The Legal Appeal 

Update --Nov 1, 2020  Appeal of Superior Court Ruling Withdrawn.

We have withdrawn the appeal of the Superior Court ruling concerning the bias/fettering issue. It is important to understand that the issue disputed in this venue was only one of many. The majority of issues remain before LPAT and we expect a decision on those issues in the coming weeks/months.

We were disappointed in the Superior Court ruling and hired an specialized appeal lawyer to review the decision to determine if there were both grounds, and merits,  for proceeding with an appeal. At the time we submitted the appeal letter we had been advised by the appeal lawyer that there were sufficient grounds for an appeal.  Following the submission of the appeal letter we received the opinion on the merits. The merits were significant, however, we were advised the appeal court would be unlikely to overturn the original decision as deference would be given to the first judges decision.

The appeal would have cost an estimated $200K. Further, a significant costs award would be added in the likely event of losing the appeal. The appeal of this decision would have resulted in only a delay of the process, which is something we have pledged not to do from the start of this campaign.

The city was seeking costs of over $200K from the original decision and so we offered a settlement to the city in exchange for withdrawing the appeal.  Thus, the Appeal has been withdrawn and the issue of costs of the Application have been resolved on agreement between the parties. The terms of the agreement are confidential.

There is a large and diversified group of businesses and citizens behind the LPAT appeal. This group includes hundreds of business represented by CasinoFreeSudbury, appealing on economic grounds. The Downtown BIA appealed on grounds of contravention of our official plans, including the Downtown Master Plan. Finally, Dr. Christopher Duncanson Hales representing 36 leaders of the faith community appealed on social grounds relating to the casino.

We are all confident of a positive decision from the LPAT resulting in the city reconsidering this project.


Update --Sept 7, 2020  Superior Court Ruling Handed Down.

On Friday September 4th, the Superior Court handed down its decision on our application.  Our application to quash the bylaws forming the Kingsway Entertainment District was denied.  While we are disappointed by the decision, we are reviewing the extensive 35-page decision and are considering our options.

The decision to proceed with the Superior Court Application was not made lightly. It was an expensive and time-consuming effort.  In 2018 the city legal representative motioned to remove the bias/fettering issue from the LPAT suggesting it should be heard in Superior Court.  We decided to do just that in the interests of the community.

It is important to understand that the bias/fettering issue was only one of many issues before the LPAT.  The remaining issues must be resolved and will be argued before the tribunal on September 17th, 2020.  

We remain optimistic on our chances of success.


Update --June 26, 2020  Superior Court Hearing June 29th and 30th


We are now over 1000 days into the CasinoFreeSudbury campaign and are only a few days away from the long anticipated first hearing.  This hearing is to argue our Superior Court "Application to Quash" the bylaws approving the KED.  The hearing is scheduled for two days on Monday June 29th and Tuesday June 30th.  Note that this hearing is to argue matters of law only.  There will be no witnesses or cross examination as the opportunity for that has passed.

We expect the decision will be reserved, and annouced sometime later this summer. If the decison is in our favor, the LPAT hearing scheduled for Sept 2020 will not be required.


Update --Feb 13, 2020  Final Arguments (Factum) Submitted.

On Thursday Feb 13th, we submitted our final arguments (Factum) in the Superior Court application to the city and the court. We now await the response from the city which will be followed by our reply.  We are expecting a hearing date either in late March or early April.


Update --Jan 24, 2020  2nd Annual Fundraising Dinner. (Postponed)

On the advice of our legal council, our 2nd fundraising dinner scheduled for March 10th is postponed until the conclusion of the Superior Court process. When we initiated the Superior Court process in Sept 2019 our legal council informed us of the importance of not discussing the merits of the application in public. Out of an abundance of caution, so as to not jeopardize the considerable time and money spent by the community on this effort, we have decided to yield to his strong recommendation to postpone the dinner.



Update --Nov 6, 2019  City served Superior Court Application.

This morning we received confirmation that the city has now been served the application (PDF 195M)  in our Superior Court action.  There was a one week delay in serving due to the need to apply to the court for permission to amend the application to remove the BIA as an appellant.

We will not be providing any public comments on the application until the conclusion of the process and a decision has been received.

Fundraising efforts will continue as costs have exceeded our expectations. This may include another fundraising dinner sometime this winter.


Update -- Aug. 12, 2019  Aug 8th CMC Meeting and Moving Forward

The August 8th CMC meeting held in council chambers included two hours of arguments, by the applicants solicitor, regarding a motion to dismiss the Minnow Lake Application without a hearing. The Minnow Lake application deals with potential Ramsey Lake water quality issues caused by salt runoff from the proposed parking lots at the KED.  The tribunal has reserved its decision on the matter. We expect a ruling sometime in the coming months.

Our goal for the CMC meeting was to obtain permission to submit a motion to stay (pause) the LPAT proceedings to allow our Superior Court Application to proceed. This would avoid the duplication of efforts and expenses by preventing two separate proceedings running concurrently. The permission to submit a motion was granted.

A hearing date for the LPAT proceedings was then set for May 5th, 2020 which is several months later than we had anticipated.  This negates the need for a motion to stay the LPAT proceeding because there is enough time before the May 2020 hearing to have our Superior Court Application heard.

We are presently working to perfect our "Application to Quash" in Superior Court. In the interest of the community, we will request an expedited process to ensure a timely conclusion to this effort.

Details of milestones throughout the Superior Court process will be posted on this forum.


Update -- Aug. 6, 2019  Superior Court Application to Proceed

In the Notice of Decision issued by the LPAT tribunal last month, LPAT stated "if there are concerns about council's discretion having been fettered then this is a matter that should proceed to Superior Court" (pg 16-17). After careful deliberation, and consultation with our advisors and supporters, we have decided to proceed with the Superior Court Application.  At 1:15pm today our legal council will request a date from LPAT for a motion to grant a temporary stay of the LPAT  proceedings pending the outcome of the Superior Court Application.


Update -- July 11, 2019  Second CMC Scheduled,  Decision on Motions

We have received a Notice of Decision from LPAT which includes notice of a second CMC scheduled for 10AM, August 8th, 2019 at Tom Davies Square.

Several motions were initiated at the November 2018 CMC meeting.  This Notice of Decision outlines the reasons for the tribunals rulings on the motions.

Regarding to the jurisdictional motion, the tribunal has decided that 6 of the 28 issues before them were not within the jurisdiction of the LPAT. The issues removed included those dealing with the "willing host" question, requirements under O.Reg 81/12, and the bias (fettering) issue.

The ruling was based on the Bill 139 version of LPAT which limits the right of appeal to matters directly related to official plans and provincial policy statements. We had expected that some issues may be determined to be out of LPAT jurisdiction. We remain with 22 of the strongest issues before LPAT and are confident in the eventual outcome.  Regarding the "bias" issue, we have filed an application in Superior Court as the counsel for the city had suggested.  We have the option to pursue that issue, in that venue, at a later date.

It is important to note that Bill 108 transition rules are presently in the comment stage. These rules state that any LPAT proceeding that has not reached the hearing stage will transition to the new rules. It appears likely that Bill 108 rules will come into force before we reach our hearing.  Bill 108 rules remove the restrictions on the basis of appeal that todays ruling was based. This may bring these issues back into focus.

Further decisions include;

1. Added parties ( Gateway and Zulich) granted a right to file a joint case synopsis.

2. Appellants ( Fortin, Hales, BIA) are denied the right to file a Responding Case Synopsis.

To conclude, we are neither surprised nor disappointed by the decisions. They were made under Bill 139 LPAT rules and will not have a material effect on our chances of success.


FYI #2   April 30th, 2019  Another reason a casino cannot locate anywhere in Sudbury.

FYI #1   March 29th, 2019  Why a "Place of Amusement" does not include a casino.


Update -- Nov 6th, 2018  CMC Adds Complexity, Time and Costs

The Case Management Conference (CMC)  for the Sudbury arena/casino appeal was conducted on Nov 6th, 2018 at the Provincial Building in Sudbury.  There were a number of developments at the meeting that have added complexity, time, and costs to the process.

Rail Deck Decision Suspends Timelines.

The LPAT process is new, and the CMC in Sudbury was only the second such meeting held. The first was held in Toronto on September 20th, 2018 concerning a proposed $1.6 Billion development (Rail Deck LPAT Appeal). At that meeting both sides of the table expressed concern for their lack of right to examine, and cross-examine, expert witnesses according to LPAT rules.  This fundamental right is one of the two key tenants of natural law. It was agreed by all parties to refer the question to divisional court for a ruling on whether LPAT can deny this fundamental right.  The divisional court will provide a ruling which may take several months. Until a ruling is sent down, all LPAT proceedings where expert witnesses are expected to be called will see a delay in scheduling of hearings, including the Sudbury case. The ruling could be made as early as January 2019, although, an appeal of the ruling is also possible. The bottom line is that the official timetable for the Sudbury case is now officially suspended and we will not know the hearing date for several months.  At the first CMC meeting in Toronto the hearing date was set for May 27, 2019 before the divisional court question was proposed. This is over 8 months from when the CMC occurred. 

Gateway and Land Owner added as Party to Appeal

Both the landowner and Gateway have been granted party status in the appeal. The two new parties have requested to submit their own appeal synopsis documents which will require the opposing side to prepare replies for submission to LPAT, or alternatively, as preparation for the hearing.  Their participation also increases the time required for a hearing considerably, especially if cross-examination is allowed as expected. What was expected to be  2-day hearing is now expected to be 1 week at the minimum. LPAT has also required the appellants to produce three expert witnesses for the hearing at their cost. Two of those witnesses reside in Southern Ontario adding considerable costs to each day of the hearing. Each day of the hearing will now cost the appellants approximately $15,000.00

Several Motions to be Submitted

The tribunal agreed to hear several motions from both sides of the appeal. The motions and replies from opposing counsel must be submitted by Dec 19th, 2018. The tribunal will then provide a decision in January 2019 on all motions.  The motions by the city include a question on the jurisdiction of LPAT in regards to bias, and the casino willing host question. Motions from the appellants include requests for production (asking the city to provide certain documents), and another asking for a "right of reply" to opposing synopsis.

Next Steps

A second CMC hearing is expected in late January 2019 where a hearing date will be set, provided the divisional court has ruled on the right to cross-examine. In the meantime we will be stepping up our fund raising efforts as the costs for this effort are expected to rise considerably due to a longer hearing.

Update -- Aug 28th, 2018  Appeal Case Synopsis Submitted

We have submitted our complete case synopsis to LPAT as per the required procedure.  The synopsis outlines the key points we are arguing in our appeal relating to both the arena and casino. The next step is for the city to prepare and submit its response by Semptember 17th.


Update -- Aug 8th, 2018  LPAT declares all KED appeals valid!

We have received "Notice of Commencement" letters from the LPAT tribunal regarding our appeal of the Kingsway Entertainment District ( Arena/casino). This is very good news as not only has the appeal of CasinoFreeSudbury been declared valid, but all other submitted appeals will also proceed. The other appeals include those by the faith community, Downtown BIA, Steve May, and a group with concerns over  the water quality of Lake Ramsey.  The city was expecting the appeals to be dismissed at this preliminary stage, however, it is now official that all appeals are  valid and will now proceed to the Case Management Conference stage in a minimum of 75 days as per LPAT regulations.

Update -- June 7th, 2018  LPAT In Receipt of Appeal Record from City

We have received an acknowledgement from the LPAT tribunal of their receipt of the appeal record from the city. The tribunal will undertake a preliminary screening of the appeals and advise the result of the screening with 10 days from the date of the acknowledgment letter as per LPAT rule 26.05. Ten business days from the date of the letter brings us to June 21st, the day we expect to hear the results of the preliminary screening.

Update --  May 7th, 2018  LPAT Appeal Filed

Today we have submitted our formal appeal to the LPAT.  The actual appeal documents are over 200 pages in length, however, we are posting here our 20 page synopsis of the basis for our appeal. Appeal Synopsis. PDF This is the beginning of the LPAT process which we expect to last for the better part of a year.  The next step is the preliminary review which we expect to pass without issue. Following this, the Case Management Conference ( CMC) which will be a minimum of 75 days from the time the city sends its appeal record to LPAT sometime in early June for the preliminary review.  Over the summer, apart from some R&R, we intend to continue our fundraising efforts as we do expect lengthy hearings as a result of our appeal. This will be an expensive process. This fight is about what is best for our community, our culture, local businesses and our social well being.  While words of encouragement are appreciated we also do require more funds to ensure a strong appeal. Consider making a donation either though our GoFundMe page, or for corporate donations, call us at (705) 562 0260. Have a great summer and we'll see you in the fall when the real fight begins.

(We will post a message on this site if/when we are notified of the preliminary review results.)

Further, here is a 6 minute video of the presentation to the Planning Committee outlining our concerns in relation to PPS, and our official Plan, on March 26th, 2018.

Our legal council is Gordon Petch of Municipal Law Chambers in Oakville, Ontario.

About the Campaign

The Ontario Ministry of Finance ( via the OLG ) has publically stated that a casino must have the support of the host community in order to proceed.

The Casino Free Sudbury campaign provides the opportunity to area businesses to let the Minister of Finance know;

"We believe a full casino is not in the best interests of the City of Greater Sudbury and demand a moratorium be placed on any expansion of casino type gambling facilities in our community.  This includes, changes in size, location, or type of gambling activities. "

We need you, as a business owner, or charity operator, to endorse this message by signing an endorsement letter. Let us be the collective voice of businesses in Sudbury regarding the casino development.

The endorsement letter is confidential and we will make no public disclosure of your endorsement.

Your endorsement letter will be used for lobbying purposes with The Sudbury Chamber of Commerce, Greater Sudbury Mayor and council, and the Ontario Minister of Finance.

NOTE:  There is an option on the endorsement letter to allow use of your logo on the web page, mailings and advertisements.  If you feel strongly about this issue, please consider this option as it will help in recruiting other businesses.

No matter what type of business you own, how small or large, profit, not-for-profit, or charitable, every business in our community will be affected if a full casino is built in our city. Take the time to review the CasinoFACTS and Endorse the Campaign.

How Did We Get here?

On May 15, 2012, the City of Greater Sudbury council passed a resolution to endorse the City of Greater Sudbury as a willing host for a new full casino. The resolution was passed without public consultation and following the resolution, public statements by the city touted the increased revenue to the city, and the prospect of a large piece of public infrastructure ( paid for by the casino) as reasons for their support.

The city did later hold a public information form and conduct an on-line survey, however, no objective data on the effect of casinos in remote locations was presented.   A pdf of the presentation is available HERE.

The Sudbury Chamber of Commerce has never provided its members with objective data concerning casinos. It continues to support the development of a full casino in Sudbury.

The bottom Line... 

There has been no investigation, or presentation of objective data concerning the effect a full casino would have on our community. This campaign is about giving local business an opportunity to express their concerns about the effects a full casino will have on our community.