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Mayor Rob Ford vented his frustration and slammed the Province Premier for failing to come forward with Toronto’s casino hosting fee in a hastily called press conference Thursday afternoon on May 16,2013. He blamed provincial stalling for his decision to cancel a planned debate on a Toronto casino, which he called such debate “dead” and folded his plans for a special council meeting on the issue.

“I’m sick and tired of playing games,” Ford said. “I don’t know why the premier does not support the casino which could create 10,000 good-paying jobs we so badly need in Toronto. I really want to hear the answer from the premier”. He added “I will not ask the council to go through such a divisive and grueling debate next week to approve a casino that the premier is no longer interested in,”

Despite having trumpeted the impact of a casino for the last several months, Ford distanced himself from the issue on Thursday meeting. “Contrary to what many people have said, I’m not married to a casino, even I never campaigned on a casino”, Ford continued. “I tried to work with our provincial partners to benefit both the province and the city with extra revenue.” Ford said he and many members of city staff to put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into this plan of building a casino in the downtown over the last year.

“If the province won’t agree $100 million’s hosting fee, the deal is dead,” he said. “We are not going to carry on with the casino debate any more.”

But don’t bet on no casino debate next week. Shortly after the mayor spoke, Councilor Mike Layton said they are gathering the 23 votes needed to call the meeting next week despite Ford. “The councilors will force the debate to take place on next Tuesday” Layton said. “The people of Toronto want to their councilors to take a stand, let’s have the debate and finish this issue off.”

Councilor Adam Vaughan scoffed at Ford’s claim of “he is not married to a casino”. “He is a flip-flopper, an opportunist flip-flopper.” He said, “The council has to show leadership on the casino issue.” Vaughan argued.

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