. The cancellation of the slots-at-racetracks partnership caused a 50% reduction in sales at last year’s yearling auction, which has crippled a once-world-class breeding industry,” said Natyshak.

“The transition panel report stated in black and white that about 20,000-30,000 jobs—people work full-time-in the horse-racing industry, and many of these jobs will be lost,” explained Natyshak, asking, “Can the Premier tell us why she’s so determined to push casinos on communities that don’t want them and take jobs and investments away from communities that desperately need them?”

It wasn't just the NDP that called out the Ontario Liberals for barrelling full-steam ahead with its gaming modernization plan

On Monday, February 25, Steve Clark, the Progressive Conservative MPP for Leeds-Grenville, accused Premier Wynne as positioning as though Ontarians have a say in terms of gaming in their communities, when in fact they do not.

The following is Clark's Members Statement in the Legislature from Monday, February 25:

"I rise to call on the Premier to keep her promise that Ontarians get a say before a casino comes to their community. She needs to listen, because that’s not happening in eastern Ontario.

"Kingston council and OLG are pursuing a new casino that would devastate two communities in my riding and go against the will of the vast majority of Kingstonians.

"The front page headline in Saturday’s Whig-Standard shouted what’s in the hearts and minds of Kingston residents: “Poll shows 60% oppose casino.” This poll also showed an astounding 78% insist citizens get the final say in a referendum—not OLG, not city council, but the people. I remind the Premier that these people agree with the three members of her cabinet who supported our casino referendum bill.

"I would like to thank both the town of Gananoque and the township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands for their support. For 10 years, their communities have had a great partnership with OLG and the 1000 Islands casino. Both sides prospered. I want to thank the two councils for their great growth plan for the future.

"Instead, OLG is determined to plunder this casino from two communities who welcomed it with 59% and 62% support in a referendum and take it to a city where 60% don’t want it. Speaker, that is wrong, so I join Mayors Demchuk and Kinsella, their councils and their residents and the people of Kingston in calling on the Premier to ensure it doesn’t happen. Don’t let OLG break your promise, Premier, by forcing a casino on Kingston."

(With files from the Ontario NDP Party and Ontario PC Party)



Max Cordon you are correct with your first statement. The liberals had so many bright people running for the premier's job and we end up with Kathleen Wynne. We have patience, we can vote them out in the next election. Hope it is sooner rather than later. Bruce T. Winning

PS Liberals do not have the stuff to tell the truth.

Government policies are supposed to promote business, industry and agriculture. Queen's park it seems is not on this path. They have killed the automotive and many other industries including agriculture and mining. Plant closures are in the news every month. If they want more $$'s they just increase taxes. It is high time they started reducing overhead. Lets start with Paul Godfrey, the extra five people in this present cabinet, and the high salaries at Ontario Hydro. Those in power just have to say no to employees with their hand out. We do not have the money. Now I have said it. sincerely Bruce T. Winning

I would suggest to the MPP's who seem to be supportive of our Industry to lodge a formal complaint with the Integrity Commissioner to investigate Paul Godfrey for a conflict of interest and to have Him removed from His position in the OLG.

It is amazing how many people in Madoc who have no idea who Kathleen Wynne is. This is what the liberal party is counting on, the complacency of the voters of Ontario. They sure know how high their hydro bill is though. This voter plans on making sure anyone who cares to listen just what is going on at Queen's park. Bruce T. Winning

Once again the premier doesn't have a clue!

Anyone see CTV coverage of horse racing on 6:00 pm news? Now it seems it is either care for the elderly or horse racing? Why does this propaganda continue to be fed to the public? Why was no one interviewed that would tell the public the truth? Anyone have an answer?
Lynn and Max

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