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Toronto Workers’ Union Opposes Casino

Toronto — The union representing Toronto’s inside city workers announced today its opposition to a new casino in Toronto.
CUPE Local 79, whose members provide a range of social services to communities across Toronto, announced its decision after the results of an internal poll showed 67% of responding members oppose a casino outright. 81% thought that poverty would be worsened by a casino and 82% thought crime would increase.
“CUPE Local 79 is concerned about a casino’s negative impacts on Toronto communities.  Our members are front-line community workers in a city that’s already struggling under a social infrastructure deficit. We are worried that the social impacts of a casino could overwhelm Toronto’s already strained social support system,” said CUPE Local 79 President Tim Maguire. “We’ve seen no convincing arguments to prove a casino will provide a net benefit for Toronto communities.”
Maguire said a casino in Toronto could double the number of problem gamblers, and noted a Toronto Public Health report predicted that the real impact, considering families, and in particular children, was more likely to be three or four times the present number.
“Anyone in social service knows prevention is the first principle,” commented Maguire, “the evidence is quite clear that the city can prevent a lot of harm in our communities by saying no to a Casino.”
As a result of his union members’ stance, Maguire said CUPE Local 79 has signed on in support of ‘No Casino Toronto’ – a concerned residents group leading the opposition against the establishment of a casino in Toronto.
CUPE Local 79 represents about 20,000 City of Toronto employees working in all City divisions, including public health, city inspectors, homeless hostels, transportation, childcare centres, employment and social services, recreation programs, and long term care homes.
For further information, contact:  Tor Sandberg at 416-655-8338

See Maguire interviewed on the union’s stance on CityNews here:



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