Pickering Food Truck Festival a mouth watering hit

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Published August 14, 2023 at 4:22 pm

Pickering Mayor Kevin Ashe and Ontario Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy made an appearance at the Pickering Food Truck Festival and brought an over-sized cheque with them for the occasion.

The food truck festival is one of many community events who are partly funded through casino payments the City receives as host of Pickering Casino Resort.

Since the casino opened two years ago the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) has issued non-tax gaming revenue payments, totaling nearly $24.5 million to the City and Ashe brought a cheque with that amount as a “symbolic” gesture.

“These critical revenue payments are making a real and meaningful impact in our community,” said Ashe. “As well as supporting a broad array of municipal services, programs, events, and infrastructure investments, the success of Pickering Casino Resort, and the greater Durham Live destination, has seen tremendous tourism and economic spin-offs – this is a win win for all.”

The City is reinvesting these revenues in the community to support local programs, initiatives, and infrastructure. The organizers behind the Pickering Food Truck Festival are just one of the many community recipients to benefit from the agreement, receiving funds to support the three-day food truck festival that welcomed nearly 25,000 visitors.

“This partnership enables the City of Pickering to invest in vital projects and services that enhance the quality of life for all Pickering residents,” added Bethlenfalvy, who is also the MPP for Pickering-Uxbridge. “It drives economic growth, creates tangible improvements, and supports the community’s well-being.”

OLG Senior Municipal Relations Manager Kathleen Devine also chipped in, saying the casino payments are a “vital part” of the corporation’s mandate. “Each and every year, 100 per cent of OLG profits are reinvested in Ontario to support provincial priorities. From critical infrastructure to important local programs, to community festivals, OLG’s profits are hard at work in Pickering and all across our province to build stronger communities.”

To date, Casino revenues have been used for the following budget items in Pickering:

  • Funding for 19 community groups as part of the City’s Community Grants Program
  • Consulting for Naming Rights and Sponsorship Evaluation Strategy for City facilities (including City Centre)
  • City Centre project-related planning activities and design costs
  • Gravel lot parking upgrades (behind Chestnut Hill Developments Recreation Complex)

The 2023 Capital and Current Budget includes more than $10 million in projects to be funded by casino revenues, including the Bay Ridges Kinsmen Park soccer turf replacement, Beverly Morgan Park track replacement, various pedestrian signal upgrades, various fire station hall upfits, and the snow clearing program for senior citizens.

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