Casino goers in Peterborough, Canada have something to look forward to by way of a brand new facility tentatively scheduled for an opening date in mid-2018. Helmed by Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, the Shorelines Casino Peterborough is slated to undergo construction on September 6.
Although, despite the fact that it’s still expected to go ahead, question marks remain over how it will fare in the long term. Lobbyists, activists, and anti-gambling bodies have come out to condemn the proposed casino – with legal issues, ethical discrepancies, and some public outbursts already lining this hot topic.
There’s sure to be a lot more to say for this story before its supposed opening in 2018, with the city mayor and an activist by the name of Roy Brady right at the heart of this burning issue.
Activist Roy Brady taking legal action
Not everyone is happy about the news of the upcoming casino in Peterborough – not least activist Roy Brady. He has taken aim at the new proposal on the grounds of a conflict of interest. He asserts that Mayor Daryl Bennet has engaged in a “tainted meeting” when deciding the location for the proposed casino: Crawford Drive – which also happens to be near one of the mayor’s businesses.
Brady filed a claim in May for the council to award him a court order for the purposes of changing the rezoning of the building. In August, he also filed an affidavit in which he outlined his concerns, specifically with regards to what he calls an “illegal meeting” behind closed doors, as well as questioning Mayor Daryl Bennet’s honesty.
“Given that the illegal meeting was held in secret, the public was deprived of its opportunity to question its elected officials prior to decisions made during the illegal meeting as to whether any members of council had any pecuniary interest in the illegal direction and/or Crawford Dr. being selected as the site for the casino,” writes Brady.
He goes on to add: “Mayor Daryl Bennett and his brother are prominent business and landowners in Peterborough and in the vicinity of the proposed casino. They own a business called Liftlock Group, which is located up the road from the Crawford Dr. site. Now shown to me and marked as Exhibit Q are copies of land titles abstracts for properties in the vicinity of the Crawford Dr. site that I believe to be owned by Mayor Daryl Bennett or his brother, which may trigger issues under the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, but for which only the city, the mayor and/or his brother can answer definitively.”
Mayor Daryl Bennet denies the claims
In a lengthy rebuttal against the accusations, Mayor Daryl Bennet told The Examiner: “I do not have a pecuniary interest in the casino development. Mr. Brady in his affidavit does not allege that I do have a pecuniary interest, rather he states the situation “may trigger issues under the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, but for which only the city, the mayor and/or his brother can answer definitively.” I thank Mr. Brady for accurately making this point. I can definitively say I do not have a pecuniary interest. I have engaged one of the foremost lawyers on municipal conflict of interest matters in response to these allegations from the No Casino group and I look forward to responding to these comments by Mr. Brady in court.”
His citation of the “No Casino” group is in reference to No Casino Peterborough – a now defunct gathering of protesters who largely opposed the opening of the casino, fearing it would add societal and cultural problems for the community of Peterborough.
Meanwhile, early reports indicate that the decision to go ahead with the casino would create 150 new jobs for the local citizens in the area – something which could be argued in its favour when it inevitably goes to court. In the meantime, casino fans in Peterborough, and across the country, can play their favourite games with Lucky Nugget Casino as they wait to see how this plays out.