First steps to permanent slots approved by Surrey council Monday evening. **update at the bottom of this post

 

Her name, for the purposes of this post, is Tina. She keeps working the slot machine, impatiently, with an intensity that seems angry. Furrowed brows, dirty blonde hair pulled back in a bun, but wisps keep falling out that she pushes back behind her ear. Her clothes are clean, but clearly have seen better days, and the space behind her collar-bone tell me she could use more than a few good meals.

Finally, exasperated, she gets up and heads for the door and I follow her outside, where I find her sucking back the smoke on a cigarette as if it’s a lifeline, scuffing some bits of gravel on the sidewalk with the toe of her broken down boots.

We start talking, I tell her who I am and that I am doing a post on the slots in the Newton Bingo Hall. She agrees to talk with me but I can’t use her name, because “Tina” doesn’t want to deal with any hassles from anyone.

Turns out Tina is a single mom,on assistance,and in a program that will help her get her GED and learn some basic work skills to help her get a job.The only problem is,there isn’t ever enough money to make ends meet,so she thought maybe if she spent a little bit of money on the slot machines she could win a little jackpot. And she did,once. She spent $5.00 and won $50.00 on a machine that someone else just left.

“I’ll never forget it.I was all like,omg, I actually won and it was a rush,I bought a bunch of groceries,even fresh strawberries and grapes,cause like we can never afford those,and like took my little sweetie to the Sally Ann to get him a new toy. Fifty dollars is a lot of money,you know? That’s nothing to sneer at!”

Now she comes over to the Newton Bingo Hall whenever she can. Although she admits hasn’t won anything substantial since – and in fact says she knows she shouldn’t even be spending what she has – she just keeps hoping she’ll win another $50 again to get her ahead. She’s hiding her visits from her mom, who watches her son while she goes to her classes, by leaving a little early or coming home a bit later.

I asked her what she would do if the slots were taken out of the bingo hall.

“Oh shit,I wish they would.I never went in this place before the slots were here,I’m not into bingo,you know.I just heard about it from another chick in my class who said she won some money there so that’s when I started thinking about it.Oh yeah, if they weren’t here,I wouldn’t be doing it. I live over in a basement suite over on____ and ____.I walk and take the bus you know, and like,this is right on my route so it’s pretty easy.”

We talked a bit longer,I thanked her, asked her if she needed any help finding any other community services, she declined and I left with a sigh. She went right back into the bingo hall.

This is why I, and many others, have been solidly against the addition of slot machines in the middle of one of Surrey’s increasingly vulnerable neighbourhoods, Newton.

They were approved back in October of 2012, on a ‘temporary’ basis for 18 months while the proposal for the South Surrey Casino moved ahead.

The plan was to move the existing gaming license from Newton, to the South Surrey location, but the South Surrey Casino proposal was defeated in the face of strong opposition from the communities surrounding it.

Immediately following the decision by council to defeat the South Surrey Casino proposal,councillor Barinder Rasode publically commented that the result would likely mean that slots would become permanent in Newton:

“Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Limited is permitted to redevelop the Newton Square Bingo Hall into a community gaming centre, according to a corporate report that was approved by council last October.

The report states that if the proposed South Surrey casino was not approved, Gateway would redevelop the hall and construct a gaming facility with 150 permanent slot machines.

Originally, Gateway planned to move the hall’s gaming licence to the South Surrey casino, pending council’s approval of that facility.

“I think that it’s very important not to have a gaming centre in a vulnerable community,” said Coun. Barinder Rasode of the redevelopment, citing concerns with low-income areas of the neighbourhood. “For me, ideally, if there was no gaming in the city, I’d be very happy, but that’s not our decision to make, the province makes that.”

Rasode opposed the addition of slot machines in the hall, which was approved by council in October on the basis that they would be installed for a temporary 18-month run. Now they may be there permanently if Gateway chooses to redevelop at the site in a timely manner.

At Surrey’s Monday evening council meeting, council approved the first applications for a development permit and parking variance permit, which are the first steps for a complete renovation and redesign for the strip mall location that houses the Newton Bingo Hall where the slots are currently located.

This is the application that was approved: http://www.surrey.ca/bylawsandcouncillibrary/PLR_7912-0330-00.pdf

Those of us in the community that have been closely following this process for several years, knew immediately that in making this first development application, the owners of the property and Gateway Casinos therefore were satisfying one of the conditions in allowing those ‘temporary’ slots to become permanent, which was to obtain a building permit by May 1st,2013.

It is my understanding that Gateway will be back before council in a few weeks with a proposal for the third building which would be the new gaming center.

In an interesting moment yesterday, CKNW ran the story that the slots were about to find a permanent home in Newton, and Mayor Watts immediately tweeted to CKNW that they did not approve permanent slots, just two buildings for redevelopment on site.

Watts told CKNW reporter Shane Woodford that 150 slots are temporary, not permanent until the issue comes before council again in a month, but councillar Barinder Rasode again pointed out to Shane that the city report shows the slots become permanent with the building of a full gaming centre in Newton.

The city report at the centre of the disagreement between Watts and Rasode is here: http://www.surrey.ca/bylawsandcouncillibrary/CR_2012-R230.pdf

On page 3, bullet 1c tells the story:

“1. That the operation of the temporary slot machines will be limited to: a. a period of 18 calendar months from the date of their activation; or

b. the date on which permanent slot machines are activated in a new South Surrey casino (if approved); or

c. the date on which permanent slot machines are activated in a new Newton Community Gaming Centre;

whichever occurs first;

Long story short, the council already approved a community gaming centre with electronic machines and slots on the Newton site back in 2010.

It may have slipped Mayor Watts mind, however the rezoning was indeed approved, as per this document: http://www.surrey.ca/bylawsandcouncillibrary/PLR_7912-0330-00.pdf

At its Regular Council meeting on July 12, 2010, Council rezoned the subject site to allow commercial uses and a new community gaming centre containing no more than 150 slotmachines along with bingo and other electronic games. At that same meeting, Council approved a development permit for the site, which addressed the form and character of the buildings and other aspects of the proposed development on the site.

Council also resolved to advise the British Columbia Lottery Commission (BCLC) that Council approves the addition of slot machine gaming limited to 150 slot machines to the existing bingo gaming license for the site.

It goes on to spell out the Project Development Agreement between Gateway Casinos and BCLC :

Project Development Agreement

The PDA states that temporary slot machines in the existing Newton Bingo Hall building may be activated and operated under the following conditions:

for a period of 18 calendar months from the date of their activation; or

until the date on which permanent slot machines are activated in a new South SurreyCasino (if approved); or

until the date on which permanent slot machines are activated in a new Newton

Community Gaming Centre.

The PDA requires that Gateway substantially commence construction by April 1, 2013 of the redevelopment of the Newton Bingo Hall site in three defined phases and will continue and complete this redevelopment in a rigorous and timely manner but in any case the construction will be completed no later than March 31, 2015.

The PDA further states that if Gateway is not successful in obtaining a casino license for the South Surrey location, that they will proceed with construction of a new building that will house a community gaming centre including 150 slot machines, with construction to be completed by June 1, 2014.

So there you have it.

Again, the devil -literally -is in the details – the details that are so often not mentioned when the City of Surrey talks about the so-called ‘temporary’ slots in Newton.

And for the record, the vote on Monday night to approve the first phase of this development was 5-3 : Rasode, Hunt and Villeneuve opposed and everyone else, including Mayor Watts, was in favour. Bruce Hayne was absent.

Indo Canadian paper, The Link, reported in January that a casino spokesperson told them if the South Surrey Casino doesn’t move ahead, the slots in Newton will become permanent.

In speaking to several South Surrey residents this morning, each of them said that if they had know the slots could become permanent in Newton, they would have felt differently about the South Surrey Casino project, because they agree Newton is not the right location for slot machines.

In fact, contrary to what Mayor Watts  claimed in an open letter to the media following the South Surrey Casino controversy,  there really was substantial opposition to the Newton Slots rezoning when it first happened, which was corrected in a letter to the editor by Grant Rice printed in the Surrey Leader. http://www.surreyleader.com/opinion/letters/190110681.html

Regarding the 2009 Newton proposal, Watts chose to include Boardwalk’s 4,086-signature petition as “considerable support” from the 4,273 in favour. ( many were not even Surrey residents)

 While counting only the 84 people that registered their opposition at the public hearing in her letter, she neglected to include the two, 600 +-signature petitions and a 120-signature petition submitted by community groups and religious organizations in the immediate Newton neighbourhood. Many of the same NGOs and sports groups that offered their support in 2009 have backtracked on their position after the province cut gaming funds

The Surrey Leader also had to run a correction on for her false statements on voting against the South Surrey casino proposal on first and second reading in the same open letter penned to the media – in fact the truth was she did vote in favour of first and second reading for that rezoning application as well.

Personally, I don’t have an issue with casinos other than they tend to be a magnet for organized crime money laundering. I’ve been to the River Rock, once, and years ago checked out the floating casino in New Westminster. Personally,I would rather head to Vegas for the whole experience,but recognize many people just enjoy a night out locally as well.

However, rezoning the Newton development for a gaming centre was a mistake back in 2010, and it remains a mistake now, because it’s located in the heart of a vulnerable community identified by the innumerable cash advance shops, pawn shops,liquor stores and social services.

There is a shelter, inner city elementary school and social housing all within blocks. It just isn’t right no matter how the city tries to justify it. In my opinion, the city just wants that block cleaned up, and this isn’t going to cost them a dime to make that area look much better. And like a Band-Aid covering a festering wound, changing the appearance doesn’t fix the core issues.

When the city opposed the South Surrey casino proposal, Mayor Watts said it was because they couldn’t ignore the voice of the people.

But the voices of the people in Newton were overshadowed not just by a few charities, but by the tempting promise of a developers enhancements that never came to fruition.

So today, while many are clapping and patting themselves on the back over the recent decision to have a fabulous hotel/business/residential complex valued at $150 million dollars in City Centre…

I’m left thinking about ‘Tina’, likely still sitting in the Newton Bingo Hall, spending the change she doesn’t have to spare, trying to win a little jackpot, and a little break from poverty, even if just a dream.

And why none of this seems to matter to more than three councillors on city council.

____________________________________

 

**** As anyone driving by the strip mall where the Newton Bingo hall is located might have noticed, small business tenants of the mall have been vacating for some time, having been given notice. Gateway Casinos and their design firm have had a development application waiting to go before council that was allegedly on the docket in January, but was pulled for rescheduling following the issues in Newton that became news earlier this year.

The planner in charge of this application stated the application should be going to council late February-early March, so if you are interested, you must keep checking back on the city site or with city staff for this application.

In my opinion, the changes in design do not make any difference to the greater issue of having an expanded gaming centre in the middle of a very vulnerable community. More on this in a future post, but here is the PDF planning application documents for you to examine.

NewtonBingoHallApplicationtoSurreyCouncil (pdf format)

37 thoughts on “First steps to permanent slots approved by Surrey council Monday evening. **update at the bottom of this post

  1. Mosko

    The casinos never lose. Not only does the customer never win, but the community is also manhandled by the casino and their political backers so they always get what they want.

    Like

    1. Laila

      I think in this case,if you know this specific area, it’s just so wrong and anyone can see it who lives here. Appalling that the city would even try and pass this off as temporary with all the conditions written in.
      It was rezoned to allow a gaming centre three years ago, and to allow slots. And now the initial development applications have also been approved by the Mayor and council which fulfills the PDA and conditions on previous zoning. It’s quite silly to play semantics with terms and rhetoric at this point. And very unlikely the city has a leg to stand on considering their previous actions.

      Like

  2. luigi

    This is an exceptional piece of journalism, Laila. Thoroughly and accurately researched, and extremely well-presented. Bravo.
    Big bucks over the “Tinas” of the world. A sad state of affairs.

    Like

    1. Laila

      Thank you luigi. But this is one story I wish I didn’t have to write, if you know what I mean. I’ve moved out of the Newton area several years ago,been through tons of meetings, promises,designs etc – little has come to fruition of anything that was talked about.

      The commitment to redevelop this site means the city gets a nice looking area in what is currently an absolute wreck of a strip mall kind of thing, which is nice. Unfortunately I don’t see a gaming centre as an acceptable trade-off, and neither do many Newton residents.

      Like

  3. Lailla ;

    You nailed the sorrow and sad expectations the crack cocaine of gambling world (slots) wreaks havoc on our communities. Remember it was the NDP that brought gambling to the Province and then the Liberals told us 8 years ago if we elected them they would cut gambling back. I guess they then saw the staggering amount of cash the government brings in off the back of those that can least afford it. Like Tina.

    Like

    1. Laila

      Thank you Dave- I can’t even guesstimate what kind of revenue is coming from here. The ironic thing in all of this, is that the rezoning that was done back in 2010 to allow slots and a gaming center is in contradiction to the cities gaming policy which states that a gaming facility has to be attached to either a hotel, convention center or something else – The Newton bingo hall does not effectively meet the gaming policy. Newton is light years from being a destination casino location.

      Like

  4. This type of double standard is precisely why Newton home owners and taxpayers are throwing their hands up in disbelief. It is blatantly obvious that Watts cares nothing for Newton and has focused all her attention on creating a gleaming City Centre.
    What will Watts’ legacy really be?
    Not City Centre.
    Instead our darling mayor’s lasting legacy will be that her decisions created a Vancouver style Downtown East Side on King George.
    Definitely not something to be proud of….

    Like

    1. Laila

      Yes despite the recent move to again, have talks about Newton, much of it is cosmetic and is inherent to the amount to social service agencies etc located in Newton.

      In my opinion, the city has been short-sighted in how it is going about dealing with revitalizing and enhancing the various town centres. There has been this vision of Central City and yes tremendous changes are being made visually, but at what cost to other town centres?

      The primary efforts have been in South Surrey and Central city, and little in between. There must be, with these massive expenditures and investments in Grandview, South Surrey and Whalley, a cohesive approach to deal with the impact of social problems being shunted from one community to another. We can’t shunt them, we have to address them and fix them.

      I don’t think that is too much to ask, that a cohesive effort is made equally to deal with this in an effective manner. Newton in particular has been passed over the entire time I have lived in Surrey,which is nearly 8 years. and longer if you consider the time before it.

      Like

      1. If the Newton development included a hotel, conference centre, theatre and restaurants like the one South Surrey didn’t want, it would most likely have support. Newton is the centre of Surrey and is the best and logical choice for such a facility. The problem is most people think of the King George when they see the name Newton. Newton includes Sullivan Heights, Panorama Ridge & Sullivan Station . It’s not just the King George strip. A River Rock style facility would at least help in that regard. Council says they need such a place. So build it already. Show some Newton love Mayor and council.

        Like

        1. Laila

          I’m not so sure there are any large plots of land left anywhere other than ALR land that would be a suitable location.

          I’m ashamed to say I wasn’t aware of the agreements etc made that allowed for permanent slots to be located in Newton, or I would have considered the South Surrey Casino proposal differently.

          Panorama Ridge would never allow a casino and neither would Sullivan heights or Sullivan station.

          In hindsight, the best location taking a pragmatic approach, if one had to have another casino here for revenue…. the South Surrey location would have been the best. Newton simply cant handle it. I don’t know where else it would go.

          My prediction is that if Surrey really wants a casino, that the project that was on the table back in 2009 with Ralph Berezen for Central City might show up back on the table – but the issue there is the same as Newton. City Centre has still has a very high low income population w/homelessness. Also Berezen is friends wit h some on council so the potential for perceived conflict is high. http://www.civicsurrey.com/2009/09/24/3-casinos-planned-for-surrey/

          Like

            1. Laila

              No,there is an elementary school with a lunch program within a couple blocks because it is inner-city and a lot of kids don’t have coats/food etc…there is Hyland House shelter two blocks south,Welcome Home rehab/addiction program one block away,a transistion home for women and children having left abusive situations two 1/2 blocks by the Newton Library,a seniors centre,two probation offices, one federal,one provincial….

              Should I stop now? This is all within a very short distance to the Newton location.I am going to count the cheque cashing locations again but 4 come to mind within 2 blocks.

              Like

  5. nonconfidencevote

    I’m old enough to remember when the only gambling you could even hope to do in Canada was….an illegal Irish Sweepstakes ticket. The 1960’s i do believe.
    Then came the Montreal Olympics and the “Super Lotto” ! To help pay for it……
    Canadians couldnt get enough of that $1 million dollar tax free prize!
    And on and on and on we, as a society, developed our tastebuds for lottos, gambling, casinos, slots, etc.
    The genie is out and , unfortunately, there is no going back.
    Federal govt cuts turn into Provincial govt cuts that turn into Municipal govt cuts.
    My plumber was right…….shit does flow down hill .

    The “revitalization” of Newton is being paid for by casino/hotel developers on the backs of problem gamblers. Sad but inevitable. It isnt just welfare moms in trouble. I have personally seen upper middle class marriages destroyed due to problem gambling. Not a pretty picture.
    Unfortunately, in these cash strapped times, whats a Mayor to do? Watch cash flow out of Surrey to Richmond? Coquitlam? Vegas?

    Gambling is a disease, just like substance abuse. Some people will never be hooked, some people always will…….
    Just be glad it isnt you.

    Like

    1. Laila

      Wow.. .good memory, I wasn’t even born yet 😉

      True enough, but come drive through or google street view this location, it is not and never was compatible w/ gaming other than bingo mostly attended by local seniors and older residents.

      It is true, some $$ was directed to rehabbing Newton Athletic Park and some small initiatives,but nothing more than that. Newton is a big project because it has become what Whally was and still is in some areas. But the residents who live there have been completely ignored Nonconfidence. Completely ignored.

      If the city can listen to the South Surrey residents and forgo the millions the city would have received from that… that would have served all the city….

      then they should have listened to the more than a thousand people from within a couple of kilometres from this Newton location ( verified names and addresses as per another city report I have ) with the same concern. But they didn’t and what Newton brings in for revenue to the city is a pittance to what the South Surrey Casino would have brought in.

      Like

  6. Curt

    Hmm, Hunt voted against? Gee, isn’t he running for the liberals this election? Yes, an election not far off. Hmm, maybe he can win votes if he votes against?
    And I understand he’s keeping a seat on Surrey Council? Something wrong with this picture. Would that be double dipping?
    My opinion of Watts is she is no better than McCallum before her. All about development, developers and big business. The poor? Oh yeah, move them along now. Surrey Central to Newton, Cloverdale. ALR. What’s that?
    Also, I see the Watt’s residence (don’t believe they live there any longer) on 176 and that area is also up for redevelopment. 10,000 plus. Unbelievable. Stands to make alot of money.

    And I still believe Watts is being set up to take over the lieberal party of BC, or whatever name they decide to “rename” themselves after 2014. Her and Kevie, and the rest of them who have disappeared.

    Like

    1. Laila

      Yes Hunt has always been against Slots, casinos or gambling, as a man of faith – he serves as the Chair of the School Board for Regent Christian Academy and is a fomer pastor.

      Yes he is running for the liberal party and intends to stay on council until January 9th to save the voters of Surrey a Byelection – that according to a neighbor whose door he showed up at door-knocking.

      He specifically told her he would not be stepping down, and is on the record of saying he will donate his salary from the city to charity… no word on what that charity is.

      I personally think the taxpayers deserve proper representation,as do others: http://www.civicsurrey.com/2013/03/05/why-marvin-hunt-needs-to-choose-either-council-or-the-legislature/

      Yes Watts property is among those slated for redevelopment. While she is on the record as saying she will abstain from voting from the final and third reading, I don’t know if she did abstain from the first two.

      A bit off topic though, lets please keep this on Newton slots and gaming centres in poor neighbourhoods.

      Like

    2. Marvin Hunt has always voted against gambling. He’s a conservative evangelical and that is something he is consistent on. Rasode on the other hand voted FOR the South Surrey casino. Her vote switches . She has to keep her Newton South Asian base happy. Rasode is playing this very wisely. Just watch, Watts will be next Liberal party leader, Rasode next mayor of Surrey. The political game council plays is a fascinating one ain’t it?

      Like

      1. Laila

        Hmm interesting but there was a huge South Asian contingent that was greatly against the South Surrey Casino. Rasode has consistently over the years,been one of the councillors who always spoke out against slots in Newton, along with Judy.

        I think Rasode might make a good mayor.She is very involved with the communities and it seems like everyone loves her. Time will tell I guess

        Like

  7. Ranjit

    I agree this is very very wrong for Surrey.Why not is the city doing something with all our crimes here in Newton?We are having so much break ins in our vehicles and our houses,it is like being all the time now.I am living at 128th st and 68th and it is very very bad still!

    Like

    1. Laila

      Well Ranjit,I don’t know what to say other than what is going on now clearly isn’t working, or isn’t keeping pace with property crimes in particular in your area.I suggest you and your neighbours contact the Surrey RCMP in Newton directly to address what you can do to make a difference. I know it’s frustrating to have repetitive break-ins,but if you can get your neighbours together to start talking,perhaps you can take back your streets- block watch,patrols, whatever needs to be done.

      In my opinion,policing levels in the city are not on par with the population and number of calls Surrey RCMP deals with,especially in Newton/ Whalley.

      Like

  8. Gary

    What I find interesting is that there was already a gambling operation in Newton until McCallum nixed it. The old Legion across from the Newton Mall and it was the perfect spot for it. It was self-contained, had parking, and at that time had room to expand up or down. But the area was also different at that time, there were some excellent restaurant’s in the area and business’s. Unfortunately, the whole area south of 72nd has digressed ever since. A motley of transient business’s, the present mall, as you mentioned, has turned into a mess, and very little development otherwise. Your also right in that as Central City develops, Newton has to keep up as a major hub or it will become a DTES.

    People forget that Main and Hastings right up to Burrard was a major hub of Vancouver, Woodwards, Eatons, Birk’s was on Hastings along with other major jewelers, Sears, and other major business’s. It contained some of the best restaurants, live music venues in the city. It housed the Library, and Museum. This is what makes me laugh at the Gentrification issue, it should be more like take back our neighborhood from the drug dealers etc. When Art Phillips decided to Mall up Granville Street from the bridge north, things shifted, and the city virtually forgot about the Hasting’s street area and it fell into despair. The same thing is, or could happen to Newton unless the merchants and taxpayers in this area keep up the fight to keep improving the area, including everything south of 72nd.

    Like

    1. Laila

      Great comment Gary.

      I’ve talked to a lot of long time residents/business owners and Newton always had the reputation, I am told, of being Rootin’ Tootin’ Newton, but more of in a fun way,not a scary way.

      I see the SBOT is teaming up with the Surrey RCMP to help businesses fight crime,http://www.cknw.com/news/vancouver/story.aspx?ID=1933708,and in Newton this is a huge issue.Many places have those blue lights in the bathrooms and outside their buildings at night to prevent users from shooting up( the Safeway in Newton has a bathroom with this-its very creepy actually)and deal with property crimes that cost a lot. Others have felt the impact with a decrease in business because many avoid the area right around 72nd and king George, and down, so the SBOT collaboration may be a good one.

      But part of the issue in Newton,like the DTES,is the concentration of social services etc located here now.I think anytime you have that concentration,you see this kind of continual issue with the impact flowing out from the centre point, and couple that with the effort to clean up Whalley/City Centre, well its doubled the issues here.

      A gaming centre with slots in the middle of all of it is just asking for more problems.

      Like

  9. G. Barry Stewart

    I’ll bet there are all sorts of sad stories to tell, if you could do exit or smoke-break interviews with the gambling patrons.

    You certainly gave ‘Tina’ a voice, Laila — and I hope that politicians and anti-gambling lobbyists will drop by to read this.

    Like

    1. Laila

      Thank you G – in fact many have. This has been one of the most read posts this year at all levels of government, even across the country actually – you can never tell by comments how much something has been read. Some posts generate not much traffic but a lot of comments and vice versa.

      BCLC, and both major gaming companies in BC have also been spending a lot of time reading this, thoughtfully so I hope.

      Like

  10. Mosko

    The whole Newton casino concept should have never proceeded but was fraudulently put forth as a benefit to charities. A lot of the charities, who were making money from small bingo enterprises bought into it and supported the casino hoping to get a slice of the pie, then were double-crossed and shut out.

    Everything around casinos is littered with lies, hype and deception.

    Like

  11. e.a.f.

    Of course the middle and upper class neighbourhoods don’t want casinos. They lower property values and bring a whole rift of social problems. If they want to gamble they can afford to go to Vegas or any where. Placing it in an economically deprived area works because the citizens aren’t as politically organized and many of them are moving through the neighbourhood. Some have argued the economically deprived spend more on gambling than those who actually could afford disposable income. The casinos want to be in areas such as Newton so they can attract people such as “Tina”. They are desperate. The government doesn’t care how it gets its money, as long as they get it. The provincial government now pulls in over $1 billion a year. Now if that billion were spent by the gamblers on other things the economy might be better off. The billion the provicincal government receives frequently comes with a large social cost. The government may argue they need the money to run the province but if there were a fair tax system in place the government would not have been impoverished in the first place.

    The lieberals and many municpal politicians don’t care about the social costs of gambling, they just want to ensure their friends make money and they collect their end.

    Like

  12. Nobody ought to spend their milk money gambling but free people make mistakes. We could, theoretically at least, make it a requirement that people provide proof of their income and not allow them to gamble more than a reasonable amount of their income in a given period of time. A universal gambling card we could incorporate into our BC Services card if you like. We would be less free but we could do it but it would not be long before underground casinos began offering their services to one and all. I never thought gambling would be so commonplace in this country as it is now but I do not see how that egg is going to be unscrambled. And besides, if I may be just a little mischievious, you encourage voting, perhaps the biggest gamble of all.

    Like

  13. Laila

    Of course I encourage voting and yes that is a huge gamble when so few seem engaged enough to vote and others choose intentionally not to.

    I’m simply saying, it makes no sense to plunk down permanent slots in a very low income neighbourhood, with no buffer zone, with schools and housing coops right behind it. It just isn’t right.

    I think the city needs to think long and hard about their actions leading up to this development. I cant see why the opinions, petitions and opposition of the lower income people in Newton count less than the peoples opinions in South Surrey.

    Like

  14. Penge

    I think Laila makes a good point that both neighbourhoods deserveto be heard with equal weight.South Surrey is a mid-high income area,Newtons not,but both hold equal weight at voting booths.Not fair to plunk it down just anywhere either,but the city should have been upfront about where the slots would end up staying.I know Newton really well and its a bad spot for this so close to schools and stuff.

    Like

  15. Curt

    Sorry Laila, was trying to find another link to put this too, but no success — so far.

    http://www.news1130.com/2013/04/23/mayor-of-surrey-wants-pst-rebate-program-for-municipalities/

    Like Diane couldn’t see this coming? Really? I’m sure Kev, Mary, Rich would have kept her informed.
    And she sold out the citizens of Surrey already on the Campbell Heights adventure. Maybe her and council need to do a better job of protecting our land out here for the good of the citizens.

    Like

    1. Laila

      Actually I don’t – but I will check and let you know.I know they are very slowly renovating that mall, not much action on that at all and many tenants gone. Even the little café that had been there for something like 25 years!

      Like

  16. Laila

    For those Surrey and Newton residents following this story, I have posted the new development application plan for the entire property below the main story above. If you are interested in having your say, please note the application number and keep checking the city of Surrey site for when this goes before council – I will be doing the same thing, but its better to have several doing the checking in the event it slips by while another story is going on!!!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s