Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation denounce the government’s disregard for their First Nation and agreements negotiated in good faith.
SCUGOG, ON, March 9, 2023 /CNW/ – The Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation (MSIFN) are outraged by the disrespect shown to their First Nation by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) and Great Canadian Entertainment (GCE). As MSIFN prepares to mediate in the coming months its disputes with the government over the government’s expansion of gaming in the GTA, OLG and GCE have instead announced another expansion of GTA gaming when their mega-casino at Woodbine opens in Toronto this summer.
GCE is the operator of many Ontario government casinos, including Casino Woodbine in Toronto and the Great Blue Heron Casino at MSIFN. In 2016, MSIFN – as the owner of the Great Blue Heron Casino – entered into agreements with the government and OLG, as part of Ontario’s modernization scheme. The agreements, in part, where meant to ensure that the Great Blue Heron Casino would be operated in a comparative manner to other government casinos in the GTA and revenue would be provided to MSIFN to support development and services for the First Nation, including the provision of clean drinking water in the community.
“We entered into our agreements with OLG and the government with a shared understanding that OLG and the government would act in good faith and in accordance with their Honour of the Crown obligations, and in particular their contractual obligations set out in the agreements,” said MSIFN’s Chief Kelly LaRocca. “Once again, the government is acting without any engagement with MSIFN and is acting to disadvantage the Great Blue Heron Casino at MSIFN.”
“We’ve been engaging with the government, OLG, and Great Canadian Entertainment on these issues for years, and finally we’ve reached the point of entering mediation in the coming months,” continued Chief LaRocca, who is also a lawyer. “Once again, however, the Ford government chooses to implement its decisions and ask questions later. It’s utter disregard for our First Nation and the Honour of the Crown. We continue to focus our good faith efforts on the mediation and will brace for whatever comes next.”
Mediation between the Ontario government and MSIFN regarding the government’s actions to date is scheduled to commence this summer.
For centuries, the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation (MSIFN) have lived on the shores of Lake Scugog, North of what is now Port Perry. Thanks in large part to the success of the Great Blue Heron (GBH) casino, MSIFN is widely considered a model of a successful First Nation government in Canada. In part due to the success of GBH, MSIFN has provided their community – and Durham Region as a whole – with thousands of jobs, and millions of dollars in charitable donations to community organizations throughout the region.
SOURCE Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation