Doug Holyday wants to ban casino lobbyists (who are already making the rounds at city hall)

Doug Holyday wants to ban casino lobbyists (who are already making the rounds at city hall)

(Image: Christopher Drost) 

Doug Holyday, one of Rob Ford’s closest non-familial allies, hasn’t yet said what he thinks about the prospect of a GTA mega-casino, but he did come out strongly on one aspect of the debate—he thinks casino lobbyists should be banned from city hall. At an executive committee meeting today, Holyday planned to propose the city stop the sub-set of lobbyists from petitioning councillors, saying the casino owners have deep pockets, and allowing lobbying to proceed would result in a “free for all.” He’s probably on to something: the city has previously imposed lobbying blackouts while councillors thought over over big contracts like garbage collection or voting machines. And the companies that have expressed interest in building the complex certainly do have a lot of money behind them—they include MGM, which has already hired a lobbying firm, Caesars Entertainment and, most recently, Gerry Schwartz, head of buyout firm Onex Corporation and one of Canada’s richest people. [Toronto Sun]