Wednesday, 20 February 2013

An Open Letter to Woolwich Township Council

February 20, 2013
Dear: Todd Cowan, Julie - Anne Herteis, Allan Poffenroth, Mark Bauman, Bonnie Bryant

I am a resident of Breslau and the Township of Woolwich. Before you is a decision that concerns me as a resident of this township. On March 5, 2013 you will be voting on a motion whether to pursue the construction of a casino within the township. This proposed casino will bring up to an estimated $4 million dollars a year to the township. I have one simple question that I would like you to consider.

How many lives are you comfortable with destroying for 4 million dollars?
1, 2 maybe less than 10?

It is well documented that proximity to casinos will increase problem gambling.  Dr. Liana Nolan who is the Medical officer of Health for our region has stated this fact. I know and understand that most people who use casinos are not problem gamblers and enjoy the recreational activities of gambling. Gambling can be fun and exciting for many people. Those people are not who I am talking about. I am asking you if you are comfortable introducing even one person to gambling that may never have experienced it if it was not built in this township? Ms. Snyder is correct by saying “The Township of Woolwich is a business, it’s a corporation, it’s not a church, and they shouldn't be telling constituents what their values should be.”  I am asking you what are your values?  What do you stand for?

I am not comfortable with even one person experiencing the loss and devastation of an addiction.  I would never feel comfortable making a decision that knowingly will lead to this end.  I am asking you to vote against this proposal. I would argue that since Waterloo Region’s six other municipalities have said no to a casino they must feel the same way. To make matters worse for me you state a potential location as Shantz Station Road in Breslau. Are you trying to position this building as far away from Elmira as possible? The Ontario Lottery and Gaming corporation does not want to help out Woolwich. They want to make money off of your tax payers. If they have enough excess to pay us $4 million how much do they take?

The Region of Waterloo is an inspirational region that has changed the world and will continue to do so. I want Woolwich to be inspirational. You say gambling is just down the road in Elora and “it’s not like we’re introducing something new.”  This is your reason for making this massive decision to build a large scale casino.  I want you to create something new, inspire me and the future generations that come after me.  Be something.  Be inspiring.

Thank you for your time,

Matthew VanderMeer

Woolwich Casino in the news - CTV

Woolwich Casino in the news - The Record

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