Watson Glues A Patch On Casino Issue

Now this is weird.

It wasn’t that long ago that Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation and Premier Kathleen Wynne were on the other side when Mayor Jim Watson wanted a second casino to placate groups (including the Ottawa Senators) that had hoped to bid for a franchise.

Now everybody is singing Kumbaya as the city presents a certificate for the money raised by OLG from slots at Rideau Carleton Raceway.

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Market, Not Tories, Should Decide Racetracks’ Fate

Local Tory MP Lisa MacLeod has been trying to make political hay out of Queen’s Park’s attempts to pull gambling slots out of the province’s racetracks.

That’s a waste of time.

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Bulldog Debates Casino On CFRA



Osgoode Councillor Doug Thompson, who successfully fought for the Ottawa casino to be located at Rideau Carleton Raceway, and Bulldog Ottawa’s Ken Gray formally debated the casino question on Ron Corbett’s CFRA program Unscripted recently.

Gray says the casino issue has been botched and the project should have been tendered while Thompson is happy it landed in his south-end rural part of town. The debate was very heated.

To listen to all the talkin’, use the podcast player below. Hope you enjoy it:

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The Pro-Watson Casino Argument



Mayor Jim Watson hasn’t been receiving a lot of support on Bulldog Ottawa for his handling of the casino issue.

But here’s one person who has Watson’s back … Doug. His comment is worth better play on Bulldog Ottawa:

Easy to judge, Bulldog. The Mayor only has one vote and the vote taken by the Finance Committee was not close. Why do you think that the Mayor wears the decision?

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Did Ottawa Get The Casino Wrong?

Government relations expert and noted politico Walter Robinson asks the question on Twitter that should have been posed at the beginning of long, confused casino debate.

What casino outcome would have been best for Ottawa economically?

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Watson Picks The Wrong Casino Horse


The Ottawa-Gatineau area would be hard-pressed to handle three casinos.

 Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation is governed by economics – not by Mayor Jim Watson’s political problems.

So if OLG says only one casino is viable for Ottawa, one should probably defer to its expertise in the field. Why build two casinos when one will do the trick. As well, Ottawa-Gatineau already has one magnificent casino. Essentially by opting for two Ottawa gaming palaces, the area would then have three.

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Ottawa To Get One Casino, Province Rules



This is a letter from Mayor Jim Watson to Ottawa city councillors and senior city staff:

Dear Council Colleague,

When Council last met on July 17th, I indicated that I would engage with the Province of Ontario to clarify the Province’s and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s position with regards to the proposal that the OLG grandfather the Rideau Carleton Raceway as a gaming facility while creating a second gaming zone for the rest of Ottawa.

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Province’s Casino Letter To Watson

This is a copy of a letter on the province’s position concerning a casino for Ottawa. The letter was provided by the mayor’s office:

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Melnyk Learns How Ottawa Business Is Done

scotiabank place

Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk wanted to put a casino near here.

Hello Eugene Melnyk. Welcome to City of Ottawa process.

And you think the odds are long at a casino.

The Ottawa Senators discovered what Ottawans have been learning for years when it comes to zoning and the official plan. Both are just suggestions despite Mayor Jim Watson’s state of the city speech a few years ago in which he said zoning would stop being a suggestion. Guess that was a suggestion, too.

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Casino Location A Political Bet


A downtown casino might have been a big economic boost to Ottawa.

Bulldog Ottawa spoke privately recently with a city councillor who said Mayor Jim Watson was vulnerable on the casino issue.

The councillor sensed a growing distaste in community for a casino and that the mayor and city staff, in rushing through the casino consultation, were ignoring the wishes of the people. That must have been the case for this mayor, who has repeatedly flown in the face of community wishes, caved on the casino issue. Watson has supported the casino because it falls in place with his far right-wing agenda.

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Watson’s Casino Mistake: Bulldog On CFRA

CFRA’s Rob Snow and Bulldog Ottawa’s Ken Gray discuss how Mayor Jim Watson flip-flopped on the casino because he lost the support of city council.

To list to The Bulldog on CFRA, click the podcast player below.

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The Real Reason Why Watson Changed On Casino

@SouthMarch says the photo below he composed was the real reason that Mayor Jim Watson changed his position on the location of the Rideau Carleton Raceway:

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City Has Role In Casino Location: Kirkpatrick (2)

This is a memo from city manager Kent Kirkpatrick to Ottawa City Council:

To read the document, click on the highlight word below:

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City Plays Part In Locating Casino: OLG (3)

This is the letter city manager Kent Kirkpatrick refers to in his memo to Ottawa City Council.

To read the memo, see below:

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Toronto Rejects Downtown Casino

Proponents of a downtown Ottawa casino took a body blow when Toronto council rejected a gaming operation there.

City council has crushed Mayor Rob Ford’s pitch for 10,000 good-paying jobs by decisively voting against a major downtown casino.

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Location Is Real Casino Issue


Casinos tend to kill restaurants and other entertainment spots near them.

The real question surrounding the proposed Ottawa casino is not how much money will come from it for municipal coffers, it’s location.

Mayor Jim Watson has skilfully shifted the debate from where do you want a casino to how much will it make for the city. But that’s not the real issue. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne says each municipality will be treated equally. So, if she is true to her word, we’ll all get the same deal as Toronto. Now if she doesn’t do that, money becomes a real issue.

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Get $148 Million From Casino: Toronto Report

A Toronto city report says that municipality should receive $148 million as a hosting fee for a new casino there.

This should re-open the debate on how much Ottawa should receive:

If city council opens the door to a downtown Toronto casino resort, it should insist on final approval of the project and an annual hosting fee from the province of up to $148 million, says a hotly awaited report from the city’s top bureaucrat.

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Forget OLG Pennies, Follow The Big Bucks



Just how long does it take the media and the public to realize that Toronto supposedly getting a special deal from OLG on casino revenue is just a way for Mayor Jim Watson to recapture the publicity agenda?

Had people been watching closely, they would have noticed that shortly after Watson said he would not stand for Toronto’s special deal, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said neither would she. So it should have been case closed.

Mayor complains, premier agrees, issue over.

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