Ontario Conservative Senator Bob Runciman will carry his fight against the McGuinty government’s plans to throw at least 30,000 Ontarians out of work to Georgian Downs in Innisfil later this month.
Runciman will be at the harness-racing track along with Simcoe North MPP Garfield Dunlop to draw attention to the negative economic impacts and significant job losses that will come from the government’s decision to pull slots out of racetracks early next year, a decision that is expected, according to Finance Minister Dwight Duncan, to result in the closure of all but five or six of the province’s 17 horse-racing tracks.
“The McGuinty government’s action is an ill-considered, short-term cash grab without – apparently – any understanding of the significant job losses and the long-term negative impacts on individuals, families, businesses and communities,” Runciman said.
“More Ontarians have to be made aware of the damaging economic and personal impacts and they have to put pressure on provincial politicians to force a reconsideration of the decision,” Runciman said.
At a time when Ontario has lost almost 500,000 manufacturing jobs since McGuinty took office, it’s nothing short of mind-boggling that the government would initiate such a harmful policy,” he concluded.
Runciman and MPP Dunlop, who has been a vocal opponent of the decision to scrap the Slots at Racetracks program, will hold a media conference in the The Loft room at Georgian Downs on Saturday, July 21, at 5 p.m. Runciman is speaking at a fundraiser for the MPP later that night.
The Slots at Racetracks program directs 10% of revenue from slot machines housed at horse-racing facilities to the tracks and a further 10% to the horse industry. It was widely credited with revitalizing the industry over the past decade, while contributing over $1 billion annually to the government to spend on programs such as health care and education. The McGuinty government announced this spring that it is ending the program next year.
For more information, contact:
Barry Raison, Policy Advisor, Office of Senator Bob Runciman
(613) 943-4020 or email@example.com