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Mayor Deb writes a letter to OLG

Monday, January 27, 2014   by: Staff received a copy of a letter sent by Mayor Amaroso to the Ontario Lottery Corporation strongly urging that the CEO position be located at the Sault Ste. Marie head office.
January 24, 2014
Philip Oisson, Chair
Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) 4120 Yonge Street, Suite 500
Toronto, ON MZP 288

Mr. Olsson,

With the appointment of the OLG Board of Directors now complete, the Board reaffirming the future of lottery and gaming modernization in Ontario and in follow-up to your October 24th letter, it would appear to be an opportune time to accept my invitation to have a formal meeting.

More importantly, it is a critical opportunity for OLG to explicitly demonstrate its commitment to the community and head office here by requiring the CEO, hired to replace Mr. Phillips, be located in and operate from Sault Ste. Marie.

You may recall that last fall we invited you to come to Sault Ste. Marie at your earliest convenience to meet with key city stakeholders, discuss the future of the OLG, digital gaming initiatives in our community and to determine how best to work with the OLG Board and Executive as the host community for OLG’s head office.

We would be most grateful if you could now confirm a time for such a meeting.

As we discussed, OLG and Sault Ste. Marie have enjoyed a long-term beneficial relationship - they have over two and half decades of shared history.

The City and the SSM Economic Development Corporation have embraced the new era of "modernization", made it a community priority and are undertaking a range of initiatives and activities in support of digital gaming development and in particular, the lottery and gaming procurement processes - integral parts of modernization.

At the operational level, a positive working relationship with Tom Marinelli and the senior management team has been established. Together we are identifying and developing ways for the community to become the Centre for Next Generation Lottery and Gaming.

We have been working hard to build the structures and competencies to support the lottery and gaming as OLG proceeds into their next developmental phase.

Together with the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre and private sector suppliers, we are becoming more engaged in OLG's digital gaming efforts.

We have also created a community framework to support private sector proponents who seek to win the OLG business through the RFP processes.

Over the last year, we have been heartened by Ontario’s and OLG's pledges that Sault Ste. Marie will remain at the centre of managing the lottery business in the future.

The approximately 560 OLG head office positions and the complementary work done by private sector suppliers are essential to the economic well-being of Sault Ste. Marie. indeed, many pubiic and private sector initiatives are taking root in anticipation of OLG continuing to manage its lottery activity here.

Very recentiy a unique opportunity has emerged for OLG and the Government to clearly demonstrate its pledge to Sault Ste. Marie to maintain its place in OLG's operations.

Presumably, with the resignation of Rod Phillips as OLG CEO, the Board and Government will be launching a search for a replacement.

As part of this recruitment process, we strongly urge that the CEO position be located at the Sault Ste. Marie head office.

An OLG CEO based in Sault Ste. Marie would be such an important signal to the prospective new operators of the Lottery, to the supplier community and public sector organizations that the resources and structure of this community will continue to be dedicated to the lottery and gaming industry in the future.

When Sault Ste. Marie was designated as the Provincial lottery headquarters in 1986 as part of the Northern Ontario Relocation Program, the executive team and CEO were based here.

Even then, the distance from Ontario's major urban centers did not prevent the growth and development of Ontario's lottery crown corporation. With today’s ICT technologies and competitive air transportation services to the community, Sault Ste. Marie is an even better place to do business.

Unfortunately, over the years all senior executive positions and many OLG positions and functions have been relocated or transferred to Toronto, in fact to a point where its OLG employees headcount now outnumbers that in Sault Ste. Marie.

We hope you wilt agree that hiring the next CEO as a Sault Ste. Marie-based position is best for the future of a modernized OLG and for the economy of Sault Ste. Marie and Northern Ontario.

Please let me know how my administration and the SSM Economic Development Corporation can assist in this CEO search. Once again, we look forward to formally meeting the new Board in Sault Ste. Marie.

Thank you.

Debbie Amaroso, MAYOR
Earlier coverage:

This could be a good thing!

Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
Wicket 1/27/2014 7:06:28 PM Report

Interesting, now that the acting interim CEO is Tom Marinelli - born and raised in the Soo - nice to give him a conflict of interest that he doesn't deserve....
Beej 1/27/2014 7:18:29 PM Report

I hope this letter wasn't received as is, there are no less than 5 typos, Deb!
Tag33&1/3rd 1/27/2014 7:23:58 PM Report

Lol there is no head office here! If there was we would be able to cash a ticket that is worth more than $999.
Anything over that amount has to be either: brought in person or mailed to the 'HEAD' office in Toronto!
Dead End Kid 1/27/2014 7:24:10 PM Report

Id like to be a bug on the wall when the new CEO reads her letter.
itsme29 1/27/2014 7:58:07 PM Report

so whens the election cominging up? I hear where getting a new mayor?
OMGWTF 1/27/2014 8:02:17 PM Report

Well if the new CEO did live here he/she would be on an airplane every week going to TO for business. It's hard enough to get people at any level of job to move here never mind a new CEO
Javaman 1/27/2014 8:08:02 PM Report

Slowly but surely SSM is becoming known as the head office of the elderly. Hayes has done nothing for this riding. David O has stopped photo ops and is hiding out...somewhere. The mayor is still in shock that she actually won the last election. I am going into the granny rocking chair business...hope there are some EDC funds available.
muf 1/27/2014 8:27:40 PM Report

One thing about good ole Sault Ste Marie,no shortage of pisser`s and whiner`s. P&W`s say the mayor does nothing and when she tries to do something constructive, well thats no good either. Everyone has the answer but when it`s time to step up to the plate they`re no where to be seen .
cooper2006 1/27/2014 8:50:16 PM Report

man, tough community.

first people say the mayor and council do nothing, then when they do something people laugh and criticize...

Javaman 1/27/2014 9:13:39 PM Report

I thought she wrote several letters on this already. How many letters does it take?
Tag33&1/3rd 1/27/2014 9:22:26 PM Report

They aren't really responding to her--thats why her persistence -- it appears that the OLG used us and don't need us anymore ultimately!
dadal 1/27/2014 9:56:08 PM Report

Hey Mayor Deb. How about a letter to CN telling them how they are killing off any reason for tourism in this city? The casino hasn't announced a closing date but the Passenger Train has. How about trying to fight for our train? ( BTW I do applaud she is writing letters. But instead of saving that which takes more local money than gives back, try saving that which brings tourist to the city whom will spend $$$ ).
Pakadeva 1/28/2014 12:10:24 AM Report

Kudos to our Mayor for persisting in the better good of SSM even when all the whiners are still critical of ANYTHING that ANYONE does or tries to do to better the Soo. Go Mayor Debbie, make them remember their promises & make HUGE headlines here & all over Ontario if they don't uphold their promises. TO has way too much that belongs here in the north, the most beautiful part of Ontario.
eadiecougs 1/28/2014 12:15:01 AM Report

the south dont give a rats ass about the north period
Mr E 1/28/2014 12:18:20 AM Report

Turncoat Tommy gave up on the Soo long ago.
OrlandoFlorida 1/28/2014 6:16:23 AM Report

I wonder if OLG was located in Sudbury, would their MPP / Cabinet Minister be as quiet about privatizing a major employer and moving the jobs from his riding as our local MPP / Cabinet Minister is? I think not! Hey wait maybe thats were the new privatized company will re locate - Sudbury. Its already got the Science North, Medical School, 4 lane highway to Toronto and a Costco.
Tara3 1/28/2014 7:31:20 AM Report

Do you think the OLG is ignoring Mayor Deb for a reason? They do not want to commit to moving the head people to the soo. So they do not respond to her letters.
Wisenheimer 1/28/2014 7:36:47 AM Report

Our Mayor's biggest claim to fame ... Begging the OLG to move their "real head office" to the Soo.
Myers probably emailed them and told them to keep the hell out!
Javaman 1/28/2014 8:40:00 AM Report

It is an election year.. I hear Myers is holding a fund raising bon fire in her back yard.woohoo.
Vindicator 1/28/2014 8:54:29 AM Report

What the Mayor needs to understand is we live in an age of technology and the Soo has very little to offer someone at the CEO level or anyone who lives in a metropolitan area.

In this age of technology you don't need to be physically located where the business is anymore. Video conferencing is becoming the norm within large organizations and email is standard. Admittedly the Soo area is a technological wasteland compared to regions to the south.

What does the Soo have to entice someone to uproot a family from an area where they have all the amenities in close proximity?

The Soo downtown is a mess, cluttered with closed up storefronts, deteriorating streets and a high crime rate. City Hall is populated with people who have no concept of how a progressive city should be run, taxes are high & services are terrible. The Soo is a dying city.

While the CEO will enjoy a decent income his/her family members will have to settle for menial jobs if they wish to work. There is a complete void of professional positions available in the job market.

They will have to get used to the frustration of going into stores and finding everything has to be ordered in from Toronto...two week delivery time...that's a lie. The chain stores don't carry the current inventory their sister stores in the south carry. The Soo is a dumping ground for yesterday's fashion.

So Madam Mayor, instead of whining and begging like a street person to get the OLG to force someone to live here, start managing this city, clean up your inefficient departments and you will find there is money for street repairs and the cleanup of the downtown core. It doesn't matter from which direction you come into the Soo, it's a filthy mess regardless of the time of year. Start running this city like a business if you wish to attract talent and new business. Stop waiting for the Federal and Provincial governments to give you handouts, the use of taxpayers money to entice business is rarely successful in the long run.
ThinkAgain 1/28/2014 10:35:27 AM Report

Vindicator 1/28/2014 8:54:29 AM

Well written and I agree with you 100%
B Boy 1/28/2014 11:46:42 AM Report

@Vindicator: I'm afraid that I would have to agree with you 100% also.
Pakadeva 1/28/2014 11:50:12 AM Report

Hmmmm have you not listened to the news in TO lately? The crime rate there is through the roof. Amenties in the Soo are no more than 20 minutes away regardless where you live, however, in TO you will drive in heavy traffic sometimes for an hour or 2, to reach your desired destination with a lineup almost to Sudbury (it seems). Been there, done that! Life in the Soo is fantastic IF you have the wherewithal & ideas to make it so.
B Boy 1/28/2014 12:04:53 PM Report

@Pakadeva: The reported crime rate is another can of worms to be opened. How the SSMPS reports crime stats is...interesting to say the least and has been debated to death here.

Remember this article on SSM crime?

If so many amenities are available within 20 mins then why is the border and hwy 17 always busy with people leaving the Soo to go shopping, or medical care?
theprotector 1/28/2014 1:25:35 PM Report

wonder who wrote the letter for her, she sure cant write, she and Hayes are useless!
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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