First Nations Reject $2.5 Billion Revenue Sharing Agreement



    Government Disappointed With Lost Opportunity

    QUEEN'S PARK, June 19 /CNW/ - The Government of Ontario is very
disappointed to learn the Ontario First Nations Limited Partnership (OFNLP)
has turned down a new gaming revenue sharing deal with the province. The
unprecedented deal would have provided 133 First Nations with approximately
$2.5 billion over 20 years to help improve the quality of life and future
prosperity in their communities.
    "A tremendous amount of work, led by former Premier David Peterson and
the First Nations Negotiating Team, went into negotiating and developing these
unique agreements which would have resulted in a brighter future for First
Nations people," said David Caplan, Minister of Public Infrastructure Renewal
and Minister Responsible for Ontario Lottery and Gaming.
    "These agreements would have forged a new partnership with First Nations
in Ontario," said David Ramsay, Minister of Natural Resources and Minister
Responsible for Aboriginal Affairs. "We are saddened that this one-of-a-kind
opportunity has been lost."
    The agreements were designed to provide greater long-term financial
stability to First Nations communities by supporting important community
investments and did not address issues of First Nations' sovereignty or
jurisdiction. The agreements would have provided OFNLP with a 1.6% share of
Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation's gross lottery and gaming revenue
beginning in 2011, $155 million in interim payments over the next 4 years, and
the continuation of Casino Rama's revenue distribution. The First Nations
would have also received $112 million immediately upon the closing of the
agreements.
    This new, reliable source of revenue would have on average doubled the
amount of annual funds available to First Nations under the existing Casino
Rama arrangement due to expire in July 2011. Under that arrangement, First
Nations are eligible to receive net gaming revenues from this single source,
which recently averaged $60 million a year.
    The proposed new agreements were based on the Agreement-in-Principle
(AIP) signed by the province and the OFNLP in March 2006. As part of the AIP,
the OFNLP undertook to release the province from its 20% WIN litigation. The
AIP also set out terms for the use of funds to support expenditures in the
areas of health care, education, and economic, social and cultural
development.

    Disponible en français

    
                               ontario.ca/pir
    





For further information:

For further information: Amy Tang, Minister's Office, (416) 325-4048;
Anne Dunderdale, Communications Branch, 416-325-1810

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Ontario Ministry of Public Infrastructure Renewal

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