|Posted: September 21, 2007, 5:08 am - IP Logged|
Up until 1990, Ontario lottery profits (ALSO KNOWN AS LOTTERY GRANTS) flowed into many worthwhile projects. The history of Ontario lottery grants is deep. Our lotteries were launched in May of 1975 as communities needed to train and build facilities for its athletes for the Montreal Summer Games in 1976. However, there were no community centres, sport facilities, or coaching programs. The provincial government at the time, headed by our Premier William Davis, launched Wintario to help fund sports, fitness, culture, tourism, arts and culture, and coaching development programs.
The lottery was as big as Hockey Night In Canada, everybody had to have a ticket each week. They knew their lottery dollar was being put to good use. There was also the Olympic Lottery launched in 1976, to help manage the huge debt that the Montreal Summer Games faced. The Provincial and Super Loto lottery games were launched as well to generate money for hospitals.
Hundreds of communites benefitted from the hard work of those lottery grants. Every town in Ontario had a new community centre. All of Ontario's hospitals had funding for research, equipment, and retrofitting of its facilities. Arts and culture had new stages, baseball teams and Finnish Dance troupes had new uniforms. And those non-profits groups like THE C-N-I-B, Meals on Wheels, and Varierty Village of Ontario had money. The list goes on.
Today our lottery dollars don's go far enough. They have lost that oomph they once did. They no longer flow into the same projects. The money goes into a general revenue fund. Thanks to the Liberally led Ontario Provincial Government in 1990 They began to use lottery money for whatever projects they desired. It could go towards the provinical debt, to pay off the private sector, or be used for those lottery projects in which the money should be used for. Those projects that Wintario was proud to fund. Wintario died in 1990 as a results of this new way of doing things. This fledging Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation remains to do just that, give smalls portions out and let many communities struggle. A maximum of $200-MILLION DOLLARS a year goes into the Trillium Foundation, a far cry from what they use to receive. They were the biggest recipient of lottery dollars in Winatrio's day. They are a foundation set-up to distribute lottery funds mainly to hospitals. Out the billions that is gernerated from Ontario's 30 casinos and many lotteries, The Trillium Foundation itself finds it hard to divy up the money to the most needy.
Any non-profits group, from community centres to threatres, hospitals, and recreations groups would have to apply to the Trillium Foundation if they need money. Many are now turned away as their is not enough to go around. It's really a change from Wintario and the people of Ontario are beginning to see through the OLG and its neglectful track record.
In 15 years, up until 1990 over 2 billion dollars in lottery funds flowed into Ontario towns to help build projects. Beyond 1990, that total is a lot less and remains a real struggle for these PROJECTS/GROUPS to get money.
Ontario's lotteries once made us winners. Sadly. Until the OLG and the government realizes this, the communites in Ontario will not flourish the way they once did. In the past 17 years, more and more people are losing faith in the OLG. And the OLG should be ashamed of this and relook at the way they are doing things.
As my byline underneath says...WE NEED TO GET BACK TO THE DAYS WHEN "WE ALL WON" AND WE "TOGETHER MADE GOOD THINGS HAPPEN" IN ONTARIO.
"Together We're Making Good Things Happen, Ontario's Lotteries...WE ALL WIN"