Massive new casino resort in Toronto sparks outrage
Days after Great Canadian Entertainment (CGE) announced that its new $1 billion entertainment resort will soon be coming to Toronto, a First Nation is denouncing the provincial government for green-lighting the project.
The Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation (MSIFN) expressed on Friday that they are outraged by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) and CGE for introducing the Great Canadian Casino Resort Toronto amid ongoing mediation efforts.
Canada's largest casino resort is opening in Toronto this summer https://t.co/5n6MT95128 #Toronto— blogTO (@blogTO) March 8, 2023
Back in 2016, the MSIFN, which owns the Great Blue Heron Casino in Port Perry, entered into agreements with the provincial government as part of Ontario's modernization scheme.
The agreements were meant to ensure that the Great Blue Heron Casino would operate in a "comparative manner" to other government casinos in the GTA.
They also were meant to ensure that revenue would be provided to the MSIFN to support development and other services for the First Nation, including access to clean drinking water.
"We entered into our agreements with OLG and the government with a shared understanding that OLG and the government would act in good faith and in accordance with their Honour of the Crown obligations, and in particular their contractual obligations set out in the agreements," MSIFN's Chief Kelly LaRocca said.
"Once again, the government is acting without any engagement with MSIFN and is acting to disadvantage the Great Blue Heron Casino at MSIFN."
Please see our statement: pic.twitter.com/Di1PPY12Rh— MSIFN - Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation (@MSIFN) March 9, 2023
LaRocca said that the MSIFN has been engaging with the government, OLG, and GCE for several years, and has finally reached the point of entering mediation soon.
"Once again, however, the Ford government chooses to implement its decisions and ask questions later," she said. "It's utter disregard for our First Nation and the Honour of the Crown. We continue to focus our good faith efforts on the mediation and will brace for whatever comes next."
For many centuries, the MSIFN have lived on the shores of Lake Scugog, north of what is now referred to as the community of Port Perry.
Due to the success of the Great Blue Heron Casino, the MSIFN have been able to provide their community, as well as the Durham region, with countless jobs and millions of dollars in donations to local organizations.
Mediation efforts between the provincial government and MSIFN are set to commence this summer.
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