The court hears arguments in case #28416, David Albert Siemens, et al. v. Attorney General of Manitoba, et al., on October 31, 2002.
In 1993, Sie-Cor Properties Inc. bought the Winkler Inn in Winkler, Man., with a business plan that involved increasing the number of video lottery terminals (VLTs) in the inn. In 1998, the town of Winkler held a plebiscite in which majority of voters indicated that they wanted VLTs banned. The Town of Winkler subsequently passed a resolution to forward the results of the plebiscite to the Government of Manitoba. Sie-Cor Properties Inc. applied to the Court of Queen’s Bench for a declaration that the resolution was invalid.
In July 1999, while Sie-Cor’s application was still before the court, the Manitoba government passed the Gaming Control Local Option Act (known as the VLT Act), which allows municipalities to hold binding plebiscites on the prohibition of VLTs; Section 16 of the law specifically terminates any VLT agreements in place in Winkler. Effective December 1, 1999, the Winkler Inn lost its legal right to operate VLTs. Both the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench and the Manitoba Court of Appeal denied Sie-Cor’s application to allow it to continue to operate VLTs; Sie-Cor is now appealing those decisions to the Supreme Court.
Lawyer David Hill presents arguments on behalf of David Albert Siemens, et al. Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin delivers the court’s verdict, in favor of the Attorney General of Manitoba, et al., from the bench.