City workers union speaks out against casino
Toronto City Hall is shown in this file photo. (The Canadian Press/Michelle Siu)
Chris Fox, cp24.com
Published Tuesday, April 2, 2013 10:34AM EDT
A union representing about 20,000 city workers is speaking out against building a casino in Toronto.
CUPE Local 79, which represents the city’s inside workers, came out against the idea in a press release issued early Tuesday morning.
“CUPE Local 79 is concerned about a casino's negative impacts on Toronto communities. Our members are front-line community workers in a city that's already struggling under a social infrastructure deficit. We are worried that the social impacts of a casino could overwhelm Toronto's already strained social support system," CUPE Local 79 President Tim Maguire said in the release. "We've seen no convincing arguments to prove a casino will provide a net benefit for Toronto communities."
According to CUPE 79, an internal poll revealed that 67 per cent of its members oppose a casino outright while 81 per cent thought poverty would worsen if a casino is built and 82 per cent thought crime would increase.
Given the findings, the union is pledging to join advocacy group “No Casino Toronto’ in lobbying against any potential gaming complex.
"Anyone in social service knows prevention is the first principle," Maguire said in the press release. “The evidence is quite clear that the city can prevent a lot of harm in our communities by saying no to a casino."
The idea of setting up a casino in Toronto has proven to be contentious.
Mayor Rob Ford has repeatedly spoken out in favour of the project, touting the potential revenue such a facility could generate for the city, while a number of other councillors have said the social cost would negate any gains.
City council was originally expected to vote on whether it will allow a casino to be built during their April meeting, however a delay in the completion of a staff report on the matter has pushed that vote back.
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