Nova Scotia Will Release Gambling Study
Eighteen months after the Nova Scotia government shelved a draft report on the impact of gambling on the province, it has been agreed to publish the information.
The government's capitulation in this case comes after the Canadian Press as well the anti-gambling group, Game Over VLTs, appealed the government's decision to shelve the study, which looks at the social and economic impact of gambling in Nova Scotia.
The government had reservations over the research methods used to study the issue.
Dulcie McCallum, Nova Scotia's freedom of information review officer, recommended that the full draft report should be released.
The government's Labour Department responded that although it didn't agree with the recommendations made by McCallum, it would release the information within a month's time.
Consultant Rejects Claims of Poor Research Methods
The consultant of the report, Mark Anielski, has come out in objection of the criticism directed at his research methods by the Nova Scotia government.
His opinion is that the draft was shelved because it placed too much emphasis on social problems that are linked with VLT machines and slot machines in the province.
McCallum believes that Nova Scotians should be allowed to reach their own conclusions regarding the information in the report.
"In my report, I found that Nova Scotians are pretty bright people and they can figure out whether something is a bit skewed or seek out more information to fully understand something," she said.
She also noted that she got satisfaction out of knowing that the province's population is interested in the information written in the draft report and the topic of VLTs in general.
She said, however, that the publication of the report should've come sooner.
"This could have been not a bad decision at the outset when the applicants first made a request for access to the record," she said.