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SPORTS BETTING BACK FOR DEBATE IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS: Liberals Bet on lack of Commitment to force resolution on Single Sport Betting and lost

OTTAWA – Today, Brian Masse NDP M.P. (Windsor West) and the NDP is being represented by MP Alistair McGregor (Cowichan-Malahat-Langford) in the second hour of debate on private members bill (PMB) C-218, a bill to legalize single event sports betting (SESB).  On the eve of Super Bowl weekend and the largest betting day of the season, Canada is still without a modern approach for regulated sports betting meaning organized crimes and the black market will bring in windfall profits.  These funds are well known to finance other illegal activity at the expense of the public.


In December of 2020 the Trudeau Liberals committed to changing SESB and tabled Bill C-13, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (sports betting), but cancelled debate and took it off the Parliament schedule twice.  Scheduled to appear last week, the Liberals without notification or consultation dropped C-13 from the scheduled debate time creating another delay and gave no indication as to when they would bring it back.   In response, Kevin Waugh MP (Saskatoon—Grasswood) returned his Private Member’s Bill C-218 to the order paper and for a debate today.  Once learning this news, again without consultation or notification the Liberals have put back C-13 but not until Friday February 19th, coupled with legislation on new election laws, making it unlikely to be debated.


The cat and mouse schedule game will result in Bill C-218 coming to vote in the House of Commons on February 17th, well before C-13 can receive debate or even a vote.  “The only question remains is will the Liberals support C-218 or find some excuse to vote against, the bill enjoys large support from the Conservatives, Bloc and NDP so the only way for this not to pass and move to committee is for Liberal members to vote against in large numbers.” stated Mr. Masse.


With this weekends Super Bowl many US States have already implemented legal sport betting and will see approximately $6 Billion in wagering, with taxes and proceeds going to the public.  Equally important will be the denial of funds to organized crime, something that now leaves Canada an outlier from many including most of Europe and Asia.  “While Canada struggles with the cost of COVID-19, we will continue to watch billions of dollars each year disappear into criminal activity versus health care and supports to workers, it’s unconscionable but a good example of Trudeau and government not willing to work with Parliament, despite promising to do so.  In recent months Trudeau was planning for an election, however their recent vaccine procurement disaster has resulted in a slip in their polling numbers and perhaps less likely to trigger an election giving us time to fix this mess.” said Masse.


Canadians can watch the debate on CPAC, 1:00 pm today https://www.cpac.ca/en/




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