Clark: Put It In Writing
Amid new revelations of inconsistent statements regarding steps in the process of Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp.'s controversial gaming modernization plan, Hamilton Councillor Brad Clark has stated that he wants the OLG to put the specifics of Hamilton's power in the process in writing.
The news comes courtesy of a report by the Hamilton Spectator. The article explains that the OLG is now saying that if Hamilton Council ultimately decides to vote in favour of the city playing host to casino expansion, it will then also have veto power in the process. Hamilton would be able to veto prospective gaming operators that are selected via the OLG's Request For Proposal process.
As the Hamilton Spectator article explains, this development is new according to Clark and other councillors, and that is why Clark wants the veto option recorded in some sort of official document regarding the process.
According to the Hamilton Spectator, Clark said the fact that Hamilton holds veto power over the process is "very new" and that he questioned the OLG at length over it, "but there doesn’t seem to be anything that I can see anywhere in writing that would give us that (veto power).”
Hamilton Councillor Sam Merulla, who has consistently called the OLG out over its modernization process, has been cited by the Hamilton Spectator as saying that the OLG is 'flying by the seat of their pants' in terms of modernization.
“They’ve been inconsistent, unpredictable and, frankly, creating chaos in this community and other communities in Ontario,” said Merulla, who the Hamilton Spectator also quoted as saying ‘we need to have an actual plan, and not something written in sand.”
Although Clark and Merulla appear to be on the same page when it comes to questioning the OLG modernization process, the report states that the two are not necessarily aligned when it comes to Flamboro Downs. Merulla is planning on introducing a motion in Council on Thursday, February 14 calling for Flamboro Downs to be the only Hamilton location to be considered for casino expansion. Clark is also a proponent of a casino resort complex coming to the Flamborough racetrack, but said that specific concerns in regard to the zoning of the area should be addressed before anything else.
(With files from the Hamilton Spectator)