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Surrey's mayor angry at BCLC after comments over casino decision

SURREY (NEWS1130) – Surrey’s mayor is firing back at BCLC over comments directed at her about her no vote in the casino decision.

Dianne Watts cast the tie-breaker vote to kill the South Surrey Casino project early Saturday. Now, Watts feels comments made by CEO Michael Graydon in a recent Globe and Mail article in reaction to her decision are out of line.

In the article, Graydon says he’s “dumbfounded” by the decision and says, “if she truthfully had issues, I would have thought she had enough respect for Gateway to raise those issues then.”

“To suggest that ‘something had transpired in the past couple of days’ and that if I had ‘truthfully had issues,’ you know those types of comments, are really crossing the line that I believe a regulator should not cross,” argues Watts.

Watts is defending council’s process saying it was open and transparent.

“I think with BCLC, their impression was that we were just (going) to rubber stamp it because that’s what we should be doing, which again is highly inappropriate. I don’t know why anyone would want to sit there for 13 hours in a public hearing only to just say, sorry public we’re not going to listen to you anyway, and put it through,” says Watts.

She understands some are disappointed but says “it’s unacceptable” to hear BCLC adamantly say, “if you don’t put this through in spite of all of this opposition you get nothing, that’s unacceptable.”