Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and Postmedia’s Paul Godfrey, both of whom were key figures in Ontario horse racing politics over the past couple of years, have made the news this week for different reasons.
On Tuesday (Feb. 25), in an article about the Ottawa Senators’ value to the Ottawa region, Mayor Watson was quoted in regard to expanded gaming and the Rideau Carleton Raceway.
The report, by CBC News, explains that the Ottawa Senators and the City of Ottawa have been working well together as of late, partnering on a number of initiatives and activities. The article also shines a light on a recent study which has determined that the National Hockey League franchise plays a very important role in the local economy.
The relationship between the Senators and the City of Ottawa had been strained over the past couple of years, as the issue of expanded casino gaming in the Ottawa area proved to be a galvanizing topic in and around the nation’s capital. Senator’s owner Eugene Melnyk fought vehemently to land casino gaming at the Canadian Tire Centre, while Mayor Watson backed Rideau Carleton Raceway as the only location in the Ottawa area where gaming expansion would be allowed.
CBC News has quoted Mayor Watson as saying that the gaming site-selection process proved to him that there is not a lot of support for a expanded gaming facility.
"There is precious little support for a casino in any part of the city quite frankly and what we ended up doing is extending the status quo at Rideau Carleton Raceway," Mayor Watson was quoted as saying.
In regard to Godfrey, a Tuesday story by the National Post states that the former Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. chair is one of three new co-chairs for the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party’s Toronto Leader’s Dinner.
Godfrey, Tony Miele, Ron Carinci and Steven Hudson are the dinner's four co-chairs.
(With files from CBC News and the National Post)