Ontario Place is one of the more controversial projects in the region and there appears to be a constant flow of happening swirling around it, keeping the community on its toes. The latest cause of concerns among opposers of a potential casino venue construction on site was the appointment of James Ginou for Chairman of Ontario Place’s board who is an ally of Premier Doug Ford, well-known for his support of a casino venue built on the Port Lands.
The past few months have been more than heated when it comes to the renovation of the area and the potential for development it provides. The main objective of such renovation would be the improvement of the area and its offerings, making it a more attractive location for both locals and tourists. Previously issued ideas of casino venue construction have stirred the pot, however, as featuring a gaming venue at such an accessible and high-traffic area has raised problem gambling rates concerns.
Mr. Ginou is a Friend of Premier Doug Ford
Mr. Ginou could make matters even more complicated during this pivotal point of the project’s development, according to opposers of the casino venue idea. Ontario’s Official Opposition has now expressed its concerns with this new addition to the board, as it could potentially swerve the project in a direction favored by Premier Doug Ford.
The new Chairman is a businessman in Toronto’s area, but he has also been on the same leading position between 1997 and 2003. This means that he has both the experience and the knowledge to fit well into the spot and offer his insight in this crucial time. His appointment on the Chairman seat is based on this previous experience, as it was confirmed by Tourism Minister Michael Tibollo’s office shortly after Mr. Ginou was appointed.
Toronto’s waterfront is set to see major renovation, giving it a fresh new face which would transform it for good. The area has the potential and the resources to become a hotspot, a possibility eyed by Premier Doug Ford who does not hide his ideas for the location, some of which quite controversial.
January 12 Brings Public Meeting on the Subject
The gaming venue in addition to a ferris wheel built on the Port Lands are only some of the possible new additions which could be introduced on site. In previous statements, Premier Ford has also stated that a shopping mall could be in the plans for Ontario Place. Influence on the project in general, as well as the direction which it could take, has been demonstrated by Premier Ford in the past months. It could be recalled that November saw a special act which aims to transfer all assets of Ontario Place to the Crown.
Opposers of the idea are now concerned that through the addition of Mr. Ginou, Premier Ford will have an ally who could potentially introduce some of the aforementioned ideas at board meetings. Furthermore, Mr. Ginou himself pinpointed during a recent interview that the area should undergo considerable renovation and Premier Ford could have an influence on it, in order to guarantee its “disgraceful” state is improved.
Suzanne Kavanagh from Waterfront For All was among the first ones to voice her opinion in relation to the statement, as the non-profit organization works towards introducing public input on the subject, instead of leaving it all to the lawmakers. January 12 will see a special public meeting which will welcome Toronto city councilors who oppose the casino plan, as well as hopefully Mr. Ginou and Mr. Tibollo. This meeting is projected to give everyone the tribune to express their opinion on the polarizing topic.