Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Casino Decision Day

Today is March 5, 2013 and tonight the Council in Woolwich Township will vote on whether to continue discussion with OLG to build a casino in the township.  Todd Cowan believes that Woolwich has the independent right to approve this project and build it so close to Kitchener and Waterloo without consulting them.  On top of that he feels that the township is entitled to all the profits with no regard for the social implications it will have on neighbourhoods in Kitchener or Waterloo or anywhere else in the Region of Waterloo. The proposed locations for this are either at the St. Jacobs stockyards (border with Waterloo) or at a property at 2069 Shantz Station Road (border with Kitchener).  Both locations closer to KW then Elmira.  This is like saying hey liver your screwed because I am going to go out party all the time I will have fun but you won't in 10 years but really your not my concern right now and I am just going to ignore you until you become someone else problem.

It is shocking to me to understand that this significant decision could possibly be approved by 5 people.  The Region of Waterloo forever changed because 5 people didn't do what the people wanted.  To add to this complicated situation, this Council is not know for is fiscal restraint.  In a time of tighter budgets they can't keep their own house in order.  Why would I want to give them more money to waist.  Do not believe for a moment that once they start raking in 4 million dollars they will instantly become financially prudent!

According to this article Mayor Cowan does not feel that the survey results of 62% opposed to the casino are valid.  I understand that only 11% of eligible voters voted but you only mailed one card per household and you mailed it during the Christmas holidays. Had someone else not brought it to my attention I would not have looked in my recycling box to find it.  It is like you only wanted 11% to vote just so you could discount them.  Let's also consider that only 26% of eligible voters made it out to the last municipal election in Woolwich which is a highly publicized even that occurs across the entire province on the same day.  I will remind you Mayor Cowan only 2777 people voted for you in the last election.

Many experts and highly qualified people have spoken to Woolwich council. The allure of free money has led many people astray.  I hope that these Councillors can see that nothing is for free.  My big concern right now is who is pulling these Councillors strings to approve this project?  What is in it for them personally?  I don't know.  What I know is that they asked the people of Woolwich and the people of Woolwich have said "No" to gambling establishments in the past, and they are saying "No" again now.  If anyone could show me any evidence at all that the people in Woolwich and the Waterloo region wanted a casino, I would withdraw my criticism of this project and let the majority decide.  I believe very strongly that this is not the case.

Some people argue that opposing this project means we are restricting peoples freedom and why should we stop at a casino we should ban alcohol, tobacco, lotteries, etc.  This is not why I oppose this project.  I oppose this project because this Region doesn't want it.  I oppose this project because it is not sustainable.  The money that people will use for entertainment is not currently hiding under their mattresses.  Money isn't magically created by bringing in a casino.  It is reallocated from the bowling alley, from the corner store, from the grocery store.  If you think a casino is good for business you are very misguided.  A casino is only good for its own business and everything it contains under its roof.  Everyone else looses.  So if you own a business in Waterloo Region you don't want this either.  Casinos don't bring tourist dollars into the region they fly in they gamble at the casino and fly out.  What makes you think they will come here instead of Hamilton or the GTA (also undergoing casino debate) ?

If you want to make your voice heard I would encourage all of the Waterloo region to email these Councillors and tell them if you think this casino in Woolwhich Township bordering on either Kitchener or Waterloo is a good idea.  If you support this project by all means let them know all of their email addresses are @woolwich.ca (tcowan, apoffenroth, jaherteis, mbauman, bbryant).  I suspect that an overwhelming majority of this region do not support this development.  I will be the first to say I was wrong if this is not the case.

You have a choice you can be a part of the "silent majority" that Mayor Cowan believes is in support of this casino or you can be a part of the vocal majority that does not support this development.  This is a democracy and your opinion matters!  Be heard!


  1. Good post.
    Woolwich doesn't even need the tax revenue. The new housing being built at Hopewell Heights is increasing it's tax base and Woolwich has heaps of undeveloped land abutting Waterloo and Kitchener, which should (could) be developed for high tech, education or insurance industry.

    1. I very much agree. I would like to see more development in Woolwich beyond the suburban expansion. I would like to see more mixed use and commercial spaces within walking distance of residential developments. 20 years from now we will wonder what we were thinking by building subdivision after subdivision in this township.