Ontario, Canada has been hit hard by the crash of the automotive market. The region's once healthy automotive plants are being hit with shift reductions and plant closures, while the remaining union workers are seeing benefits and wages slashed, all the while insurance premiums increase. Given the massive loss of jobs, deputy premier George Smitherman is a more than a little upset that the Ontario Lottery decided on a Mercedes Benz as its prize of choice. Smitherman called lottery executives' decision to give away 22 Mercedes in its new promotion a "crappy decision" and a "lapse of judgment."
The Ontario Lottery is giving away the luxury automobiles in an April promotion at Ontario casinos. Lottery officials state that the contest was conceived 10 months ago, well before the floor fell out from under auto sales. Due to the negative attention, the OLG has put the promotion under review but stopped short of saying it would replace the vehicles. With the Ontario-built 2010 Camaro hitting regular production just two weeks before the drawing, we could think of one very good replacement prize.