Comment 88304

By Le Chiffre (anonymous) | Posted May 01, 2013 at 17:56:30

COLLINGWOOD — The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation says it won’t foot the bill for a referendum to see if the town’s residents will support a casino.

In a letter on council’s consent agenda, OLG’s director of municipal and community relations Jake Pastore says covering a municipality’s costs to conduct public input isn’t the responsibility of the provincial agency.

“Our mandate requires us to seek municipal consent, though it is entirely up to the municipality to determine how this consultation occurs,” Pastore wrote. “Across the province, we have taken a consistent approach for every potential and current host municipality, and in no municipality have we covered these costs.”

The council passed two motions in March: that it declined to be the host municipality of a 300-slot facility, opting instead to study the opportunity of an integrated resort development; and, that OLG pay for a referendum.

That was a disappointing answer for Councillor Ian Chadwick, who pushed for the OLG to pay the costs of Collingwood consulting its citizens.

“It’s not unexpected, but it is disappointing,” he said. “OLG must be clearly aware that discussion (about expanding gaming opportunities in the province) has been controversial and polarizing.

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