MPP McNaughton’s Motion Irks Mayor Randy Hope
A local politician’s private members bill is aimed at giving the people a voice, but it’s stirring up some controversy.
MPP Monte McNaughton introduced his first Private Members bill in provincial legislation yesterday. That bill calls for a mandatory referendum before any new casino development can occur in the province.
McNaughton claims he is trying to give the people of Ontario a greater voice.
“This bill will stand up for communities,” said McNaughton, “It will stand up for people and allow local voices to be heard.”
But Chatham-Kent Mayor Randy Hope was disgruntled at the move by the local MPP, expressing concerns about how much a referendum will cost the municipality.
“I don’t have that kind of money to throw around on a referendum,” said Mayor Hope.
And he also expressed concerns that more regulations might drive away businesses that are looking at locating in Ontario. He says the power to decide should be put in the hands of the municipality because the council is elected to make decisions on behalf of the public.
“We don’t get concerns from people whether a Walmart or a business wants to come into our community,” said Hope, “It’s the power of council to listen and to engage what it’s community desires.”
But McNaughton disagrees. He says gambling and casinos are very sensitive issues for some communities, so the local people should have the power to make the decisions for themselves.