Public presents its views on a Toronto casino

Pro casino workers from Woodbine Racetrack demonstrate outside Toronto City Hall Monday April 15, 2013 
Mayor Rob Ford meets with pro-casino union workers in the lobby of city hall. April 15,2013

Mayor Rob Ford meets with pro-casino union workers in the lobby of city hall. April 15,2013

An organization representing labour groups in the GTA says a casino in Toronto will help the city grow.

The Executive Committee at Toronto City Hall met Monday with about 100 residents whose opinions differed on the potential for a Toronto Casino.

Dozens of activists and concerned citizens crowded into Toronto City Hall’s tiny committee room to present their arguments for and against the casino.

Both sides of the discussion were equally represented. John Mandarino, director of the Liuna Canadian Tri-fund, which supports labour unions, spoke in favour of the casino.

“We support the project because it represents a real opportunity for Toronto to continue the momentum of growth,” he said. “We also see the project as an important building block.”

Some of those in favour of the casino disagree, however, where it should be located.

John Holmes represented a group of employees from the Woodbine Entertainment group. He’s encouraging Executive Committee to have the casino located at Woodbine Racetrack.

Charles Finlay of Social Planning Toronto spoke against the introduction of a casino. He cited economic and social concerns.

“Social Planning Toronto believes that a Casino Resort, as proposed in downtown Toronto, will cause significant harm (to Toronto’s economy),” he said.

Todd Hofley, president of Liberty Village Residents’ Association, said that residents of Liberty Village, a community soon to be 20,000 people, do not want the casino anywhere near them.

“We are reasonable people. We’ve looked at all of the available evidence, pro and con,” he said. “We have firmly come to the conclusion that a casino and resort is not appropriate to the kind of Toronto you have been building and selling to the world for the last 10 years.”

The meeting is set to resume at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow.

About this article

By: Dillon Hiles
Posted: Apr 16 2013 12:23 pm
Filed under: News