VIDEO: Masse, Pupatello Go Head to Head on Single Sports Betting
The issue of legalizing single sports betting is causing a clash between two federal candidates in Windsor-West.
Liberal Sandra Pupatello hosted a press conference Wednesday challenging New Democrat Brian Masse who has been pushing for single sports betting for several years.
She says she'll get the job done.
"When you bring a local MP with a strong voice that stays on top of the issues and understanding that you can't just go to Ottawa and say, "I demand this", you really need to make your case. So when you know that now your competing states are doing this we need to enact."
Pupatello says with many states, including Michigan, embracing the idea she'll get the bill passed if she's elected.
The Liberal candidate claims the move could create as many as 150 jobs in Windsor while generating as much as a billion dollars a year in revenue for the province.
"When you have a gaming industry in Windsor that is a much bigger player in our general economy, you need to keep your eye on that ball and a year and a half ago when we saw that movement in the U.S., I think that was the time to start reintroducing this legislation."
She says she's ready to make this happen.
"When we needed angioplasty to be delivered here in Windsor because the line ups were in Hotel-Dieu Grace Hospital no federal leader was saying, "Oh, I think we'll give them angioplasty in Windsor". It's when you have a strong local voice that makes a huge difference and I'm committing to that. It's why I'm running in this federal election."
Masse wasted little time firing back with his own press conference shortly after reminding the public both of his attempts to pass a bill were held up by the Liberal government.
He's questioning where the Liberal support was then and why it's changing now.
"Of course coming late is better than never, but unfortunately it comes with consequences. It's another Liberal promise at election that we've seen many times delivered whether it be daycare, whether it be pharmacare, whether it be a national auto policy, they never come to fruition."
Windsor-West New Democrat candidate Brian Masse and Ken Lewenza Sr. seen on October 9, 2019 (Photo by AM800's Peter Langille)
Masse says Pupatello's statement is "playing politics at the worst level."
"Back then, 124 Liberal back benchers voted against it with Prime Minister Trudeau. We see what's happened to people that actually vote against Trudeau or speak their voice in cabinet. Just ask Jody Wilson-Raybould or Jane Philpott who have been kicked out of not only cabinet, but also their caucus. I don't even believe it's part of their platform. So this is desperate politics."
He says the Liberals have cost the country hundreds of jobs and billions of dollars.
"Why we had so many people supporting us over a decade on this file was that the United States was moving on this. So in the meantime we lost hundreds of millions of dollars per year at the expense of health care, education, employment and subsequently, those benefits are lost forever."
Masse was joined by former labour leader Ken Lewenza Sr. and other Unifor members outside Caesars Windsor Wednesday.
Pupatello and Masse are running against Henry Lau of the Conservatives, Quinn Hunt of the Greens, Darryl Burrell of the People's Party of Canada and Margaret Villamizar of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada.
The federal election goes October 21.
— with files from AM800's Peter Langille