Communities will have less say in new casinos as Bill 76 dies
25 October 2012
QUEEN’S PARK – Dalton McGuinty once again squashed local opinions on casinos when he selfishly and irresponsibly pulled the plug on the Legislature, killing Bill 76 and a hundred other pieces of legislation, Ontario PC Economic Development and Innovation Critic Monte McNaughton said today.
McNaughton’s Bill 76 – Ensuring Local Voices in New Casino Gambling Development Act, 2012 – would have ensured all municipalities held a local referendum before accepting a casino, helping to prevent further damage inflicted by the McGuinty Liberals when they dropped this requirement and turned their backs on local communities.
“Councilors in communities like Hamilton, Toronto and Ottawa are struggling to make the right decision by their constituents because there’s no clear way for people to voice what they want,” McNaughton stated. “Ensuring Local Voices would have given Ontarians more control over new casinos in their backyards by letting people have their say through referendums.”
More than 100 municipalities, from Gananoque to Smith Falls, have voiced their strong support for the PC casino bill by passing resolutions and providing direct endorsements. The bill was set to pass into law this fall with bipartisan support from the NDP Caucus and Liberal MPPs who knew it was wrong to silence the public on this issue. Liberal supporters included:
- Environment Minister Jim Bradley (St. Catharines);
- Donna Cansfield (Etobicoke Centre);
- Michael Coteau (Don Valley East);
- Dipika Damerla (Mississauga East-Cooksville);
- Monte Kwinter (York Centre);
- Jeff Leal (Peterborough); and
- Shafiq Qaadri (Etobicoke North).
“In the midst of a jobs and debt crisis, the Liberals abandoned Ontarians by shutting down parliament to escape another scandal,” McNaughton said. “They put a government that wasn’t doing its job on autopilot, leaving overspending to continue unchecked and the debt to grow.”
McNaughton went on to say that McGuinty once again showed his arrogance and complete disregard for taxpayers by calling the contempt motion against his government for their $1-billion gas plant boondoggle as ‘phoney, spurious.’
“McGuinty shut down the Legislature and killed the investigations into Ornge and the gas plant fiasco because he was afraid of what we would find,” McNaughton concluded. “McGuinty needs to be accountable for a change, and he needs to immediately recall the House so MPPs can get back to work passing legislation that will positively impact Ontarians.”