The plans for the new Toronto casino have crumbled in a pretty spectacular way. In a crushing defeat, the Toronto casino was sent to the dustbin of history with a vote of 38-6! What is most impressive about the story is that grassroots Canadians are credited with making it happen. Regular Canadians, worried about the health of families, concerned about the ability of small and mid-size businesses being able to compete with casinos and disgusted by the cruelty of governments making incredible sums of money off of addicts, these Canadians took the time to let their councillors know, they took the time to call or write, they took the time to engage in municipal hearings, to engage the media and to learn to speak about the issue intelligently. And they won! Together with councillors like Mike Layton, who heard their concerns, the casino was halted. (Read the National Post story here)
Now with Toronto out of the game, the big casino lobby (they are big and they have lots of money!) will turn their attention to other areas: Hamilton, Ottawa, Kitchener and other places. But we can win there too! And we can take this fight to the province as well, telling our MPPs and Premier that the government should not be in the business of bookies, profiteers, hustlers, and swindlers. They should focus on a failing health system, a broken public education system, and a lethargic justice system, not the casino business.