• Mar 12, 2009
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.

[Source: CBC]


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  • 40 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      People desire anything imported. People get the perception that a product from farther away is somehow better.

      Such as going to Sears 30 miles away to buy something where the same item is available in Sears at home. (Happened to my mother).

      Go buying bottles water from Fiji. http://www.fijiwater.com/

      Ridiculous. Funneling money to companies overseas is as sustainable for North America as people borrowing against the equity of your home to buy a car. Oh yeah, that idea doesn't work any more.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Um, aren't all of Canada's cars imported to some extent? I mean, just 'cause they're made in Canada, doesn't make them Canadian cars. Just look at how much Canadians have to pay for their Canadian made cars as compared to what the Americans pay for the same damn Canadian made car!
      Shut the hell up George Smitherman! Dumbass!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Or maybe it's the currency conversion rate...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Or the Honda Civic.

      No I'm just kidding. No one would wanna play the 649 if the winning prize was a car you already have had since 1995.
        • 5 Years Ago
        If I HAD to win a car I would take the less expensive one. Lottery players fail to realize you would be taxed on the MSRP value of the car...as income. A $40K -50K MB is going to come with a heavy lump sum payment of taxes. Most people playing the lottery wont be able to shell out the 5-10K in tax for the car and be forced to sell it anyway. What a pain in the ass.

        If given the choice always take the money over the expensive prize.

        A car is stupid thing to win. It is a marketing ploy to get more idiots to buy lottery tickets - also known as the idiot tax. The people that can least afford to buy the tickets spend the most on them. Thus the idiot tax.

        I am not saying stop the lottery - there is always a fool willing to part with his money. I am saying it is a waste of money to participate.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ok, thanks - that makes way more sense. In the US the lottery is for charity and for government revenue as well but it is still taxed like regular income. So basically a tax on a tax. Americans love to criticize other nations for having undue tax burdens but we are just as bad. We just choice to nickle and dime it while other countries are more out in the open about it.

        And at least your taxes go towards services where ours go towards bureaucracy.

        The IRS even wants to tax the houses given to people on Extreme Home Make Over as income.

        No one ever talks about all the nome foreclosure caused by tax reassessments on old people that already paid off the loan on their home. Ah but that is a rant for another day.

        The lottery is still an idiot tax.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Epyx:

        This is the Ontario Lottery and Gaming. From OLG's website:
        - "No income taxes have to be paid to Canadian authorities on lottery winnings in Canada"
        - "No fees of any kind have to be paid by the winner to Canadian authorities on lottery winnings in Canada."

        In Canada lotteries are a either for charity (and thus tax-free anyways) or are a source of government revenue (so taxing would be redundant)
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Epyx:

        True, but in Canada there are no taxes on lottery winnings..
      • 5 Years Ago
      One thing this story doesn't mention, but I read somewhere else, that the cars they were giving away were B200s.
      • 5 Years Ago
      When did they bring back the bricklin sv-1?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Another example of government grandstanding to make something like this a huge issue. Analysts had pointed out that the steel to make the cars were provided by Canadian companies. Too much nitpicking on Smitherman's part. No wonder so many people in Ontario think he's a jack@$$.

      The deal for the Mercedes was made prior to the economic melt down. And I don't see Smitherman ranting about other lotteries in Ontario that have given away Ferrari's, bimmers, etc. What a hypocrite.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Actually, the other lotteries that give away Ferraris, etc., don't have anything to do with this; they are run by other organizations. This particular giveaway was orchestrated by the OLG, which is run by the provincial government.

        As for the deal being made before the meltdown, well, as far as the stock markets go, maybe - but not before the automakers were in trouble. was it not late last spring when the government of Ontario worked out a major deal with GM - which GM then went against, and announced that they planned to close down production at most, if not all of Oshawa's plants?
      • 5 Years Ago
      The relative health of the Canadian auto industry should have nothing to do with their decision on what car to offer as a prize. They imply that the main reason to offer a Canadian-built vehicle is that the Canadian auto industry is suffering.

      Baloney.

      The prize is not about the source, but about the recipient.

      I wouldn't want the M-B anyway; you have to keep the thing running and insure it, and claim it as income - yuk.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Bout time... Maybe the Federal and Provincial governments should get rid of their Toyotas.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If they want to give away locally built luxury cars, they could give away Acura MDX.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Congratulations! You win the lottery!

      By the way, you don't get the Mercedes, but we're sure that you'll be happy with this Chevy instead.
        • 5 Years Ago
        What you moron fail to realize is that the resale on the $50k Merc will be twice that of the Chevy and then you can use you resale to pay off you income tax and still have lots of cash.

        Hey, I'd take a luxury car for the price of the income tax any day. 74% discount? Heck yeah.
        • 5 Years Ago
        If I HAD to win a car I would take the less expensive one. You morons fail to realize you would be taxed on the MSRP value of the car...as income. A $40K -50K MB is going to come with a heavy lump sum payment of taxes. Most people playing the lottery wont be able to shell out the 5-10K in tax for the car and be forced to sell it anyway. What a pain in the ass.

        If given the choice always take the money over the expensive prize.

        A car is stupid thing to win. It is a marketing ploy to get more idiots to buy lottery tickets - also known as the idiot tax.

        Lottery is THE most regressive tax on the books. The people that can least afford to buy the tickets spend the most on them.

        I am not saying stop the lottery, I am saying it is a waste of money to participate.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I don't think they are forcing you to buy a lottery ticket.
        • 5 Years Ago
        First in the US, you should be aware that your lottery winnings are taxable. This is the case for cash winnings and for the fair market value of any noncash prizes you might win (e.g., a car, vacation, etc.). Depending on your other income and the amount of your winnings, your federal tax bracket can go as high as 39.6%.

        Your lottery winnings might also be subject to state income tax. Thus, depending on where you live, your total tax bill could exceed 50%. You don't get any capital gains rate break for lottery winnings, nor is there any income averaging to help lower your tax bill.
        • 5 Years Ago
        My comment is based on US income tax, don't know about Canada. What good is a prize that costs the winner money?

        Yeah you have a MB but you also have less money than you had before. Not exactly winning in my book.
        • 5 Years Ago
        People in Canada do not pay tax on lottery winnings.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I don't think lottery winnings are taxed in Canada. I know that lump sum winnings are not taxed, but I am not sure about non-cash prizes though.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Evan, please explain how those Buick, Chevy, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford and Lincolns are considered "domestic" in the Country of Canada?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Theres no explaining that. It just is. You come to Ontario and visit a Ford/GM/Chrysler plant and no one is gonna call it a "foreign car maker". I think it's because we have so much in common as compared to say Canada or South Korea/Japan.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Domestic is refering to the Continent I believe. Even though we don't have an actual Canadian car company, it's still considered domestic as it's not a company based overseas.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'd take the mercedes, thank you very much

      What a sad proposition, that's just backwards. Don't they get the point already, you don't even make desireable cars to GIVE AWAY, let alone sell them...

      It's the other way around, if your domestics were any good, they'd end up on a lottery ticket all by themself.

      Land of freedom and free choices, my ass ;) Land of patriotic morons would be more to the point.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Darn, Corbett, you beat me to it! :) haha
        • 5 Years Ago
        As if we have a 'good name' in your book. Don't think so. It seems most don't think very highly of citizens outside US borders, so there's no reputation to slander in the first place ;)

        But ok, i'll take that back. But you got to agree, it's up to the organisers of the lottery to decide which car they want to give away, right? Normally, these are not state lotteries, but independant ventures... It would be equivalent to barge into the vegas casinos and confiscate every car-prize that's not domestic. Good luck with that.

        I mean, you're all about free choice... But in situations like this you've got to be 'patriotic'? Whatever that means and whatever it is good for? I know that at least we can give away whatever we want, no one would care less. So how about that? And seriously, it concerns 22 cars... That's gonna save your auto-industry, problem solved... And it provides work to the mercedes dealers that will service and sell these cars.

        And how about you ruining things for us, ever thought about that? Opel was doing very well with massive fleet sales as well as particular sales, until GM went belly up. Thanks a lot for nothing, i'd say... We will also lose thousands of jobs through this mess. Not to mention it was US toxic assests and derivatives that got us here in the first place. (granted, our banks shouldn't have bought those products, but they were made possible by your wild west economic policies)
        • 5 Years Ago
        Wow, I cannot overcome your ignorance.

        As aforementioned, Canada is not a part of the United States. Although Canada has significant trading agreements (Social-economic ties) with the USA, that does not indicate that this affiliation means that the auto industry in Canada manufactures "domestic" (By "domestic" I mean American branded which you have referenced) vehicles. Geographical factors contributes to this social-economic tie, and if you look on a map, yes, Canada is an independent country north of the USA, and no, we are not a part of the USA.

        Additionally, there's nothing very 'domestic' about the brands of vehicles manufactured in Canada. The different plants in southern Ontario manufactures makes Honda, Acura, GM, Ford, Chrysler, etc. so making an Acura at a Honda plant makes no difference as juxtaposed to a Ford and a Ford plant. They are all manufactured locally, but none of the manufacturers are Canadian based.

        It should also be noted that Canadian education is one of the best in the world, and our economy was relatively stable when every other advanced country took bow to the crisis. Actually here in Calgary I'm still not feeling it much other than the cheap cars. :P

        Either way, there are desirable 'domestic' vehicles, and I can assure you that something like a Cadillac CTS-V is heck a lot more reliable than a BMW M3.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Quote: "As if we have a 'good name' in your book. Don't think so. It seems most don't think very highly of citizens outside US borders, so there's no reputation to slander in the first place ;)" /End Quote.

        EU_reader, You just proved Mazda FTW!'s statement and put into question the highly-vaunted "superior European education" in one fell swoop. Like Yikes said, Canada isn't the US, and if the Canadian Autoblog readers don't verbally lynch you first, I'd be apologizing real quick.
        • 5 Years Ago
        As if i don't know that. Every one knows Canada and the US are two different nations, but i've got nothing to prove here so i don't care wether you believe me or not. In fact, I'm pretty knowledgeable about North American history and geo-politics. From 1500 up to now. So there's nothing wrong with my 'superior European education', using your sarcasm. From French Canadian federal issues to the name of their president. You try to name 10 European countries. Sounds fair since i can name and locate almost 40 states, right?

        But that's off topic. I'm was talking about
        1 your auto-industry, where you share similar sentiments. (buying domestic, etc...) Interference in personal choice by pressure groups. If you read this, you know who i'm talking about.
        2. What they call 'domestic cars' are all originally American brands. Indeed, they produce some of them in Canada, but that doesn't make them Canadian.
        3. This is an American blogsite, where most of the readers presumably are American.

        Still, GM (American) owns Opel, so my comments still stand.

        Furthermore, there's nothing wrong with my education. English is not my second, nor my third language, but fourth or even fifth if you include Latin. And some errors notwithstanding, i'm doing pretty fine

        Anyway, gotta go, there's an episode of OCC American chopper on the tv, one of my favourites ;) Gotta love the Teutuls, great family :)

        And i already apologized, which i'm doing again. So sorry if i offended anyone. I can't edit my comments here....
        • 5 Years Ago
        --Additionally, there's nothing very 'domestic' about the brands of vehicles manufactured in Canada. The different plants in southern Ontario manufactures makes Honda, Acura, GM, Ford, Chrysler, etc. so making an Acura at a Honda plant makes no difference as juxtaposed to a Ford and a Ford plant. They are all manufactured locally, but none of the manufacturers are Canadian based.--

        That's what i'm saying, so what's the problem in giving away a mercedes then?

        You produce them, but they are not Canadian based enterprises or brands.

        To other comments, in my language it's called a 'minister-president', prime minister is the same thing. Head of state if you will.
        (http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minister-president_van_Canada)
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well, EU_reader, if you really did know so much about Canada, you'd know that we actually don't have a President - we have a Prime Minister.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You're giving Europeans a bad name on this blog.
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