In a letter to Premier Wynne, MPP Bailey urged the Premier to immediately announce prize purses and a full slate for racing at Sarnia’s successful Hiawatha Horse Park. By delaying the announcement of racing dates, the jobs at the local race track as well as the nearly 55,000 jobs of the men and women across the province who earn a living in the racing and breeding industry are in jeopardy.
The cancellation of the Slots at Racetracks Program and its successful revenue sharing agreement between the racing industry and the province was passed in the 2012 budget by the Liberal-NDP budget agreement.
“The Liberals and NDP agreed to scrap the horse racing and breeding industries in Ontario despite the fact that tens of thousands of men and women support their families by working in the industry,” said MPP Bailey regarding his letter to the Premier. “Despite the damage that the Liberals and NDP have already done to the industry, it’s not too late, if the Premier acts now, to save jobs at Sarnia’s Hiawatha Horse Park and across rural Ontario.”
Recently, the Premier has shown a willingness to backtrack from the botched decision by announcing it would keep six publicly owned racing tracks open in the province. In making the announcement, the Liberal government overlooked more successful tracks like Sarnia’s Hiawatha Horse Park.
Today, there are nearly 600 000 unemployed men and women in Ontario. Scrapping the successful Slots and Racetracks revenue sharing program will add tens of thousands of workers in rural Ontario to the unemployment rolls. Only the Ontario PCs have proposed alternatives that will save horse racing and the thousands of jobs it supports in the racing and breeding industry.