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Wynne Announces Rural Commitments

Published: December 9, 2012 12:46 pm ET

Last Comment: December 10, 2012 2:06 pm ET | 17 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Ontario Liberal Leadership candidate Kathleen Wynne recently announced her Rural Ontario plan - including the horse racing industry - while speaking with the Holland Marsh Growers’ Association in Bond Head.

“Sometimes, we Ontario Liberals are accused of not taking rural, agricultural and small town issues seriously. I am going to change that,” said Wynne. “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.”

Joined by 2011 York-Simcoe Ontario Liberal candidate Gloria Reszler, Wynne announced specific commitments for rural Ontario:

Regional and Community Transportation – Develop a regional and community transportation strategy to support improvement of transportation between and within rural and northern communities. This includes building on record McGuinty Liberal infrastructure investments.

Ontario Local Food Act – Continue Ted McMeekin’s good work by re-introducing an Ontario Local Food Act and working with farmers to bring more Ontario food to the table.

A Fair Deal for Municipalities – Work with ROMA (Rural Ontario Municipalities Association) to review the fact that some small municipalities, because of their size, are carrying too much of the burden of provincially mandated programs.

Sustainable Horse Racing Industry – Ensure a sustainable Ontario Horse Racing industry in keeping with the model proposed by the Horse Racing Transition Panel.

Green Energy is Community Energy – Work with local communities on developing community-based alternative energy plans, and engage actively to ensure we get it right. Ensure increased municipal autonomy and local control on the siting of green energy infrastructure.

Premier and Minister of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs – Building on Premier Dalton McGuinty’s successful model after he appointed himself Minister of Research and Innovation, Wynne will serve as the Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs for at least one year.

“Kathleen understands the issues facing Ontario’s rural residents and farmers. She is committed to addressing those needs,” said Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale MPP Ted McMeekin. “This is the right plan for rural Ontario and I look forward to working with Kathleen to implement it.”

“Kathleen Wynne has demonstrated leadership, energy, and an ability to bring people together and find real, positive solutions to move Ontario forward,” said Gloria Reszler. “Kathleen can and will win back rural Ontario ridings in the next election.”

“I will empower our cities and towns, and our rural and northern regions. We need to move forward with a balanced approach celebrating all that rural Ontario can contribute to our shared prosperity,” said Wynne. “Working together with community and municipal leadership we can secure a prosperous future for our rural and agricultural communities in Ontario.”

December 10, 2012 - 2:06 pmMy personal words of thanks

Dave Nicol SAID...

My personal words of thanks to Ms. Wynne were not intended as support for her run for higher office or the policies of her party. It seems we hear daily about another Ontario stallion moving to greener pastures in the U. S. As a strong advocate of our once proud world class breeding industry left in shambles due to the actions of Ms. Wynne and her colleagues and the delay in any words on the future of our once world leadership in standardbred racing, I would agree with the posting of Michel! Bring on an election sooner rather than later!

December 10, 2012 - 11:32 amMs. Wynne will have more than

Bobbi Morley SAID...

Ms. Wynne will have more than enough on her plate cleaning up after her predecessors to give much time and thought to rural Onatrio, which demonstrates how inconsequential the rural community is to a Liberal. Farmers in Ontario deserve and require a full time, dedicated, informed minister willing to do actual research and consultation on the impact and importance of the rural economy in Ontario. They need someone with a broad knowledge of that economy and how it serves Ontario. There is not one Liberal with even a smattering of that knowledge, so to expect Ms. Wynne to take it on herself and be effective is a stretch.

December 10, 2012 - 10:36 amIf she is trying to suggest

robert budd SAID...

If she is trying to suggest that the OMAFRA panel plan really is about "sustainable horse racing in Ontario", she has nothing to offer. The plan appears to me to be a phase out strategy, with a happy feel good component for public consumption.
Even the minimal commitment to racetracks appears to mesh nicely with the "phase in" of new casino's and bingo. They can't kill the Slot host facilities until they have the new revenue generators in place. After that they will allow us to die "of our own volition" while the new facilities agressively suck ever more gaming revenue out of the public pool. Sort of the same strategy of a clever parasite.
As far as Kathleen's commitment to being Ag Minister, its cold comfort. Carol Mitchell who was the Ag Minister when booted out last election over the massive amount of corporate wind turbine development in her riding has recently emerged as a registered lobbyist for Samsung and Leader Wind. Both are major wind players looking for more contract offers. This Liberal government has set a record for politics that serves their parties financial interests. If you want to predict where they will go, just follow the money. .

December 10, 2012 - 10:21 amRight on Lynne: This latest

Tom Kelly SAID...

Right on Lynne: This latest bit of news coming from the Liberal leadership candidates sounds DICTORIAL doesnt it? She is going to appoint herself agriculture minister? Are we living in a democratic society?This is something we could hear on the news out of Libia,Egypt ,but not out of wannabes hoping to be the next leaders of the province of ONTARIO! I have an idea for the next rally! Why don't we bus and drive down to Maple Leaf Gardens in January and protest? Teachers and Students get all the headlines ,so why can't we.

December 9, 2012 - 9:25 pmJust look at the damage that

Lynne Magee SAID...

Just look at the damage that has been done to date---all thanks to McGuinty, Duncan and Godfrey. It started the day that they announced the end of the SARP. Words speak louder than action in this case. Their 'words' have almost decimated the harness racing industry with many horse people already jumping ship while they had a chance, breeders losing huge amounts of money, horses losing their lives. The spinoff industries are feeling the loss of investment by standardbred folk. Many people have had to move on while the Liberals 'played' with the lives of thousands of horse people. Who in their right mind would consider voting this party in again knowing the devastation that these donkeys have caused over the last 9 years?

December 9, 2012 - 6:46 pmA government that makes

Norm Brunet SAID...

A government that makes decisions on no data and limited information ( no idea on how many horses or jobs this industry has ) that throws an industry under the bus is not for me. Prolonged anguish since March this year with still no signs of commitments or resolutions to this industry.
The day they call the SARP "revenue sharing" is the day I might start listening to the Liberals until then it's all propaganda.
B.t.w I went to a movie today and the OLG are advertising how many Billions they have contribited to Ontario. It's sad that a crown company is spending tax payers money this way.

December 9, 2012 - 6:41 pmIt would be a grave error to

Bill Stanton SAID...

It would be a grave error to believe one word that comes from the liberal gov't's
mouth. I hope we have all learned a lesson and will think very seriously at the next election as to whom we will vote for.

December 9, 2012 - 5:37 pmI don't think anyone is going

Randy Young SAID...

I don't think anyone is going to support these Liberal candidates that have come out with their "great plans" for rural Ontario. They know support from rural Ontario is at an all time low due to McGuinty's actions and are trying to minimize the damage. Unless they come straight out and admit that his policies and actions were dead wrong .. then they're wasting their time .. because no one will believe them.

December 9, 2012 - 5:36 pmI sincerely hope no one is

Chuck Ibey SAID...

I sincerely hope no one is drinking the Red coolade. The panels model will do nothing but slowly kill our industry. Think really hard people before giving these liars another shot. Right now our only shot is with the PCs. Chuck ibey

December 9, 2012 - 5:29 pmWOW!!!! good move

WOW!!!! good move Kath!!!

What a way to try to get votes from people from the industry. Agreeing to the recommendation from a panel, from lack of knowledge of the Industry, which if approved the way it's written would kill the Industry.

A real government officer, believing a panel 100% without knowledge of the portfolio.

Kath, let me help you for the next time you are being asked a question:

If I am elected I will leave everything status quo until a real committee is formed and we decided, in consultation with all stakeholders what is best for Industry as a business. Included in this committee will be

1- people from the Industry (for their knowledge of the game)
2- A finance Guryu (to understand the numbers)
3- An OLG executive to discuss the gaming possibilities (slots/racetracks, sport books and other gaming expansions and where they could be located)
4- Owners (to discuss their needs, point of view, expertise in business and wbhy they should continue to invest)
5- A Income Tax expert from Canada revenue Agency,(to see how they can help more people to invest based on tax reliefs)
6- Owners of tracks (for race dates, discuss their budgets, how we can reduce the intake to increase handle and make it more appealing to the bettors).
7- bettor (to see what would they like to see, that would increase handle, attendance and the younger crowds)
8- The people from rural communities (vets, farmers ect.....)

This is just thinking 10 minutes about the challenge the industry is facing....This way you may get the attention of all stakeholders and gain some attention and votes.

You can send me a donation, my horses are do doing very well theses days.



December 9, 2012 - 4:38 pmDidnt say anything about OLG.

Georg Leber SAID...

Didnt say anything about OLG. I don't believe any of the Liberal Leadership hopefuls knows what the real issues are.

Georg Leber-ICR Racing

December 9, 2012 - 4:27 pmWe have had nine years of

We have had nine years of Liberal gov't fiscal mis-management, decisions that were made by ministers and public officials with no public input whatsoever, billions of dollars of taxpayers money wasted, a rural economy in the process of being decimated with the cancellation of SAR, etc. and finally, a Premier and a Finance Minister who cared less about rural Ontario. Now, this same gov't has decided that they need us and want our support. There is an old saying and it goes something like this..... you can fool some of the people some of the time but you can't fool all of the people all the time.

December 9, 2012 - 3:29 pmI wonder what her position is

Rob MacKay SAID...

I wonder what her position is on the bingo halls 'Revenue sharing" deal to the tune of $845 million is as opposed to horse racings "subsidy" of $345 million...???

December 9, 2012 - 3:18 pmIf you were really sincere

Norm Walker SAID...

If you were really sincere and not just worried that your riding will simply give you the boot you would have stood up and been counted when your leader that you speak so well of Dalton McGuinty left the rural communities out of any viable plan in dealing with rural issues - it sounds like the finger in the dike to me. If I put your plan for horse racing which is to simply to follow the poor insufficient plan of the famous 3 on the panel and I have to put that up against the proposed plan of the PC's it would be a no brainer, why can't you people admit that the SARP was not perfect but with changes it could have been a great continued revenue maker for everybody, bottom line the Liberals have sold us down the river and being greedy the say that 1.2 billion clear dollars every yr from the contract with racetracks was a bad deal. The agreement was in need of an overhaul racetracks were getting control of way too much money and needed to be accountable to nobody - that was wrong but you punish the horse people who really only recieved 2/3rds of what was earmarked for them while track owners found ways to advantage the money earmarked for the enhancement of racing.

December 9, 2012 - 3:07 pm"Sustainable Horse Racing

Lynne Magee SAID...

"Sustainable Horse Racing Industry – Ensure a sustainable Ontario Horse Racing industry in keeping with the model proposed by the Horse Racing Transition Panel."

If this is how Ms. Wynne is going to support the horse racing industry, she might as well sign our death notice right now. The panel's report, as it stands, doesn't give anyone in Ontario's harness racing industry reason to believe that it has a healthy future on our home turf. Give your head a shake, Ms. Wynne and any other candidate that makes similar promises. If you can't figure out that the panel's proposal is simply another ploy by our scheming and conniving premier and the OLG's Paul Godfrey to get their "modernized" gambling plan in place and to run horse racing out of the province, you share their guilt. As for promises from the Fiberals---need I say more? Where is the money that Ms. Mitchell promised for our rural hospitals during the last election? Wait---I remember----it disappeared with the billions that went into all of the other McGuinty scandals some of which are listed here:

More can be found here:

Funny how these candidates are suddenly going to "support rural and agricultural Ontario" along with the horse racing industry after all these months of standing by McGuinty's and Duncan's plan to destroy a vibrant and economically sound agricultural industry that put an annual 3.5 billion dollars into the provincial coffers. Don't be fooled by them---again!

December 9, 2012 - 2:43 pmI am first and formost an

Dave Nicol SAID...

I am first and formost an owner of standardbred horses as I have been for more than 40 years. I am personally aware that Ms. Wynne has a heart as she is the sitting MPP in my daughter*s riding. Due to a terminal medical condition my daughter who had worked her whole life needed assistance from Ontario Works and others who failed her miserably during her nervous breakdown. On first asking Ms. Wynne immediately assisted her not once but twice fighting the uncaring beaurocrats supposedly there to help. As a father I will be eternally grateful to a Liberal cabinet minister, however as all the Liberal Caucus members, she voted against any fair play to the horseracing Industry for which forgivness will be difficult, but not impossible. We are a large voting bloc and suddenly they need our support after sending us into a death spiral with their unwarranted attack on one of the bright spots in a terrible economy. It is easy to talk the talk but let*s hear more positive information in place as you walk the walk. I am no one*s enemy but my trust like others has been badly frayed!

December 9, 2012 - 1:53 pmMcMeeken is the problem; and

Marty Adler SAID...

McMeeken is the problem; and she is going to continue his good work. I'll pass.

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