01/21/2013 03:31 EST | Updated 03/23/2013 05:12 EDT

Surrey Casino Rejection Shows An Inconvenient Thing Called Democracy

It's a sad day when a government minister insults municipal politicians in the media because they listened to the people who voted them into office in the first place.

FILE - In this Sept. 20, 2012 file photo, a croupier counts the chips at a baccarat gaming table inside a casino during the opening day of Sheraton Macao Hotel at the Sands Cotai Central in Macau. Casino revenue in Macau climbed 13.5 percent last year to a record $38 billion, as the Asian gambling hub reinforced its position as the world's biggest gambling market, according to data posted on the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)

Very early Saturday morning, in a divided vote, Surrey city council turned off the lights to Gateway Casinos' south Surrey gaming proposal. It was an epic evening with passionate presentations, and excellent debate and commentaries andon Twitter.

Although I was nearly propping eyelids open with toothpicks by the nearly 2 a.m. vote, I stayed up to follow and hear the council and mayor's closing comments prior to their votes. Pros and cons considered objectively, I believe the right decision was made.

Clearly, B.C. cabinet minister Rich Coleman doesn't agree.

While reading his petulant comments in The Province story by Sam Cooper yesterday — more befitting in tone to a toddler temper tantrum than a government minister — I couldn't help but shake my head at the arrogant sense of entitlement he demonstrated:

"B.C. Lottery Corp. has lost confidence in Surrey politicians and will not "waste time and money" coming to the city with new gaming proposals, says Rich Coleman, the provincial cabinet minister in charge of gaming.


It was Surrey that originally approved casino zoning on the site, Coleman said, and the city asked B.C. Lottery Corp. to include amenities such as the hotel and gaming centre.

Surrey would have received about 10 per cent of annual profits, or $6 million per year, and would also benefit from an increased tax base, Coleman said.

"We met the conditions they asked us to, and the councillors still decided they didn't want it," he said.

Coleman said the government will not propose the gambling complex for another site in Surrey, and there are other municipalities that will likely be approached.

"We won't have any confidence [in council's decision-making], so we won't waste time and money," Coleman said."

I'm sorry, but what kind of pompous government minister makes this kind of comment ? Oh wait... what was I thinking... it is Rich Coleman after all. So, what is the big problem here Rich?

Why the outrage? Do you work for BC Lottery Corporation, Gateway Casinos... or the B.C. Government?

Why is the anger directed towards Surrey politicians? Over 5,000 voters spoke out against this project in Surrey, or doesn't that matter to you Rich? It's not like you personally invested so much time and effort into making this project happen... or did you?

Poor Rich. Did the city of Surrey rain on your parade? Get an umbrella.

It's a sad day when a government minister insults municipal politicians in the media because they listened to the people who voted them into office in the first place.

They call it democracy, Rich. D E M O C R A C Y.

Something your government has demonstrated, time and time again, to know little about.