TORONTO, Ont. – Fresh off news that OLG would consider a Vaughan casino should Toronto fall through, another community casino meeting took place in Scarborough Saturday afternoon.
Coun. Michael Thompson hosted the community meeting starting at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Parkway Mall Library on Ellesmere Road in Scarborough.
Senior representatives from the OLG, members of ‘No Casino Toronto’ and Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health attended and spoke about the pros and cons of various proposals to build a major casino resort in the city.
The Mayor of Brantford was also there to share his city’s casino experience.
Meanwhile, Toronto’s Mayor Rob Ford says it may be a tight vote when council finally debates whether to gamble on a casino.
“Right now, it’s going to be tight, but yeah, I think the support’s here,” Ford told reporters, Friday. “I just don’t see how anyone can vote against creating 10,000 good paying jobs and millions of dollars of revenue.”
“What that’s going to be, we’re not quite sure. I think it’s a win-win, I don’t see a downside to this.”
Council is expected to debate the casino issue in May. There has been some recent concern about waning support for the project, after the province said Toronto will not get any special deal to host a casino. As a result, some councillors who were on the fence are now leaning toward voting against the project.
Meanwhile, residents of Vaughan are reacting with mixed views to the possibility that the casino will be placed within their city’s borders.
“It would be fine. We wouldn’t have to go to Niagara,” one man told CityNews Channel. “Why not? It brings some revenue, doesn’t it?”
“We have enough casinos everywhere. Whenever we want to go to a casino, we just have a half an hour drive,” said another.
The preferred area for the proposed casino would be at Highway 400 and Steeles. However, Mississauga, Markham and Richmond Hill are also considered prime locations.
Nearby Woodbine Racetrack is concerned how such close competition would affect business, while Mayor Ford does not want to lose the proposal to the 905.
“I’ve always said that if we don’t get the casino, then I’m sure Vaughan or someone else will pick it up. That’s why I’m a supporter of creating 10,000 good paying jobs,” he said.
“Jobs are critical, and the proof’s in the pudding. I’ve been to casinos, I’ve seen how important they are.”