Letter to Council: Re: Casinos

Posted on January 18th, 2019 · Posted in General, Letters

Mayor and Council 
City of Victoria 
No.1 Centennial Square 
Victoria, BC, V8W 1P6 

January 16, 2019   

Re: Indicate to BCLC that Victoria is Not Interested in Hosting a Casino 

Dear Mayor Helps and Council,

The Board of the Downtown Residents Association is fully supportive of Council’s proposed motion to indicate to BCLC that Victoria is no longer willing to host a casino in the City of Victoria. We understand that Council is considering an amendment to the original motion to create an exception for an application by a local First Nation that could allowa casino to proceed.

While the issue of reconciliation has been cited as the motivation for an amendment to the original motion, the negative health, social and economic effects on local communities hosting casinos are well documented. Additionally, it is crucial that the City of Victoria curtail the associated risks of money laundering and Fentanyl trafficking. By indicating to BCLC that the City of Victoria is no longer interested in hosting a Casino, Council is demonstrating leadership in addressing these serious concerns. But making an exception of First Nations will simply add ambiguity to this otherwise clear message and completely undermine the original intent of the motion.  

An exemption from this initiative will also predictably result in a Casino application for the Rock Bay lands owned (fee simple) by local First Nations, leaving these extremely important concerns unaddressed. Balancing the importance of reconciliation with Council’s ethically sound rationale to decline hosting a Casino should not be a difficult choice as all members of our greater community will benefit from the enactment of Council’s original motion.

Sincerely,

Ian Sutherland

On Behalf of the Board – Downtown Residents Association