Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Ontario Lottery Fraud - McGuinty's Adscam?

Will this be the big wedge issue in the upcoming Ontario election? Kate seems to think it could have some traction.

One thing for sure - The people who were hurt by this are likely some of the more vulnerable in our society, such as seniors and low-income folks.

Are we as taxpayers and voters going to continue to accept this kind of weak excuse from our political leaders that according to them, they didn't know about the wrongdoing and so therefore should be excused? We are seeing this time and time again. The scapegoats get sent packing with huge incentives that make it seem as if they won the lottery!

Colby Cosh notes in his column Scratch and Lose, that:

But when OLG employees raised concerns about suspicions of retailer fraud, CEO Duncan Brown noted in an e-mail that as head of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission, "I used to have to issue gaming licences to companies or individuals that I just knew with absolute certainty were dirty. I just couldn't prove it. Sometimes you hold your nose."

I have a question for each taxpayer and lottery player in Ontario - Are you going to hold your nose and vote in more of the same this fall?

* * * *
Update: Step to the Right - OLG Campaign with YOUR Money!

I just came across one of these ads myself. "OLG- Making it even better" (for fraudsters?).

Oh boy. Here's a juicy tidbit. It seems that our friend Warren Kinsella was allegedly one of the spin doctors allegedly involved in the PR repair job after the original Fifth Estate exposé aired back in October.

..."As soon as the 'insider win' scandal was exposed, the (OLG) took action -- but instead of investigating what went wrong ... it reacted like a business facing a public relations nightmare, it hired experts to dispute the CBC's findings, even though as our investigators discovered, it knew full well that Mr. Edmonds was far from alone," Marin said...

Mr. Kinsella was allegedly not available for comment.


Anonymous said...

Consider the facts, Liberals depend on immigrants and minorities to keep them in power so are they gonna charge them for wrong doing? This is political corruption at its most rank. (real conservative)

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Right on.

Just watching QP in the Legislative Assembly. Howard Hampton and John Tory are hammering David Caplan.

The guy is the Artful Dodger personified. He won't answer a direct question. He looks like Newman on Jerry Seinfeld, and he is just as obnoxious.

Brian in Calgary said...

The BC NDP had "Bingo-gate" in the 1990s, which I think drove Mike Harcourt from that province's premiership. I wonder if the same type of thing is at play here.

PGP said...

Good God!
Wouldn't that be ironic?
After all the BS and incompetence of McGuinty on important and substantive issues with both immediate and long term consequences that the simple issue of fraudulent store owners stealing from the lotteries would be a turning point for the citizens of Ontario?

Anonymous said...

Liberals depend on immigrants and minorities to keep them in power

Thank god the Conservatives are around to stand up for the white man.

Anonymous said...

Following the money would be interesting - after the lottery profits get laundered through 'community agencies' or 'social organizations' - where does it go?

To the Liberals most likely, they're good at tapping cash cows like taxpayers.

Odds are that the executives and directors of lottery profit recipients donate handsomely to the Liberal Party of Toronto - that's how Liberals operate.

Mac said...

Bingo-Gate isn't an apt comparison. In Bingo-Gate, the provincial Dippers were laundering funds into the party coffers. Harcourt wasn't involved but he did the honourable thing on behalf of the party. Incidentally, I've met Harcourt and he was a decent man... which makes me wonder why he was with the Dippers.

The Ontario Lottery thing sounds like vendors are ripping off their clients, not diverting funds to a political party. Yes, the Lottery Corporation "wins" but not a particular political party. If the Prov-Libs aren't putting adequate controls in place or taking enforcement action, that's bad but not as bad as diverting/laundering $$$.

Anonymous said...

Mac does have a very good point. Bingo-gate centred around a political party, while this centres around the government itself. The McGuinty Liberals should have taken measures to crack down on this but in some cases it's quite hard to do.

I will note that this problem is not new. It's been going on for some time and all provinces should learn from this lesson and investigate their retailers.


Joanne (True Blue) said...

Good points from everyone here.

I agree that this latest scandal does not involve money-laundering into party coffers, so in that respect it differs from both Bingo-gate and Adscam.

However, Caplan allegedly either ignored all the warning signs of a problem under his watch or he just didn't know; neither of which is acceptable.

And as PGP notes, after all the broken promises and garbage that has occurred in the past five years, it would be so ironic to have this as the issue that finally wakes up grassroots Ontario.

Mac said...

Governments refer to lotteries as "voluntary taxation" and they've become more and more dependent on those revenues.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Mac, I agree. And lotteries usually target the very people who can least afford them.

Kunoichi said...

We tend to refer to lotteries as the "stupid tax."

Yeah, we sometimes buy tickets, too, but rarely.

As someone who's sold lottery tickets in a couple of provinces, I posted about lotto procedure today, in case anyone wants to check it out.

The Mole said...

OLGC is going to be the McGuinties undoing. From Don Guy to Warren Kinsella to Jim Warren, the corporation has been used for political fundraising, superbowl tickets and other "favours" over the last 2 years (ie - since Warren took his high-paying job there). This is going to make Ashworth taking a fridge in the 80s look like chicken shit.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thank you mole. And may I now take the opportunity to state a disclaimer here that anything said in this comments section is purely speculation. Nothing has been proven. There are only allegations. Any resemblance to a real person is only coincidental...

And anyone wishing to dispute what has been said may freely do so.

There, that should cover my butt, I hope.

Anonymous said...

There, that should cover my butt, I hope.

Perhaps, we know how much Kinsella loves his lawsuits.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Perhaps, we know how much Kinsella loves his lawsuits

Exactly. Hence the copious amounts of disclaimers and 'alleged' qualifications.