June 7, 2018, is the 42nd Ontario general elections. Canadians will elect the 124 members for the Provincial Parliament of Ontario. At the helm of the Province is Ontario’s Liberal Party. The party has led the province for five consecutive terms, dating back to 2003.
Casino Contract Controversy
New Democratic Party Leader Andrea Horwath has a wish list. If she’s elected premier of Ontario she would investigate casino contracts. More specifically the lucrative Greater Toronto Area casino contracts. She states the awarding process ‘smelled of backroom deals’. Horwath is one of many Ontario citizens and corporations who want a probe of this nature. The casino contracts were awarded by Ontario’s lottery corporation in 2017. The contracts went to a British Columbia-based company called Great Canada Gaming.
Initially, Ontario’s Progressive Conservative Party was against the awarding of the contracts. Great Canadian Gaming is at the centre of a casino probe into money-laundering. This led the party to urge the provincial government to freeze the deals. In late 2017 the PC stopped criticizing Great Canadian Gaming. A Canadian news company found emails which point to a Toronto hedge fund linked to PC candidate Caroline Mulroney. The fund had a massive stake in B.C. casino company. Which may be the reason for the party’s change in stance on the casino contracts matter.
Suspicions linked to the casino contracts
In addition to the PC party’s silence on the casino contracts, new suspicions have risen.
- Since Great Canadian Gaming took over the casinos – financial experts believe that public assets were sold at a cheap rate. The assets include a bundle of casino operations. The operations were sold by Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation.
- A Toronto investment fund is questioning the circumstances around the Toronto-area casino deals. The fund asked the Ontario and British Columbia stock market regulators to investigate.
- Roy Brady a local activist in August 2017 filed a court injunction. He argues that the awarding of a contract to build the new Peterborough casino was corrupt. He also claims the deal violated the city Municipal Act. Roy says meeting where held behind-closed-doors without public participation in November 2015.
Great Canadian Gaming’s official response was; “Our company has a culture of integrity and transparency, founded on our strict compliance with the robust regulatory requirements in the many jurisdictions where our facilities are located”. The response was conveyed by Great Canada’s chief operating officer Terrance Doyle.