Toronto councillor blasts OLG's 'stupid' pro-casino comment

Toronto Councillor Adam Vaughan



TORONTO - Toronto Coun. Adam Vaughan cashed in Tuesday on comments Ontario Lottery and Gaming chairman Paul Godfrey made about Toronto's downtown.

With the city poised to hold its first public meeting on a possible Toronto casino Wednesday, Vaughan seized on a comment Godfrey made in a speech to business leaders that the city's downtown "is not a residential neighbourhood."

In a letter to Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan, Vaughan objected to Godfrey's "stupid comment" and stressed "hundreds of thousands of people" live in the downtown.

Vaughan has been waging war against the prospect of a casino coming into the downtown core.

"These communities deserve not only to be recognized by your government and its appointees, but their rights and quality of life deserve the same consideration as Mr. Godfrey's neighbours and friends," Vaughan wrote.

"Perhaps on the other hand, Mr. Godfrey is right. Residential neighbourhoods are not appropriate places for casinos and expanded gambling. If this is true, then please make sure no casino is built downtown."

"Perhaps my definition of a residential neighbourhood is different," Godfrey said in a statement.

"I wouldn't put a sports stadium like the ACC in the middle of homes in Swansea or strike up a sky-scraping hotel on the Danforth. But those things fit well in a vibrant downtown and are accepted by the people that choose to live there.

"We at OLG believe the same can be said of a major gaming entertainment centre that could boost tourism, benefit businesses and generate revenue for the city and the province."

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