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Toronto’s Casino Debate is Back On

By petition a majority of councillors overturn the mayor and reinstate city council's casino meeting.

casino gambling addiction 1

It was only yesterday that Mayor Rob Ford proclaimed proposals for a Toronto casino “dead.” In the wake of the province’s foot-dragging on the issue, and reluctance to commit to giving the city the $100 million Ford thought was a “fair share” of the gambling revenue any new facility would bring in, the mayor abruptly cancelled the special city council meeting that had been scheduled to debate the issue on Tuesday, May 21.

Twenty-four hours later, a majority of councillors have signed a petition that will overturn the mayor and reinstate the meeting, ensuring that council holds its debate after all. The goal: clearly vote the casino proposal down, rather than follow the mayor’s preferred course and hold off on making any decision at all. Councillor Mike Layton (Ward 19, Trinity-Spadina) called reporters together to announce the news late this afternoon. We haven’t seen the list of signatories, but he said the councillors on the list represent a range of political views on council, united by the desire to have a clear decision on the issue.

City council will meet as originally scheduled on Tuesday, starting at 9:30 a.m. The full text of Layton’s letter announcing the petition follows.

Councillor Reinstate Casino Meeting by Torontoist


  • HotDang

    Ah yes… It will be nice to have some closure on this issue. Nice work by Mike Layton arranging this.

  • Mark_G56

    As long as it is a clear motion and not another clusterf**k like the last transit debate over recommending revenue tools to Metrolinx.

  • GTA MOVE Network

    Since a majority of councillors appear to be against a downtown casino, one wonders if a last-minute push for Woodbine might draw the attention of council. In this case I don’t think any councillors have their own pet casino projects so it won’t turn out like the recent transit debate.

    If council endorses a casino at Woodbine I’d like to see a plan to extend the Finch West LRT line from Humber College down to the Airport via Woodbine.

    • PlantinMoretus

      The City has no say at all in WHERE a casino would go.

      • GTA MOVE Network

        Not exactly…they can make recommendations to the OLG and if those recommendations aren’t accepted they can use multiple avenues to refuse to allow construction … in the long term they would probably lose but the OLG and provincial government would not want the political risk.

        Toronto City Hall staff have recommended two potential zones for casinos/integrated resorts and Woodbine is in one of those zones and is an obvious site.

        • PlantinMoretus

          Nope, that’s not how it works. The City only has a yes/no choice. The OLG can blow off any recommendations the City makes. The City cannot refuse construction for any legal business that meets zoning requirements etc. There is no risk of the OLG losing at the OMB.

    • Treptower

      Yeah that Finch extension has a high probability of happening.. somewhere between the years 2095-2100.

      • GTA MOVE Network

        Hahaha well hopefully my son will tell me about it on my deathbed.

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