Skip to content

Delta throwback: A 'do it yourself tax'

The provinces would have to wait a few more years
The BC Lottery Corporation recently reported that $802-million in prize money payouts occurred between Jan. 1 and Dec. 8 of 2022.

Let’s step back to October 1963 when the Delta Optimist reported that a bill which would have given provincial governments the right to sanction lotteries or sweepstakes was supported in the House of Commons by Barry Mather, New Democrat MP for the New Westminster constituency. 

The bill was put forward by a Conservative member from Quebec.

In supporting it, Mather said it might correct a situation which saw millions of dollars leak out of Canada through the illegal purchase of sweepstakes tickets by Canadians.

He said he favoured the proposed legislation making it possible a “do it yourself tax” would enable the public to “have some fun” while keeping money at home.

He also said it could encourage outsiders, including tourists, to buy our lottery tickets and have a fund “raised painlessly” for good projects or general revenue in Canada.

It wouldn’t be until 1970, after the Criminal Code was amended, that lottery games began with Lotto-Quebec the first Canadian corporation formed.

Mather was Camille Mildred Mather’s husband.

She represented Delta in the B.C. Legislative Assembly from 1960 to 1963 as a Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) member.

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks