TORONTO - Noah Shopsowitz wants a referendum on a Toronto casino as part of the 2014 municipal election.
Councillors could do it but the clock is ticking and those betting a casino could get approved at the ballot box will likely be out of luck if it doesn’t happen in the next month.
Shopsowitz — who’s father was Sam Shopsowitz of Shopsy’s Delicatessen — believes a casino in the downtown core, particularly at Exhibition Place, makes sense for the city.
“It provides an economic stimulus,” Shopsowitz said.
Although council rejected a casino last year, Shopsowitz is pushing councillors to approve a referendum on a casino to let residents decide.
“It kind of makes me think we could have a recount on it — get it back into the hands of the public and let’s see what the real number is,” he said.
City officials confirmed a referendum could still be added to the Oct. 27 election but warned there is limited time remaining to consult and give notice. Ten days notice would have to be given before any bylaw is passed and the bylaw has to be approved by April 30.
A city spokesman also pointed out that two-thirds of council would have to support reopening the May 2013 decision to reject a casino.
Councillor Adam Vaughan — a staunch casino opponent — doubted residents would vote in favour of a casino if there was a referendum.
“The casino has about as much luck getting approved in a referendum as Rob Ford does getting re-elected mayor,” Vaughan said last week.
Toronto residents rejected a casino in a referendum back in 1997.
Mayor Rob Ford — who supported the idea of a downtown casino — has repeatedly said he’d welcome a referendum on a casino and several other issues.
“I’ve always been in favour of putting the (Toronto Island airport expansion), the casino, the subways, a whole list of questions on the ballot,” Ford said back in January.
Please share this