Re: Watson's casino media release
Interesting to see how Mayor Watson is framing this issue, knowing full well that many Ottawa residents oppose his desire for a downtown casino.
I certainly do.
As the capital of Canada, I don’t believe it is appropriate for a gambling facility to be built within walking distance of Ottawa’s legislative assemblies (Parliament Hill and Ottawa City Hall) or our Courts (Supreme Court of Canada and Ottawa Court House).
We already have a gambling facility at the Rideau Carleton Raceway. It makes more sense to expand that facility first before considering another location.
Expanding the Rideau Carleton Raceway brings the added benefit of saving the horse racing industry, rather than killing it. An industry which already accounts for many Ottawa area jobs. Replacing well paying jobs with minimum wage jobs is a net loss and will not help the City’s economy. By expanding Rideau Carleton, new jobs will be added to the existing workforce, resulting in a net positive for Ottawa’s economy.
Besides, I defy anyone to find a local community that will welcome a casino in their neighborhood. Despite Dwight Duncan’s statements to the contrary, I have never heard ANY community say they would like ‘better access to gambling’ in their neighborhoods. Its a strange statement for an elected official to make, especially when there is amble proof gambling is addictive, destructive to family life and can result in financial ruin.