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OLG modernization scheme bad for Sault jobs: Ross

Sunday, June 08, 2014   by: Staff



OLG modernization scheme bad for Sault jobs: Ross

SAULT STE. MARIE - NDP candidate Celia Ross raised alarm bells Saturday about the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) 'modernization' scheme which could spell the loss of hundreds of jobs in Sault Ste. Marie.

“The Liberals are not being honest with the people of Sault Ste. Marie. The ‘modernization’ program at OLG is a thinly veiled move toward privatization that will mean the loss of public assets and even worse, the loss of local jobs.”

Ontario Auditor General, Bonnie Lysyk, released a special report in April that highlighted the corporation’s lack of transparency about job losses.

The report notes: “OLG was not transparent about which of its offices would experience the bulk of an estimated 795 job losses. Most of the positions to be lost are expected in OLG’s Sault Ste. Marie office and the Toronto office at Leslie Street and York Mills Road.”

While OLG maintains the estimates are based on old projections given they did not take into account Toronto’s rejection of a downtown casino.

The move by Toronto City Council, however, is likely to drive overall job loss projections upwards, not down.

Kathleen Wynne refused to rule out job losses at the OLG offices in Sault Ste. Marie when she visited earlier in the campaign.

Meanwhile, continued outsourcing called for by the OLG modernization scheme will put the jobs of public sector employees at risk, and drive more work out of the community.

OLG’s modernization initiative ostensibly seeks to tap into new markets that have opened with advances in technology and adapt to changes in demographics and shopping patterns.

The Auditor General, however, flagged the plan for modernization as containing overly optimistic financial projections based on a groundless assumption that the private sector would deliver OLG’s gaming and lottery network operations more efficiently, more effectively, and at less cost.

“We know that these privatization schemes don’t work,” said Ross. “We’re told that outsourcing to the private sector will result in savings and higher profit because costs – which is to say wages and benefits – will go down. But that doesn’t take into account that a private sector operator is going to take a large share of the profits for themselves, instead of that money going back into the public good.”

“OLG is one of the few non-tax based revenue generating tools our government has. Selling it off just doesn’t make sense.”

“The only way to keep OLG jobs in Sault Ste. Marie is by maintaining public ownership. We can have innovation with a publicly owned corporation. The Atlantic Lotteries have proven this,” said Ross, citing the Atlantic Lottery jointly owned by the governments of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI, and Newfoundland and Labrador, which has successfully integrated new technologies into its gaming practices.

“The only way to protect a public OLG is with an New Democrat representative at Queen’s Park,” said Ross.


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.
IgnorantNortherner 6/8/2014 9:41:17 AM Report

Sky is often blue: Ross
OrlandoFlorida 6/8/2014 10:19:48 AM Report

Selling off the OLG, a revenue generating crown corporation would be bad for the province and even worse for this city. We need every job possible here in Sault Ste Marie if we expect this city to prosper and grow, if not we should all start looking to move to southern Ontario as that is were our children and grand kids will be living. The Modernization (privatization) of OLG is a Liberal Plan that does not take into account the negative affect it will have on the Soo. The sale of OLG will fund new subways and highways for Toronto, and leave nothing for Sault Ste Marie.
AlwaysAWinner 6/8/2014 10:27:39 AM Report

this tool politician is just using OLG as a talking point for her political agenda. in the end she really doesn't give a crap at all, and neither do the rest of them

other than the fact that this city takes a huge hit by losing OLG, there's no other reason for it to be here. The work that's done here can be done anywhere, including Southern Ontario. if anything it actually hurts the company because there's very little qualified candidates up here for a lot of the job openings that occur at OLG. some do, but it's a lot harder to hire for a job in the Soo vs Southern Ontario.

the government has had a wage freeze on government workers including OLG for over 4 years, how is this a fair treatment to the people who work there?

all of government are corrupt douchebags.
dadal 6/8/2014 11:35:51 AM Report

The ONLY part of OLG they plan on changing is privatizing the casino. They want the Native communities to take over to help cut costs. That has been made public many many times SO not BREAKING NEWS.

Typical Ross blowing things out of proportion. Yet another reason to NOT vote for her.
IgnorantNortherner 6/8/2014 1:20:15 PM Report

"the government has had a wage freeze on government workers including OLG for over 4 years, how is this a fair treatment to the people who work there?"

As far as OLG goes, what value are they actually providing society?

What are they producing or creating of value?

What service are they providing me, the taxpayer, who pays their way in life?

How much education or skill does it take to oversee operations of all kinds of slots and table games that are super profitable whenever they're operating? I realize I'm over simplifying what goes on but it doesn't take a marketing genius to sell the product, either.

How underpaid do you think those people are?

AlwaysAWinner 6/8/2014 1:36:17 PM Report

why are you asking me what OLG does

what's wrong with you. they sell lottery tickets and scratch tickets and run casinos

>"What service are they providing me, the taxpayer, who pays their way in life?"

your taxes don't pay their salary, the sales of lottery products too. you don't get to complain about "boo hoo my taxes" when it comes to OLG, the wages are paid for by the money that they generate.
OrlandoFlorida 6/8/2014 1:41:48 PM Report

The OLG Modernization plan includes selling off all casinos and the Lottery operation. If the sale goes through to various private operators the Ontario government will have sold off the second largest revenue generator this provide has.
IgnorantNortherner 6/8/2014 1:44:37 PM Report

My taxes don't go to them because I don't buy lotto tickets or go to the casino, but for those that do they are being taxed. Their entire business model is a tax, mostly on the poor and dumb.

The money generates itself, is what I am saying. They're not doing anything innovative or productive for society. It's no different than selling crack to the crackheads except one is legal.
bulletcards 6/8/2014 1:47:24 PM Report

privatizing the casino's them selves is a good idea. not the whole OLG just the casino's. Go to the states and you are treated very well. comped rooms. meals, drinks, entertainment acts, more table games, slots are looser. Government run casino's are a joke. no investments into the casino, just drop off your money and go home. god forbid you have 2 beer in an hour at our casino. if they even serve you, then your drunk and get kicked out after a couple beer.
ThinkAgain 6/8/2014 9:20:07 PM Report

such repetitive boring news
Justin Tetreault 6/9/2014 12:35:22 AM Report

Desperation and dishonesty by Celia Ross pulling out her tired claims about OLG.

"Kathleen Wynne refused to rule out job losses at the OLG offices in Sault Ste. Marie when she visited earlier in the campaign."

Here again are Kathleen Wynne's quotes during her visit to the Soo (she has actually come here unlike Andrea Horwath).

“I am committed to keeping the headquarters here in Sault Ste. Marie and keeping those jobs here. It's very important to me that we recognize that is what's working,”

Wynne said she has made “a firm commitment and it's very important to me that we have those jobs here and we make Sault Ste. Marie a gaming centre of excellence because the expertise is here. That is our commitment and we'll stick with it.”
Javaman 6/9/2014 6:37:09 AM Report

When you do not have a plan. like the NDP do not...then you attack your opponents....way to go are a true NDP supporter.
Killer_Spawn 6/12/2014 10:02:41 AM Report


I guess you are living up to your name.

First off, there are no taxes on any lottery products sold nor on the slots/tables at the casino.

you ask "As far as OLG goes, what value are they actually providing society?"

They put over billion of dollars a year back into Ontario is what they do

-$1.6 billion – Operation of hospitals and other provincial priorities

-$120 million – Gaming proceeds distributed through the Ontario Trillium Foundation to local and provincial charities

-$38.8 million – Directed by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for research, prevention and mitigation of problem gambling

-$10 million – Support for amateur athletes through the Quest for Gold program

-$892.5 million – Payroll for 16,900 direct and indirect employees across the province

-$228.3 million – Commissions paid to lottery retailers

-$94.1 million – Payments to municipalities that host OLG gaming facilities, including Resort Casinos and Charitable Gaming Centres

-$58.2 million – Goods and services purchased from local Ontario businesses to support OLG activities

-$12.1 million – What OLG directed to its Responsible Gambling Resource Centres, policy and program development, staff training and self-exclusion capital costs. Together, OLG and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care spent $50.9 million on responsible gambling in Ontario

-$9.3 million – Charitable Gaming proceeds distributed to participating local charities

-$2.2 million – Sponsorship of community festivals and events

if you don't want to play you don't have too.

as for education and intelligence that it requires to oversee operations... it's quite a bit. This isn't just a mom and pop shop in one city, OLG is the entire province, it's quite more complicated than you portray. And as for being 'underpaid' OLG employees are not by any means being paid minimum wage but they have gone over 4 years with no raises and are by no means getting rich working there. I myself have been working for them for over 7 years (with 3 year computer engineering diploma in regards to your education comment) and have not have not moved from the bottom of my pay grade (less than 25$ an hour). we are people just like you who have families to feed and a roof to keep over their heads. This is a society we live in where education coupled with hard work and experience we are to of course get paid more than minimum wage. And with cost of living continually going up along side of minimum wage going up OLG employees are already losing money despite the education or experience we have.
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