Gambling on the Future of Cornwall Ontario by Jamie Gilcig – April 15, 2012

CFN – With the Province of Ontario considering new locations for OPG Casinos the conversation has started again here in Cornwall.

Cornwall is in a perfect strategic location for a Casino.  Morals debate aside, if you’re going to have a Casino in any city in this region, Cornwall is a choice location.

Waterfront development will make or break this city that is searching for its soul after losing most of its industrial Mill history.   While inept politicians mumble things about Tourism while funding an all but useless tourism bureau and having just lost it’s Provincially funded tourism outlet, a Waterfront Casino outlet would definitely give people a reason to stop.

The arguments against Casino’s while valid in certain senses, really don’t stick on others as there is a Casino just over the bridge on the US side of Akwesasne.

Millions of dollars flow from Cornwall each year into the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino with no benefit to Cornwall.  As a matter of fact it’s a drain.   It’s interesting that one of the largest gaming demographic are seniors, and any visit to the Casino will testify that.  Citizens of Cornwall can’t work there as it’s stateside and even the bridge crossing fees don’t go into local coffers.

A Cornwall Casino would keep almost all of the local dollars spent in Akwesasne local.  Local people would be employed at jobs that pay greater than the local average income.

Is it rosy and wonderful?  No, but any industry has pros and cons.  I’ve heard some people wanting a Walmart Super Store in Cornwall; but the impact on local small business would be brutal.  A casino in this situation? I just don’t see any extra negatives.

A waterfront OLG casino would surely attract development as well.

The question is whether local politicians will follow the lead set by former councilor Mark A MacDonald in supporting one?   The Paris Holding Lands are ready and waiting; and if not there, there are other spots especially if you think outside of the box.

Development will come to Cornwall.  The questions will be whether it’s “Old Boy” business as usual or something progressive that puts the city’s needs first.

It’s something that every citizen in Cornwall that’s fed up with high tax rates should be considering and talking about.

Jamie Gilcig – Editor – The Cornwall Free News

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Cornwall Free News


  1. There are cities that epitomize boredom: with their nondescript architecture, cookie-cutter shopping malls and corporate-franchised culture, they exude a dull vibe that can be found anywhere around the world.
    And then, of course, there are the grand cities of the past that conjure up magical images simply by mentioning their names: mythical places like Atlantis swallowed by the sea, Babylon from the Old Testament condemned for its hubris, or Pompeii buried by a volcano.
    Some metropolises make all of humanity proud: eternal Rome, fun-loving Rio de Janeiro, and indefatigable New York. Others are examples for the rise or fall of an era: colonial Calcutta and the British Raj, or Manchester, the cradle of modern capitalism. More recently, Detroit has come to symbolize first the boom and later the slow decline of the US auto industry.
    It’s déjà vu all over again. Where once entrepreneurial adventurers and unscrupulous exploiters bet their fortunes, history is repeating itself. Not as a farce — but rather as unlimited promise. Some cities seem to have the ability to revitalize themselves and regain the world-class status they once held. Ottawa is a perfect example: Once a leader in mass production, it morphed first into a trading hub and later transformed itself a banking and communications center. The city remained dynamic in spite of occasional setbacks and its people never lost their confidence.
    The world is going through a largely unseen revolution at the moment — and an important historical watershed. For the first time ever, more people live in cities and towns than in the countryside. The 21st century is the first truly urban era.
    Monster-sized cities in the developing world are growing like cancerous tumors. But it’s a trend that can be misleading. Even if the big cities are getting bigger, it’s the mid-sized ones that are growing even faster.
    Companies and their employees try to avoid mega-cities, if at all possible. In a world increasingly tied together by globalization and technology, second cities have an easier time flourishing away from larger urban areas. As soon as a city reaches a certain size, its economic productivity starts to sink.
    After that, higher rents, commuter distances and general urban chaos begin to drag a city down and “create a situation where at best the center remains a desirable place — but only for the rich.”
    But the crisis hitting megalopolises is an opportunity for second cities. Few would contend that Cornwall is a cool city. To be cool a city needs to have a manageable size, be safe, offer chances to improve one’s lot in life, and have an identifiable elite innovative enough to ensure progress and prosperity. Ottawa is cool.
    More than anything, such cities are cool because they are magnets for “creative classes” of people that inspire and stimulate each other. Develop the concept of such a class of workers, including graphic and fashion designers, computer freaks and software developers, musicians, scientists, engineers, poets, analysts, journalists, actors. It’s a diverse and colorful group, exemplified by the ability to create ideas that can flow into companies — that will in turn attract return-hungry investors with plenty of start-up capital.
    It’s particularly striking just how heterogeneous the creative class is, but they can be broadly placed into three groups: “rational innovators” like engineers, scientists and computer experts; a “creative middle” such as businessmen, advertising people, and designers; and then the “artists” including musicians, actors and painters.
    There is little doubt as to the economic importance of such people. Creative industries have created more than 20 million new jobs in the United States alone and around half of all wages and salaries paid in America are for this knowledge-oriented part of society. Around a third of all workers in the industrialized world are part of this creative segment of labor.
    It’s this creative class that many experts consider critical in making a city cool and trendy.
    The model for this theory is easy to spot: “Three Ts” — Technology, Talent, and Tolerance — came together.
    For talent, a solid education is necessary .
    There’s no magic formula to make a city cool for the creative class. Each city has to make do with its own history, its own buzz, and its political and cultural possibilities.
    Something is emerging in Cornwall — the Canadian’s cities aren’t nearly as lethargic and sclerotic as is frequently portrayed in Canada. Many are well on the way into the knowledge era.
    It’s the second cities that will — if all goes well — ensure both progress and a bright future.

  2. Sorry, it doesn’t matter how one rationalises it, the very last thing Cornwall needs is a casino, when there are so many other projects that deserve our attention and support.

    There are too many Cornwallites who are simply too *stupid* to be trusted in a Casino without spending their children’s food, clothing, and school money. Sorry, that sounds harsh, but it’s true. The only reason their kids get anything at all is because at the moment these people are confined to lottery tickets, and the only thing that protects these children is that their parents are too stupid (or criminal) to get passports.

    If we’re going to gamble on the future of Cornwall, then we need to be smart enough to work out the odds and bet on something that will be a winner for all the residents of Cornwall. The only winners in casinos are the crooks who own them.

    I’m very surprised and disappointed that Mark MacDonald, one of the few politicians in the area who does actually care for the people here would actually put his name to such a scheme. This is the sort of crap I would expect from the likes of Kilger, Lauzon and McDonnell who are in it for themselves rather than the people they purport to represent.

    As for putting a casino on the waterfront, don’t we have enough traffic problems every summer when the Jehovah’s Witnesses invade? Do we need this year round?

  3. Watch the video casino lawyers had banned from YouTube. Facebook: Casino Surveillance Scam. Or google: Windsor Casino Surveillance Scam

  4. Author

    Richard the negatives that are being pointed out about Casinos, as you have attempted to above are all in play with a Casino in Akwesasne. All we’re doing is keeping the dollars in Cornwall if we have a casino here.

  5. Glad the issue of demographics is raised by CFN. Some years back when Professor David Foot (Author of Boom, Bust and Echo) cautioned Cornwall about investing in a giant sports complex (based on demographics and specifically declining birth rates) someone on council was quoted saying, “Well, we’re going to buck the trend.” It’s a quote that still amuses me.

    But yes, seniors (demographically) DO make up a sizable percentage of the gaming target audience. I won’t be there but know many people my age who regularly go to casinos.

    The following is a link to an interesting analysis developed for Moncton, NB on the topic of investing in a casino.

  6. Since the kids of today are the adults of tomorrow, design contests should be encouraged for the high schools and even college. Different headings could be used for a few choice locations with various concepts of what could go those lands.
    Sub headings then could be for digital and free hand concepts and drawings.
    It would get people talking at least, but access from the bridge and 401 is important.

  7. Living here in Welfare & ODSP Heaven (Cornwall), the last thing we need is another outlet to throw our money at. We don’t need a casino here, there’s one across the bridge. Dalton is just looking for tax revenues. Lets not give it to him!

  8. I am all for free enterprise activities engaged by private individuals and private business associations. However, I do not endorse nation state enterprises that have near monopoly protection against competition by government laws. If private investors so desire to establish a touristic appealing casino gambling industry in Cornwall, so let it happen by market forces. If individuals so wish to gamble or not to gamble that is their own individual choice. But some people authorize themselves to act as the Peoples Parents, guarding people from their own decisions. It must be their personal nanny state orientated personality that promotes themselves to know what to decide for other peoples lives. These self appointed Guardians believe that other people below them should not have any liberty to decide for themselves. They fail to understand that right or wrong for themselves, people always implement their own decisions.

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