A world-class city doesn’t gamble with its downtown

Let your voice be heard at city hall on the casino issue

By Frank Touby –

worldYou will have an opportunity on January 11 as a Downtown resident to express your view on an imminent threat to our city and to your lifestyle. In that role, you’ll be in a lesser position, with less influence, than someone who has been anointed, thanks to former Mayor David Miller, as a lobbyist for big businesses that operate casinos.

Lobbying is a craft that seeks to gain advantage from public officials for private int-erests and sometimes against the public interest. It’s wrong-headed and can lead to horrible consequences for ordinary citizens. Miller actually enabled the questionable practise by spending $1 million of your money to erect a registry so that lobbyists can go forth and try to convince public officials to benefit their paying clients.

Although you have an opportunity every few years to elect politicians who are supposed to oversee the city’s business, that’s hardly an equal footing with a skilled manipulator who earns way more money than most of us.

Ours is a city that lusts after “world class” stature. (The fact is, we’re already there. Don’t tell anyone.) Keep in mind that there is NO world-class North American city that has a casino.

Many Downtown businesses would suffer a ruinous drain of customers. Casinos entomb their customers in forever-daytime, feeding, entertaining, anaesthetizing and housing them—and keeping them away from normal businesses. It would occupy land that could benefit the city and maintain us as world class.

Most Torontonians don’t want a casino. Say so again on January 11, 2013. With hefty forces arrayed, we’ll need luck. Thirteen could be our lucky number.