Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
I brought forward a motion to Council on December 10th to have Pickering indicate it is a willing host for a casino. It passed!
In 2006 Ajax made a wise financial decision to host a slots facility which earns them about $7 million per year, about $37 Million since 2006 in non-property tax revenue.
Many Pickering residents have asked how Ajax manages to undertake more new facilities and road works for example. In part it is because of this extra revenue.
The slots revenue is not presently shared with other municipalities. The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Commission is bringing in a new model. Each zone, our zone consisting of Pickering, Ajax and Whitby, will have one casino.
Pickering has suggested that regardless of which municipality hosts the casino the other municipalities should get a share, even if its a lesser share than the host. The willing host motion was necessary to allow Pickering to consider proposals for a casino in Pickering, and also to position ourselves to share in casino revenue if the casino goes in Ajax or Whitby. The expansion of the present Ajax Slots being a likely option.
Of course if considering a casino in Pickering it should go in a non-residential area, either an industrial area or employment lands such as those at Highway 407 and Brock Road area and be subject to public review. We also need to ensure that support is in place for those with gambling problems. Perhaps it could have a conference centre, hotel and entertainment hub to create local jobs and business opportunities.
Staff are to report back to Council on financial benefits but I think the host community could get over $10 Million per year , and a non-host community, over $1 Million per year, in non-tax revenues. Pickering could dearly use such funds to reduce tax increases, fund community centres and road work, and build up cash reserves for future needs.
I thank Council and residents for support me and my motion. Keep posted!
Welcome to my blog! I have taken the plunge after a number of residents have suggested using a blog to pass along information. A few milestones are coming up for Brenda and I – 25 year residents of Pickering, our 25th wedding anniversary, our two daughters at UOIT, and for me 15 years of serving the residents of Pickering as their Councillor. The challenge now will be to chose amongst the many topics to discuss. Stay tuned!