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Wynne Is Ontario's New Premier

Published: January 27, 2013 12:23 pm ET

Last Comment: January 29, 2013 8:11 am ET | 13 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

On Saturday, Kathleen Wynne was elected to lead the Ontario Liberal party and on Sunday as the Premier of Ontario she promised to transform the party and build a better province.

One of the front-runners to replace Dalton McGuinty since the campaign began, Wynne won the leadership on the third ballot of the Ontario Liberal Party's 2013 Leadership Convention at Maple Leaf Gardens.

In her plan for Rural Ontario, Wynne noted that her vision for the province included "a sustainable Ontario Horse Racing industry in keeping with the model proposed by the Horse Racing Transition Panel."

Wynne went so far as to pledge that she'd take on the role of Agriculture Minister if elected as Premier.

“Sometimes, we Ontario Liberals are accused of not taking rural, agricultural and small town issues seriously. I am going to change that,” said Wynne while campaigning. “To demonstrate my personal commitment to rural and small town Ontario and to make sure that a government I lead gets it right, as Leader and Premier I will appoint myself the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs for at least one year.”

Wynne recently stated she would review the OLG modernization strategy if she is named as Ontario's next Premier.

“Once I get there, we need to pick up this conversation. I want communities to be able to make this decision in the way that they want to make it.”

January 29, 2013 - 8:11 amIt will be even more

Adam Mauntah SAID...

It will be even more interesting to see what happens now that Dwight Duncan is on his way out:

January 27, 2013 - 11:11 pmFirst priority for the new

First priority for the new premier get the teacher unions and other unions back on her side before calling an election. Second and third priority getting all the wishy washy supporters to cough up some cash for the next election. Like any politician (especially Liberal) they always sound empathetic to whatever special interest group they meet or speak with. Actions speak louder and the current Liberal government has made a determination they don't need a horse racing industry and I'm sorry to tell you that the Ontario horse racing industry is about 99th on the to do list for the new premier.
This so called plan (to which you cannot even get specifics) is a two year reprieve for some tracks. Where on earth are they supposed to get new revenue streams from in this new province of increased casino and other forms of gaming, directly competing with racing for the dollars. Will someone ask the new premier when is she going to take a long hard look at reforming or dismantling the OLG. Remember to those tracks and people that have signed on transitional money = subsidy so you've gone from being profit sharing partners to wards of the state. Is this really the future you envisioned?

January 27, 2013 - 5:50 pmWynne is our premier and Ag

Lynne Magee SAID...

Wynne is our premier and Ag minister until there is another election. Dennis Mills appears to have her ear. I'm just as ticked off and untrusting of the Liberals as anyone but, as the situation stands, what is the point in making an enemy of Wynne when she will likely be the one to make critical decisions about horse racing in the very near future? I, too, am putting my faith and support in Dennis Mills at this point to get some favourable action out of this new premier.

January 27, 2013 - 4:51 pmSame old rhetoric The slots

Tom Gibson SAID...

Same old rhetoric The slots as racing knew them are OVER. You people had better get out of your pipe dream of revitalization of the program and figure out a plan to sustain. The new premier will do nothing to change what was done.As she said " continue Dalton's hard work".There are approximately twice as many teachers in Ontario as there are people in racing. Many were in attendance on the weekend. How many attended from the racing industry?

January 27, 2013 - 4:16 pmI agree Glenn. Kathleen

I agree Glenn. Kathleen Wynne is surrounded by folks who are truly concerned about the horse racing industry. Dennis Mills, John Wilkinson (her co-campaign manager), and Kennedy, Sousa and Hoskins (all of whom have spoken about the importance of reviewing the decision to end SARP) and whom she now owes a favour. I don't care for the Liberals any more than the next horseperson, but we must deal with what is in front of us. I am thankful every day that there are Liberals like Dennis Mills involved in racing who have been able to get the attention of our provincial politicians. If and when there is a provincial election, we will need allies in the succesful party's camp as well.

January 27, 2013 - 4:06 pmI tend to agree with Glenn.

Cam McKnight SAID...

I tend to agree with Glenn. Because of the efforts of Dennis Mills (and Racing Future) we now have "a seat at the table".

If we had had a "seat at the table" during the last year of the McGuinty reign, things would never have fallen apart the way they did. Unfortunately for horse racing, Paul Godfrey and the OLG had that seat, and horse racing couldn't get a meeting with any key people involved in the decision making.

A Pupatello victory would have seen the continuation of the Duncan/McGuinty/Godfrey game plan. She would have continued to prorogue Parliament, and by the time we get around to the next election, the racing game would have been on total life-support.

The efforts of Dennis Mills, Sue Leslie, and many others, helped elect Kathleen Wynne. Because of that, I believe the new Liberal government will take a serious look at the mess they have created and hopefully re-consider the entire issue.

While I am not a Liberal, I am sincerely pulling for them to get things back on track. At the very least, I believe this will buy the Racing Industry some time (and extra OMAFRA support), until the next election.

January 27, 2013 - 3:16 pmOk Tom I listened and now its

Ok Tom I listened and now its your turn. I believe Mr Mills has got us closer to the new Premier and has put in tireless efforts similar to the "half dozen organizations representing us without any power" The difference between Mr Mills and all of the other organizations is that he was invited inside the room to have the argument. I put my hope and funds behind Dennis Mills because I believed a credible Liberal would have a better chance of shaping the argument within the party in power than anyone else I have met in the last year. I have talked to people who have met Kathleen Wynne recently to discuss the horse racing industry and they have said that she appears to sincerely care about this subject. So until I see otherwise I will hold out hope that the horse racing model that emerges with Kathleen Wynne as premier will be far better than the prospects we faced with the previous regimes.

January 27, 2013 - 2:33 pmActually, she said she would

Don Patrick SAID...

Actually, she said she would take the position of Minister Of Agriculture for "up to" one year, not at least one year. The slot partnership is still done people. There will still be racing, but the gravy days are over.

January 27, 2013 - 2:19 pmListen up Glen: The only

Tom Kelly SAID...

Listen up Glen: The only thing the liberal polatition is interested in is getting to the next election without losing the 33 seats the now hold in the greater Toronto Area..Al this talk about Rural Ontario is only election fodder! In my opinion, the present government cannot break the laws that are on the books ..Bill 76 : pertaining to Standardbred Racing ( as we have known it) ended with OLG,s GODFREY privatizing the slots at racetracks agreement and the McGUINTY- DUNCAN budget eliminated $175,000,000 (their figures) from the slot money ending 31 March 2013 ........Woodbine will keep the North America Cup but what happens at the B C D tracks?Is the ORC giving out race dates? The slots are going to stay with rental agreements but what about racing? Who is going to represent the Standardbred Owners Trainers Grooms? It seems there already half a dozen organizations representing us but without any power.. Like the teachers unions...

January 27, 2013 - 1:57 pmGreat news that we will now

Sheldon Rose SAID...

Great news that we will now have a competent Minster of Agriculture. Our actions should now be directed towards Paul Godfrey and the OLG.

January 27, 2013 - 1:44 pmPrior to being elected as the

Randy Young SAID...

Prior to being elected as the new Premier, Kathleen Wynne made some positive comments with regards to Ontario Horse Racing and the OLG's new gaming strategy. Those words, however, will mean little ... unless she follows through by: immediately halting the OLG's suspect agenda ... initiating a full review of the McGuinty government decision to cancel the Slots at Race Track Partbership ... and reinstating that section of the Lottery & Gaming act that called for Municipal referendums prior to the building of new Casinos ... AND full public disclosure by the government including a detailed justification of their actions.

January 27, 2013 - 1:24 pmI sure hope now that she is

I sure hope now that she is really going to help this situation around the convention all the buzz was about she was our only real chance to hopefully get this reviewed and a more sustainable horse racing plan in the future. Im trying to stay optimistic but if she thinks following the panels recommendations will help this industry she is truly wrong, just like Jody said, if you drop 40 days you lose 40 million then the next year you cut 75 days you lose 75 million and so on till purses are destroyed and there is maybe a couple summer meets left in ontario and maybe a much smaller weg. Its just like in the old days if you ran say a double card on a saturday afternoon and a saturday night they would bet 100,000 in the day and 100,000 in the night and if you only had one saturday card they would stll just bet 100,000. How this panel seems to think. They will bet the same amount after losing 40 days is beyond logic, so mathamatics to me its just not possible. So lets hope for the best and hope she really reviews this and is educated on the ontario horse gambler and understands that horse gamblers dont double what they bet because they miss a day of racing.

January 27, 2013 - 1:06 pmGreat news for horse racing

Great news for horse racing in Ontario. Having attended the rally and having met a number liberal delegates throughout the day I can tell you that Dennis Mills was inside the convention promoting horse racing and the importance of it to rural Ontario. I believe that Dennis has insured that Ontario horse racing will be high on the new premiers agenda.

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