The Lloydminster Ministerial Association wants people to talk about a casino possibly coming to the Border City.
On Sunday, parishioners who were attending Grace United Church in Lloydminster noticed a message in the back end of the bulletin, discussing the application made to the municipal government regarding the discretionary use of two parcels of land in the east end of the community. The planned use of the land is to construct a casino.
The message came as part of a move undertaken by the Ministerial Association. According to Pastor Tim Acey, the chair of the organization, members recently met to develop a letter template and encourage discussion of the topic amongst Lloydminster residents.
“When we saw the application for the development permit, for a casino, we had a very short window in order to mobilize, to reply to this, so we joined together and developed a letter template which would involve people completing the letter, so to speak, as to why they would request community input,” said Acey.
“I only know that it has gone out to as many churches and general public as possible, and then people have been responsible for taking that letter, or whatever groups of letters they amass, to the City.”
The Association has previously led opposition to casinos, and adult entertainment in the Lloydminster area. According to previous reports, a plebiscite conducted in 2003 to gauge residents opinion on a casino development proposed by Luxor Developments was won by the No vote, at a count of 1917-970. Two weeks in advance of the vote, pamphlets were circulated by the Ministerial Association encouraging residents to vote against the development.
“We were very happy at that time, to say that the council consulted the community, in the form of the plebiscite,” said Acey.
This time round, the organization has not yet said yes or no. Acey says they want a conversation, and favoured a plebiscite on the topic.
“On a question like this, we’re not voting dollars and cents, we’re not voting on a new building for the city or anything like that, we’re voting on a moral, very much a community issue, that has been a hot button topic in the past,” said Acey.
“We would like to see as many people’s input into this as possible, and one way that can happen is in a plebiscite.”
It will be up to Lloydminster City Council as to how the community will be consulted about the project.
The timeframe for feedback about the discretionary use permit has now expired, which will result in an administration report about the topic going forward to council. A timeline on when this will occur is not yet available.