Is the province missing a chance to save money?
It was last week, we told you about how the plan if moving forward for a casino resort in Pickering.
The Town of Ajax went on the defensive right away, since they would be losing their casino, and watching their jobs move to the new complex in Pickering.
However, the Mayor points out that expanding the Ajax site, would make the most financial sense, saving as much as $250 million, because they wouldn't have to spend on things like road improvements and infastructure.
We asked the Finance Minister, why Pickering.
We got this response:
Modernizing the OLG and enabling new capital improvements ultimately provides greater support for key public services like health care and education. The procedure was open, independent and transparent and it was overseen by a fairness monitor who confirmed that the process of site selection followed the appropriate rules.
We understand the concerns that have been raised but they are misplaced and politically motivated. 10,000 new jobs are being created in the region and all the casino jobs at Ajax Downs will be transitioned to the new site. Quarter Horse racing will have sustainability for the foreseeable future thanks to our governments long-term funding agreement. Most importantly, a revenue sharing agreement will be put in place in order to provide the Town of Ajax and the rest of Durham region with consistent, on-going funding.
Our government recognizes the importance of Ajax Downs, that's why we've worked alongside MPP Dickson to come up with a solution that benefits all of the parties involved.
We asked for further comment about the $250 million, specifically, and have yet to hear back from Charles Sousa or his office.
(with files from James Moore)