McNaughton Statement On Ont. Racing

On Thursday, August 15, Lambton-Kent-Middlesex PC MPP Monte McNaughton issued a media statement regarding the ongoing situation in the Ontario horse-racing industry.

McNaughton's statement regarding the recently-announced job-loss numbers in Ontario’s horse racing industry appears below.

McNaughton Issues Statement on Horse Racing Job Losses

“Today is a sad day for employees, families and fans of horse racing in Ontario. This morning we learned that the McGuinty-Wynne Liberal decision to end the Slots at Racetracks Program (SARP) has dealt a devastating blow to the horse-racing industry.

"With today’s confirmation that over 9,000 jobs have already left Ontario’s horse-racing industry, we know that rural Ontario has been especially hard hit. We have also confirmed that over 3,000 horse owners have left the industry, taking with them approximately $850-million in investments including horses, tack and equipment and horse-related property and farms.

"Sadly, we know that there are still more horse-racing job losses to come as the Liberals implement their plan to cut the number of standardbred racetracks from 12 down to five.

"The fact remains that Ontario’s horse-racing industry is in complete and total chaos due solely to the Liberals' decision, which was supported by the NDP, to kill the successful SARP partnership. Purses are down, race dates are down, attendance is down, breeding is down and the top trainers have relocated their barns south of the border.

"Unlike the NDP, which has tried to play both sides --- supporting the horse-racing industry at home, but passing the 2012 and 2013 Liberal budgets that killed SARP --- the Ontario PCs are the only party to stand strong for our horse-racing industry.

"Ontario’s horse-racing industry has a big problem and the Liberal-NDP coalition is only making things worse. We should be building partnerships with the horse racing industry, not mowing down jobs.”