OLG deems Christmas verboten; Chinese Lunar New Year and Diwali are just fine…

If the OLG has a policy not to reference any religious or cultural events on its scratch tickets, OK, fair enough. But this is not the case… at least it’s not the case when it comes to non-Christian events.

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The latest entity to join in on the ever-raging war on Christmas is none other than the scandal-plagued and much-loathed Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG).

Case in point: we couldn’t help but notice that the word “Christmas” has been completely expunged from OLG scratch tickets this year. Yes, even from those tickets that make use of symbols and icons that are associated with Christmas.

So it is that Christmas-themed scratch tickets bear such monikers as "Merry Money", "Holiday", "Winter Tripler", “Festive 5X”, and on it goes. These tickets feature illustrations of snowflakes and evergreen trees and Christmas lights (or is that “holiday lights”?) But the actual word “Christmas” is AWOL. It’s as though Christmas is the new C-word. It’s vulgar, you see. It shouldn’t be uttered in polite company, you understand. It’s so, you know, Christ-y….

But why is the OLG banning Christmas?

If the OLG has a policy not to reference any religious or cultural events on its scratch tickets, OK, fair enough. But this is not the case… at least it’s not the case when it comes to non-Christian events.

For example, the OLG markets scratch tickets that reference the Chinese Lunar New Year as well as Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.

Do you think the OLG uses generic language to reference Lunar New Year and Diwali? Do you think Lunar New Year and Diwali are referred to as merely a “festive occasion” or a “holiday”? No! Lunar New Year is Lunar New Year and Diwali is Diwali. Just as it should be.

So why the double-standard when it comes to Christmas? Why must the word Christmas, even during Christmastime, always be replaced with some generic word? And just who is the OLG trying not to offend?

We reached out to the OLG’s media relations department. Alas, it’s been radio silence. Perhaps those flacks are already on their Christmas holidays? Forgive us: we meant to say “holiday holidays”…

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  • By Ezra Levant

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