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Clark won't comment on Coleman and Surrey casino issue

SURREY (NEWS1130) – We are finally hearing from the premier about the South Surrey casino controversy, but she’s not weighing in on what some are calling “questionable phone calls” made by the gaming minister to city councillors.

Two city councillors have revealed they were contacted by Minister Rich Coleman ahead of a vote at city hall and told if the casino plan fell through, Surrey would not be considered again for a different site.

Premier Christy Clark was asked if that was inappropriate, but she won’t speak for Coleman.

“He’s the minister reponsible; he got some questions and he answered those questions and I think it’s as simple as that,” she says.

Coleman, meanwhile, was at an event with the premier today but wasn’t available for comment.

As for the move to nix the Gateway casino that left neighbours cheering and the BCLC seemingly frustrated, Clark tells us she respects the decision.

“The City of Surrey made their decision,” says Clark. “They’re politicians like the rest of us. They need to make tough decisions sometimes and they made it, and I completely accept that.”

The decision led to a war of words and finger-pointing between Coleman, the BC Lottery Corporation, and Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts.