Tuesday, October 10, 2017

BC Liberals Coleman. Do you remember BC Premier Dave Barrett on the birth of the BC Lottery Corp: "... to cut off an umbilical cord with a monster that provides them money"?

Time for Commission 2017 on the impropriety of politicians helping operators of casinos and especially the lack of enforcement on money laundering that would have caught not only the culprits but the politicians as well.

Why did Rich Coleman shutter the enforcement branch?

What was 'good' for the BC NDP in 2000 where one party member used money from a non-profit bingo organization in Nanaimo to fund their election chances surely seems minuscule compared to today's activities where instead of community players being shortchanged in thousands of dollars via bingo games Today's BC Liberals assisted in the laundering of Millions of dollars and benefited by having the casino operators donating to their cause.

No wonder corporations need to be banned from donating money to political parties where no means by which it was acquired came from legal sources.

14     THE COMMISSIONER:  Mr. Lewis? 
    15     MR. LEWIS: 
    16              Q   Mr. Barrett, my name is Geoffrey Lewis I act as 
    17                  counsel for the British Columbia Gaming 
    18                  Commission.
    19              A   Yes.
    20              Q   And the question -- series of questions I have 
    21                  for you relate really to your experience with 
    22                  public policy and the history of gaming in the 
    23                  province.
    24              A   Mh-hmm.
    25              Q   In the period of your government 1972 to 1975, 
     1                  and then through the '70s as leader of the 
     2                  opposition, say up until 1980 or so, do you 
     3                  recall gaming being a significant matter for the 
     4                  government either in terms of regulation or 
     5                  revenue?
     6              A   For the government? 
     7              Q   Yes.
     8              A   Yes.  Regretfully I authorized the first lottery 
     9                  structure in British Columbia.  It was much to my 
    10                  policy regret that we were instrumental in 
    11                  establishing the 649 program, the scratch and win 
    12                  programs, this was in response at the time to the 
    13                  amount of money that was leaving Canada with the  
    14                  Irish sweepstakes which was substantial. 
    15                       On reflection of these past years I think it 
    16                  was a mistake that I made in my government made 
    17                  along with the other governments that allowed the 
    18                  development of the lotteries corporation.  And I 
    19                  regret this.  Nothing that I can do will change 
    20                  it but I was instrumental in making that decision 
    21                  and we were instrumental in setting up the first 
    22                  lotteries across Canada.
    23              Q   In comparison to the types of revenues and the 
    24                  types of activity that exists today would you say 
    25                  it's fair to characterize the level of activity 
     1                  in the '70s as being just a shadow of what it is 
     2                  today?
     3              A   It certainly is a shadow of what it is today and 
     4                  but however, it was the embryo that's grown in a 
     5                  monster in my opinion.
     6              Q   In that embryonic stage in the '70s do you recall 
     7                  that the federal government, no doubt you do 
     8                  recall that the federal government was active in 
     9                  the field at that time?
    10              A   They were active in the field too as well as a 
    11                  number of other provinces.
    12              Q   And one example that anyone might recall was that 
    13                  the Super Lotto was introduced to help in part 
    14                  fund the Montreal Olympics.  Do you recall that?
    15              A   I recall that.  I must add that when we had the 
    16                  opportunity to bid for the winter Olympic games 
    17                  in British Columbia I made a statement that our 
    18                  government would not support a bid for those 
    19                  Olympics because of the financial cost and 
    20                  because of the financing that North America was 
    21                  moving into, not just Canada but the United 
    22                  States, in terms of the financing those kind of 
    23                  operations.
    24              Q   All right.  In the relationship of the federal 
    25                  government with the provincial governments and 
     1                  the identification of source of revenue, sources 
     2                  of taxation sources of levies, am I right in 
     3                  understanding that in our constitutional system 
     4                  the way to governments work in Canada that 
     5                  generally the provinces and the federal 
     6                  government vie for control over sources of 
     7                  revenue with each other?
     8              A   Well, I don't know if I could use the word vie, I 
     9                  mean, there are competing interests for revenues 
    10                  sources but that's the nature of the B NA and 
    11                  constitution itself.  When someone is a 
    12                  provincial politician they think that their 
    13                  jurisdiction is paramount in some areas when one 
    14                  is a federal politician they think that their 
    15                  position is paramount.  The taxpayer has to pay 
    16                  no matter whose position is paramount but there 
    17                  is competition obviously and niches and in 
    18                  general policy.
    19              Q   In 1985 do you recall, and I appreciate at this 
    20                  time that you were no longer a sitting member of 
    21                  the legislature.
    22              A   Yes.
    23              Q   But do you recall that in connection with the 
    24                  funding for the Calgary winter Olympics that John 
    25                  Turner made a deal with the provinces that 
     1                  resulted in the federal government agreeing to 
     2                  withdraw from the field of gaming?
     3              A   I knew that Mr. Turner was considering that.  I 
     4                  must say that I enjoyed extremely positive 
     5                  relationship with Mr. Turner when he was federal 
     6                  Minister of Finance, he was a very reasonable 
     7                  honourable person and we did have generalized 
     8                  discussions about whether lottery funds where 
     9                  going because I was a Minister of Finance 
    10                  provincially at the same time.  But as far as the 
    11                  Calgary decision it was of no import to me at 
    12                  that time.
    13              Q   All right.  The result in -- I'll tell you 
    14                  because I know -- that was that the Criminal Code 
    15                  was amended and the permissive sections of the 
    16                  Criminal Code that permit gaming to occur and not 
    17                  be a criminal offence included prior to that time 
    18                  among other exceptions but the principal ones 
    19                  were gaming conducted on behalf of the Federal 
    20                  Crown, gaming conducted on behalf of the 
    21                  provincial crown?
    22              A   Mh-hmm.
    23              Q   And then the charitable exception that gave rise 
    24                  to raffles and bingo and casino and we see exist 
    25                  in the province today in addition to what the 
     1                  provincial government operates through the 
     2                  lottery corporation.
     3              A   Yes.
     4              Q   And so in 1985 in return for a funding 
     5                  arrangement and I don't mean this in terms of a 
     6                  contract but there was an arrangement made with 
     7                  the provinces that saw an undertaking and 
     8                  obligation to funneled the winter Olympics in 
     9                  Calgary and the federal government at least 
    10                  withdrew itself from the field?
    11              A   Mh-hmm.
    12              Q   Would you agree with the characterization that 
    13                  had the federal government at that time 
    14                  appreciated the many billions of dollars of 
    15                  revenue which are now drawn both to the 
    16                  charitable sector on the provincial government 
    17                  sectors across the country annually, that they 
    18                  wouldn't have withdrawn from the field completely 
    19                  at the price they did had they foreseen what a 
    20                  large economic force gaming was to become?
    21     MS. SMITH:  How can that witness answer that question.
    22              A   Well --
    23     MR. LEWIS:  Given his experience.
    24              A   It's impossible for me to answer that question.  
    25                  Gambling has become so seductive in North America 
     1                  for governments and if I may take off a political 
     2                  hat and put on a social scientist hat I lament 
     3                  very much this dream machine that had been 
     4                  created by the monster. 
     5                       There was a study recently showing that 
     6                  almost one-third of Canadians buy lottery tickets 
     7                  in hopes of winning enough for their retirement 
     8                  rather than save through the RRSPs or other 
     9                  means.  In hindsight -- hindsight is always very  good, in terms of hindsight on policy I've  already said early on I regretted very much the  move that I made.  But for governments to regret it today is for governments to cut off an umbilical cord with a monster that provides them money
Search in BC Legislative Library Horizon for:      Nanaimo Commonwealth Holding Society

Results:  22 hits


eg.  BingoGate  Barrett testimony



News release / Commission of Inquiry into the Nanaimo Commonwealth Holding Society and Uses of Gaming Proceeds. --



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