Local activist takes city to court to stop construction of Peterborough casino
Construction of Peterborough’s new casino is slated to officially begin next month but local activist Roy Brady is trying to put a stop to the project as he’s taking the city to court.
Brady suggests the process was corrupt and the city violated the Municipal Act when they held a behind-closed-door meeting in November 2015, where he says council decided on the future casino site to build at Crawford Drive in the city’s south end.
Construction crews are already on site, working to clear the land, as the construction of the casino, hotel, and convention centre is officially slated to get underway on Sept. 6, 2017, with the Great Canadian Gaming group and the city planning a groundbreaking ceremony at that time.
Brady has filed a court injunction with a date to be set in the fall, as he argues the entire process since the behind-closed-door meeting has been tainted.
“What we’re focusing on with the judicial review is the fact that an illegal in-camera meeting was held,” said Brady. “Surely, they [city council)] would have been advised that they should not have been discussing the location then, but even when they were advised by their own consultant, they carried on, not informing the people about this particular site.”
Brady says the public was never given the chance to weigh in on the casino site and argues this project should not move forward until the court and a judge, hear all the details.
Brady filed his affidavit Thursday morning, highlighting his points of argument ahead of the trial, which will take place in a divisional court in Oshawa, sometime in the fall.
In the meantime, the city is moving forward with construction plans, which Brady suggests is negligent given the court order but says at the same time, he’s not surprised.
“They are doing it to get as much done as possible and only the judicial system — the courts — can stop them, and that’s what we’re after,” he said.
In his affidavit, Brady claims that, “Mayor Daryl Bennett and his brother are prominent business and landowners in Peterborough and in the vicinity of the proposed casino,” and suggests this fact may trigger issues under the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act.
Mayor Bennett said he couldn’t comment on the affidavit or the court order, as it’s a matter before the courts but did say there were a few items that needed to be cleared up before the case moves forward.
As Bennett suggests, he has no conflict of interest and no brother, either.
“He [Roy Brady] has alleged that I have a pecuniary interest because of my involvement in the casino issues,” said Bennett. “I do not have a pecuniary interest, period. I have a legal opinion that is very much in line with my own personal thinking, and I am very pleased to offer it up if Mr. Brady wants to move forward.”
A court date has yet to be determined.
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