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Tory open to expanded gaming at Woodbine

Mayor John Tory said he’s open to discussing expanded gaming at Woodbine Racetrack, especially since the northwest part of the city “desperately needs investment and job creation.”

The comments came during a break from Wednesday’s executive committee meeting and not long before the group voted in favour of a city staff report on the matter.

“I believe that you do look at expanded gaming at Woodbine as a catalyst,” he told reporters, adding he believes the issue of gambling addictions should be treated separately.

“I’m deeply concerned about addictions of all kinds … I think if we want to address the issue of people and their issues with gambling, we should go ahead and do that … separate and apart from what is already going on at Woodbine.”

The proposal was voted down by council in 2013.

The meeting started at 9:30 a.m. at city hall. Watch it at CityNews.ca/live or on 680News.com/livevideo.

Also on the agenda was fixed terms for the city’s ombudsman.

The city manager recommends city council change the ombudsman’s term to a seven-year, non-renewable one.

Currently, the term is five years and is renewable once for an additional five years.

On Monday, Ombudsman Fiona Crean announced she will step down when her term ends in November, citing “extraordinarily harmful debates” in city council concerning her reappointment.

Crean called the reappointment debates “problematic,” adding she supports a staff report recommending a single, lengthened term for the ombudsman — something she’s suggested in the past