Tuesday, July 13, 2004


Underbelly of Vancouver
Downtown Eastside


Hi All!

I received an email from a friend about my stance on Slots and Wards and with his permission I have copied below his email. My response is attached.

Please always feel free to respond with Letters to the Editor. I will reply to you as well. If you feel like remaining anonymous that's ok too!

Hi Michael!

Your right I should have expanded on this issue a bit
more. My concerns are primarily of pork barrelling and
neighbourhood inequity as a result of the city
deriving funds from expanded gaming. Gaming in Parks
is a whole other issue that needs discussion and I
won't talk about it here. To date, our muncipal
elections have been fairly free of corruption, however
with the advent of our City going the way of WARDS and
in turn, deriving income from expanded gaming, I can
see how corruption may quite shortly, become a problem
in our civic elections.

For sure, gambling is a past-time enjoyed by many,
with apparently little harm to themself or others. For
others though its a harmful addiction and this is
where greater harm to society takes place. To me the
issue of gambling isn't about infringing on people's
fundamental freedom rights. Its rather, that special
interests would enjoy greater influence with our
elected officials and this really frightens me. It
disturbs me also because of the inequality it can
potentially create.

Bruno Wall of Wall financial Corp now owns 4o percent
of the racetrack. In last week's edition of the
Courier paper, Mr Wall says this, "this is not about
charity - we are in business to make money". The
amount of money Mr Wall refers to is not small
potatoes either. According to Mr Wall, "the track with
slots will generate $80 million a year in revenue. Of
this $6.5 million will go into the city coffers".

In turn especially with WARD elections hovering on the
horizon, there's a nagging thought in my mind that
this $6.5 million will be used for pork barrelling
purposes. Governing parties will have an extra $19.5
million every three years to win elections.
Communities, special interests and or charities
receiving the funding from expanded gaming, at
election time could earmark some of their received
funds and return a portion of it to promote their
councillor who lavished on them 'special favours'. A
charity, community organization or agency by law can
allow 10 percent of its funds to be used for political
purposes. Moreover, if a community doesn't have the
luxury of their WARD boss belonging to the electoral
party in power, this then could create severe
neighbourhood inequality and community divisions. It
would plot one neighbour against another. Communities
up against each other. One neighbourhood against

The gambling issue has the potential to create this
harm to the public and one has to ask - will this type
of behaviour create harm I can live with, will the
benefits, if any outweigh the bad. Or worse, will the
issue have any impact on quality of life matters for
myself, my neighbours or those in life who matter to

To me, any time an atmosphere is created which
provides politicians with advantage over the people is
harmful to us all. And for the city to have at its
disposal $6.5 million is ensuring that they do have
advantage over people is disgusting. I think civic
politics forever will be changed.

An example I like to use is this - I am quite an
outspoken activist. One who champions civil liberties
for those with little power or influence in life.
Along comes Mr Politician who doesn't like my
outspokenss. Perhaps I might have embarrassed him on
occassion. Or god forbid I never supported him. He
then makes sure a social service group for the
disenfranchised gets an additional $50,000.00 a year
but first it comes with a handshake, nudge and wink.
Strings are attached. First the group is told to make
sure that they discredit Jamie Lee and in turn will
receive their generous stipends. This is corruption in
its purest form and this mustn't be allowed to happen.

The democratic system we all cherish must always have
more importance then unsavoury politicians. And this
is what we must strive to save!

I hope I have answered your question re: harm to you
or your family.

as the song says, United we Stand, Divided we Fall!!!!


Jamie Lee

--- Michael Morgan wrote:
> Dear Jamie Lee
> I agree with your passion. I want to know why it
> will harm me and my family
> if slots are approved.
> Michael