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Bill S-226, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (Lottery Schemes)

 

Hon. Michael L. MacDonald: Honourable senators, I wish to address Bill S-226, with regard to lottery schemes, for a few minutes. This bill will restrict video lottery terminals and slot machines to racetracks and premises dedicated solely to gambling.

Although I admire Senator Lapointe's tenacity and confess to some empathy with his concerns regarding the negative effects of video lottery terminals and the fact that this bill has been previously introduced five times in this chamber, it does not change the fact that there are a number of federal and provincial agreements in regard to gaming that have been established for a number of years. The federal government, in adopting this bill, would, in effect, revoke all these agreements.

I respectfully submit that it would be inappropriate, and indeed irresponsible, for the Government of Canada to adopt such a bill, and I encourage all honourable senators to defeat this initiative.