Brantford mayor, Chris Friel, spoke at a town-hall meeting in Scarborough this past Saturday. He gave the community his thoughts on the proposed multi-billion dollar downtown Toronto casino and resort.
The casino has been met with controversy ever since it was initially proposed. As it gets closer to the time for a decision to be made, there is still no definitive answer as to what will happen. Friel spoke of his experience with Casino Brantford.
“It is not going to be the most amazing thing ever, but you’re not going to drop into the deepest depths of hell,” Friel said.
He said that a casino is just another industry and will not affect Toronto in a negative way. However, Friel made sure to let the community know that he wasn’t try to persuade them into approving the casino, but rather to keep an open mind.
Friel stated that there is a lot of experience in Ontario with casinos, and it is worth learning from it. He also mentioned that most of the experience within Ontario has been positive.
One of his main points is the amount of money that can be made and jobs that will be created. Since Brantford’s casino opened in the fall of 1999, the city has received $48.8 million. The money has been put to good use, mostly in revitalizing the downtown core.
The proposed Toronto casino would create 12,000 full-time and part-time jobs. However, with any talk of increasing gambling availability in an area, there is some concern of potential problem-gamblers. There are many opinions telling the city what to do and we may be no closer to a conclusion, but at least for Friel, the benefits outweigh the loss.