Surrey mayor slams BCLC CEO for “inflammatory comments”

Surrey mayor Dianne Watts took aim at British Columbia Lottery Corporation CEO Michael Graydon for what she called "inflammatory comments" following Surrey City Council's rejection ...

Surrey mayor Dianne Watts took aim at British Columbia Lottery Corporation CEO Michael Graydon for what she called "inflammatory comments" following Surrey City Council's rejection last weekend of Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Ltd.'s proposed $100 million casino near the U.S. border, just off Highway 99.

Grayden described himself in various media reports as being "disappointed" and "befuddled" that "something transpired in the last few days and I don't know what."

He also suggested that Watts had issues with the casino operator dating back months yet did not come forward with her concerns.

Watts denied that in a public statement released January 24.

"To state that he is 'disappointed' in my actions and 'if she truthfully had issues' is crossing a line that a regulator should not cross," Watts wrote. "I did not have any issues with Gateway or the proponent. I was concerned with the public opposition, which no one can 'fix.'"

She then castigated Graydon for not respecting public opinion.

"If, in fact, the CEO of BCLC expected this to be fully supported," Watts said, "then why bother going through with the public consultation process and a public hearing that continued for 13 hours?"

gkorstrom@biv.com

@GlenKorstrom

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