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City leaders are proving themselves to be ethically challenged by supporting addictive gambling and almost totally unfettered access to alcohol

The following is a Mini Sidewinder piece from my friend Sandy Macdougall, regarding a Bingo Shutdown In Maple Ridge.  He talks about fools, and their money, being separated.  As well, he also comments on governments at all levels, which seem unable to connect the dots to societal problems.  Those connected dots lead to huge costs dealing with those addicted to alcohol, to gambling, and other vices the government is all too happy to collect taxes from.

Whatever revenues governments collect, they never cover the associated costs -- NOR do they create wealth (both in taxes and jobs), that would result if instead it was spent at the retail level.

I also suspect there would be a whole lot less need for Food Banks, and feeding school children breakfast before classes begin.

Now, here's Sandy:

The management of Chances Casino in Maple Ridge has raised the ire of Bingo players following their announcement that the Bingo parlor operation was being reduced by two open days per week.

There is something stupefying about how intelligent people can get their noses bent out of shape by having the number of days they can throw their money away being reduced.

Let's face it, primarily, the casino is not there to entertain people. It exists to separate fools from their money.

Of course, the big winners are always the casino, the province and the city.

Not including property taxes, the city probably reaps more than $2 million per year from the gambling operation.

Our city leaders are proving themselves to be ethically challenged in supporting addictive gambling and the unlimited and almost totally unfettered access to alcohol. 
It might not be illegal but, by my standards, it sure as hell is immoral.

The city seems to approve not only addictive gambling and widespread availability and use of alcohol but also the legalization of marijuana based on much the same principle which is based on nothing more or less than how much tax revenue will be created.

Seldom do we hear or see anything like an objective analysis of the downstream costs of catering to these addictive and destructive habits.

All we get from city hall is a lot of pathetic hand wringing and sobbing about how it is the provincial government's responsibility to deal with the resultant social chaos.

It's high time for our mayor and city council to own up to the fact that they must share that responsibility and start doing something meaningful about it such as insisting on tighter reins on casino operations and the sale of liquor in bars, restaurants and food stores.

SANDY Macdougall ... is a retired newspaper reporter. He was elected for three consecutive terms to Maple Ridge municipal council in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and also ran for the Progressive Conservatives in Kim Campbell's ill-fated federal election campaign.


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