“Please Government of Ontario, don’t touch our horse racing industry, it’s important for thousands of people. I want there to be lots of good racing when I get older so I can make my family proud”
A colt from the first crop of Marchfield, a double champion stallion, out of Hot Toy, owned by Barb Minshall and foaled at Gardiner Farms
HEIGHTENED UPROAR FROM RACING INDUSTRY AS DRUMMOND REPORT NEARS
this afternoon, the report comes out…
The Toronto Star’s interview with SUE LESLIE, president of the Ontario Horse Racing Industry, laid out the situation plainly.
Should money be taken away from racetracks from the slots revenue program that the TRACKS, HORSEPEOPLE and MUNICIPALITIES put together some 13 years ago, it could spell doom for the smaller tracks around ONtario, including Fort Erie and Ajax.
Who would go the slot if these tracks close? Or, who would go to the malls, stores, restaurants, gas stations? These towns around the tracks would become ghost towns.
The Drummond report comes out later today (afternoon) and the province is on pins and needles with regards to the recommendations where cuts can be made.
Hey, the province is almost bankrupt, cuts need to be made, badly. But horse racing cannot be the place for that.
STORIES ON THIS HUGE ISSUE WITH REGARDS TO HORSE RACING APPEAR IN THE MAJOR PAPERS TODAY:
CUTBACKS THREATEN SMALL TRACKS, HORSE RACING INDUSTRY SAYS.
Smaller horse tracks in the province would be in serious trouble if the provincial government takes slot-machine revenue away from operators, says a spokesperson for the industry.
“Horse racing in a lot of these small communities, such as Dresden, Windsor, London, Fort Erie and Ajax, will be finished,” said Sue Leslie, president of the Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association. “And then how will those townships around these tracks survive if all those workers are gone? Who will be in their restaurants, at the gas stations, in their Wal-Marts?
There was a buzz on the racetrack backstretch this week but it was not from the excitement for the upcoming season. Instead, it was from the bombshell dropped on the industry on Monday after Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan spoke at the Economic Club of Toronto.
Speaking in advance of the cost-cutting report by former TD Bank economist Don Drummond to be released Wednesday, Duncan said one area of review would be the $345 million that horse racing receives annually from slot revenue.
The comments came as a shock to horse racing industry members who were given less than 30 minutes notice of Duncan’s comments regarding the 13-year-old slot-revenue partnership program between the provincial government, the 17 Ontario racetracks and each host municipality.
BULLET NEWS NIAGARA – FORT ERIE…
Frustrated Fort Erie mayor and Welland MPP tell Queen’s Park not to play games with race track jobs
FORT ERIE – Ontario’s New Democrats are concerned about comments by Liberal Finance Minister Dwight Duncan Monday suggesting the government is taking aim at the provincial slots at race tracks program as part of its deficit cutting measures.
“The race track business employs something like 60,000 people in Ontario,” said Welland NDP MPP Cindy Forster, speaking on behalf of her party.
“We think (the government) should tread carefully before they put a lot of people out of work,” Forster told Bullet News during an interview Tuesday.
Fort Erie Mayor Doug Martin is worried about the negative impact on his town. The Fort Erie Race Track is the municipality’s No. 1 employer, and any thought of it being downgraded or closed sends chills through the streets.
Peterborough turns into ghost town?
NATIONAL TURF WRITERS RELEASE VOTERS AND THEIR ECLIPSE VOTES
Okay, someone voted for Rapid Redux andMy Miss Aurelia for Horse of the Year, Drosselmeyer for Turf Horse…look to see: