Late last week, Flamborough Chamber of Commerce (FCC) Executive Director Arend Kersten – who has agreed to the city’s request to serve as moderator at the Flamborough public meeting – left a meeting of the Chamber Executives of Ontario (CEO) in Barrie early so that he could attend a lunch at LIUNA Station with OLG President and CEO Rod Phillips and some of his associates. Arend’s counterparts from Hamilton (David Adames) and Stoney Creek (Dave Cage) as well as Mayor Bratina, his Chief-of-Staff Peggy Chapman and senior officials from the city’s Economic Development Department were also in attendance.
Arend reminded Mr. Phillips that moving the slots from Flamboro Downs to another site (like downtown Hamilton) coupled with what’s happening to Ontario’s horse racing industry amounts to a ‘double whammy’ for the local economy. “If that happens, they may as well turn off the lights, lock the door and throw away the keys,” Arend said.
Arend also argued that the OLG should not assume the current Flamboro Downs clientele will automatically patronize a site at another location. And he added that both Flamboro Downs (Great Canadian Gaming Company) and the OLG Slots at Flamboro Downs have been outstanding corporate citizens with a demonstrated commitment to the local community.
The FCC Board of Directors (BOD) has decided to meet in special session next week to consider formalizing an official position on the issue of a casino in Flamborough. Stay tuned.
PHOTO ABOVE: A picture taken at the lunch at LIUNA Station (which includes from left: Dave Cage, Arend Kersten, Rod Phillips and David Adames).