Polly Craik Officially Vacates Liquor & Lotteries Chair

By Ben Hamill - February 28 2019

Polly Craik Officially Vacates Liquor & Lotteries Chair

A fundamental disagreement. This was the only official reason offered by Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister for Polly Craik’s having exited the chair of Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries. The premier did kindly hint at the fact that her sudden departure may have a lot to do with her support for the expansion of the Club Regent casino.

The controversy surrounding the expansion of the casino revolves around the fact that Winnipeg has called a halt on the issuing of any new casino licenses, at least until such time as a review of gambling revenues as well as the social costs involved in the gambling industry has been finalised.

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Divided Opinions Over Reason For Departure

According to Pallister, Craik had left the position of chair of the Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries (MLL) of her own accord, and the official statement read that she had decided to move on to other things. But Craik’s prior statement to the press doesn’t quite correspond with what the premier has offered up as the most likely reason. According to her, the MLL board had effectively dismissed her from her position as chair.

Craik wasn’t available for any comments at the time of this article having gone live. But even so, despite the fact that some very heated arguments had obviously led to irreconcilable differences, Pallister did also say that Craik’s term of service was absolutely commendable, and that the board had carried itself exceptionally well during the entire process of the legalisation of Cannabis, which was right from the word GO expected to be a very daunting task; socially, legally and financially.

Having been chair of the MLL at the time, she would have played a pivotal role in the legalisation process.

It’s All Part Of A Bigger Lock-Down

But it’s not only the expansion of Club Regent that has been put on semi-permanent hold. The Tory government appears to be on a stop-all-operations spree, as they have also put a pause on the opening of a First Nations-run casino in Winnipeg.

A conglomerate of Manitoba chiefs are currently in the process of suing government for what reportedly touches on $1 billion for their refusal to grant permission for the opening of the new Winnipeg casino.

The matter of Craik’s leaving her position remains a controversial one, with all of the usual announcements glaringly absent. Government recently announced the appointment of Randy Williams as the new chair, but no mention was made of the how and why of her departure which is in itself, highly unusual.

We expect that with all of the rumours flying around, a statement by at least one party to the supposed spat should crawl out of the woodwork soon.

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