On February 1, 2011, I wrote an article about Bill C-218, which was the bill that would make it legal for provinces to have casinos. Since the time I wrote that article, I have not been able to see any progress made on this issue. It was the same thing for the past 3 to 4 years, absolutely nothing was happening. I wrote the article, and I think it was a good article. I think it was a good article because I was able to get my point across. I was able to say: this is what I think should be done, and this is how I think we should act on this issue. Unfortunately, it didn’t even get to the committee.

The bill to allow casinos in British Columbia has not been amended since it was tabled in the last session of Parliament. If passed, House Bill (C)-218 would allow the Huron and York Casinos to open, as well as the addition of a third casino at the casino-hotel-resort proposed on Vancouver Island.

The bill that would legalize single event betting in Canada, known as Bill C-218, has officially returned to the Senate. Last week, the bill was strongly criticized by the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake, with the First People saying that the bill would be detrimental to its well-being and that the provinces would benefit the most. word-image-9870 Bill C-218 was introduced by Conservative MP Kevin Waugh of Saskatoon. Its adoption would allow Canadians to bet on individual sporting events instead of current betting options or offshore sites. The bill has already received widespread support across the country, but last week’s passage raised a number of concerns.

Application rejected

word-image-9871 Despite recent objections from the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake, Bill C-218 was approved by the Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce. The legislation now goes back to the Senate for a final reading, but the bill was not amended by committee following the First Nation’s complaints. Currently, legal sports betting is only offered by provincial regulators across the country. The First Nation fears that the proposed legislation would impede its ability to develop gaming and cause significant damage to the Tribe’s already well-established local online gambling industry. But the Commission’s inaction has left a bitter aftertaste in the nation’s mouth. In response to the tabling of the bill, the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake issued a statement in which the tribe indicated it was unhappy that the Canadian Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Industry had ignored the people’s request. The statement goes on to say that the committee has decided to push Bill C-218 through and that this will affect Kahnawake’s ability to control its economic future. According to the statement, the indigenous communities have once again been ignored and neglected, and their future has once again been determined by others. During the live debate, some senators gave the nation encouraging and supportive statements regarding their position against the legislation, rather than the mandatory language provided to senators.

More resistance

Ontario Senator Vernon White has also spoken out against the passage of a bill on individual sports betting. He said state-owned businesses in the county would benefit the most from the proposed legislation. Another concern of Mr. White’s is that the bill would allow match-fixing in the country and, as he said, there is no clear prohibition of match-fixing in the criminal code.

Change of mind

Senator Brent Cotter of Saskatchewan, who initially opposed the legislation, has now decided to support the expansion of gambling. As long as a majority of sports institutions support the bill, it could be the way forward, he said. He also believes that changes in gambling can be brought to the provinces and enforced in a safe and responsible manner. Source: Lalonde, Mark Bill C-218 passes Senate unamended over objections Kahnawake, Toronto Star, 16. June 2021.

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