Comment 84918

By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted January 09, 2013 at 08:17:30

A poignant opinion piece about the Hamilton casino public consultation process titled “A funny thing happened on the way to the (public) forum” by Graham Crawford has been published in today\s Hamilton Spectator:

Mr. Crawford is to be commended for his efforts in gathering background and lead information about the upcoming public forums on the casino file and presenting them to the Hamilton Spectator readership in a very organized and constructive format.

While my views are largely similar to those expressed by Mr. Crawford, they differ on only two points:

1.“Concern 1: Rush to approve” or “Concern 1: Slow to approve”?

At the Hamilton Board of Health meeting on December 3, 2012, not only was Dr. Richardson’s report titled “Health and Social Impacts of Gambling” not discussed by the Board, the report was merely received, not adopted nor accepted in whole or in part, by the Board and referred to the Gaming Facility Subcommittee. As the Hamilton community hurdles into these two important public forums on the casino file, its Board of Health has not yet taken a formal position on Dr. Richardson’s report.

2.Exclude Great Canadian Gaming From Presenting or Invite All Casino Bidders To Make a Public Presentation at Public Forums

While I agree with Mr. Crawford that Great Canadian Gaming, the operator of Flamboro Downs, is the only casino bidder making a presentation at the public forums and that part of the process seems unfair, the Hamilton community needs to ask Great Canadian Gaming whether the granting of a casino licence to them would ensure the continuation of horse racing at Flamboro Downs. Therefore, in the interest o fairness and full disclosure, rather than excluding Great Canadian Gaming from presenting at the public forums, all of the other casino bidders should come out of the woodwork and also make presentations at the public forums. Hamiltonians and city council need as much as information as they can get and ask as many questions as they can from both the local public health and the economic perspectives before this community can make a fully informed decision on the casino file.

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2013-01-09 08:21:14

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