Masse Writes Senators on Bill C-290, Single Wager Sports Betting Bill

June 17, 2015

 

Hon. Claude Carignan

Government Leader in the Senate

Senate of Canada

Ottawa, ON

K1A 0A6

 

Hon. James Cowan

Opposition Leader in the Senate

Senate of Canada

Ottawa, ON

K1A 0A6

 

 

Dear Honourable Senators,

I am writing you today to give you the opportunity to explain to millions of Canadians how you allowed crucial and straight forward legislation languish and ultimately (likely) die in the Red Chamber.  As you well know C-290 passed through the democratically elected House of Commons unopposed with all parties clearly articulating their support for this legislation.  Despite the demonstrated will of Canadians as expressed through their duly elected representative body Senators took it upon themselves to ignore fundamental principles of any normal functioning democracy by blocking this legislation from coming to a final vote.

 Allowing this legislation to die in the Senate without ever coming forward for a final vote would be another abysmal moment for you and your colleagues. 

 Please do not allow this to become another sad aspect of your collective legacy.

 This Bill first came to the Senate in February of 2012.  As a body you’ve been considering this legislation for over 3 years.  You’ve studied it robustly at the Committee level and you’ve received a significant amount of additional background information from a wide array of stakeholder groups on this bill. 

 You’ve been made aware of the benefits of this legislation, it will create and protect hundreds of thousands of good paying jobs, it will hurt organized crime, and it will enhance billions of dollars of public sector investments in gaming facilities across Canada.  This final point is critical—it’s clear that the United States is moving toward removing the restrictions against single event sports betting.  We must not allow competitor institutions in the United States have this competitive advantage over our Canadian facilities. 

 You have the power to ensure this does not occur.

 As you know the bill has the support of the business and labour organizations representing thousands of businesses and millions of workers. Law enforcement organizations have briefed you on the positive impacts this bill will have curtailing a major revenue stream for organized crime and provincial governments have asked you to approve this bill to allow them to develop new (non-tax) revenue streams for health care, education, infrastructure and gambling addiction programs.

 Despite all of these potential benefits you refuse to allow this Bill to come to final vote.

 It’s clear you are still actively willing to legislate despite the summer recess imminently upon us; you recently passed a 74 page bill C-51, despite massive public opposition and in passing all 174 pages of bill C-59, you continue to press barely scrutinized omnibus legislation forward with little oversight.  Bill C-290 is only one line long.

 Why does C-290 warrant your profound indifference? 

 Ultimately, this legislation will not immediately allow single bets to take place, but instead, allows each province and territory to decide whether or not they want to move forward and make the necessary legislative changes to allow single sports bets in their respective jurisdictions.

I urge you to come to your senses and at least allow the Bill to proceed for a final vote prior to the end of the session. 

Sincerely,

 Brian Masse MP

Windsor West

 

 

 

 

 

c.c.                   Ontario Chamber of Commerce

Atlantic Chamber of Commerce

Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce

Canadian Labour Congress

CAW NATIONAL

CAW 444

City of Windsor

City of Niagara Falls

Canadian Gaming Association

Gaming Security Professionals of Canada

Attorney General of British Columbia

Attorney General of Ontario       

Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority

Manitoba Lotteries

Ontario Lottery and Gaming Association

Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation

Fédération des chambers de commerce du Québec

Hon. Kathleen Wynne—Premier of Ontario

Alcohol Gaming Commission of Ontario