The ‘No Toronto Casino’ campaign gathered support from another city councilor in Gloria Lindsay Luby, who represents Etobicoke Centre. The declaration from Luby brings the number of councilors officially opposed to the casino dangerously close to the majority vote they need to defeat the OLG casino proposal.
Luby spoke with many of her fellow councilors who already declared their opposition to the casino, and shares many of their concerns. However, she will vote based on her own opinion and the concerns of the citizens she represents. Luby says she does support gambling, and vowed to vote in favour of installing table games at the nearby Woodbine racetrack. But in her opinion and the collective feedback from citizens in her ward, a downtown gaming facility is not in Toronto’s best interests.
“Where I’m at with the casino is that I think, and I think I reflect my residents’ opinion, is we’re not very keen on a downtown casino.”
Luby’s decision to vote against the casino brings the number of councilors confirmed to vote ‘No’ to 22 on the 45 member Toronto city council. The opposing side simply needs one more vote from an undecided councilor to officially defeat the OLG proposal, and two other councilors – particularly Ana Bailao representing the Davenport Ward 18 – are strongly hinting they will join the opposing side of the debate.
The pro-casino councilors also attained a new supporter in councilor Josh Colle of Eglinton-Laurence Ward 15, who was convinced by the Toronto city staff report that a casino would benefit residents, as long as the OLG meets all the documented recommendations. Colle’s vote brings the number of ‘Yes’ votes to 8 councilors, including Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. There remains 15 undecided councilors, but Ford and his allies need to persuade every remaining councilor to vote ‘Yes’ if the casino has any hope to survive.
Ford, who will bring the motion to a special sub-committee this week, refused to consider delaying the meeting and vowed to continue fighting for the casino.
“I’m not concerned. I think we’ll be OK, and we’ll see what happens on Monday and Tuesday.”