Chair Rod Seiling announced that the Government of Ontario has moved ministry responsibility for the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) from the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, to the Ministry of Finance
. The Government also added the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) to this ministry’s mandate, which includes responsibility for other agencies and corporations such as the Ontario Securities Commission and the LCBO.
As noted in a memo to ministry staff, the move is intended to help the Ministry of Finance deliver on its mission to promote a dynamic, innovative and growing economy and to manage the fiscal, financial and related regulatory affairs of the Province of Ontario.
“The ORC is committed to working with its new ministry partners,” said Seiling. “We will do our utmost to ensure that the transition is seamless, so that the effective and diligent regulation of horse racing in Ontario can continue.”
As the crown agency responsible for horse racing, the ORC operates on three guiding principles: the protection of the health and welfare of the horse; the protection of the safety of participants; and the protection of the public interest. Through its services and programs, the ORC works with the horse racing community to ensure that there is fair and safe racing, and confidence in the integrity of the industry.
What does the Minstry of
What does the Minstry of Finance (MOF)know about horses, the racing industry or agriculture in general. The government and MOF is interested in extracting as much money as it can for Government coffers and showing a good bottom line as a vote getter. Obviously, the McGuinty group has recognized that race track casinos generate funds that they want to exercise even more control over. This will likely mean that the next step will be to start reducing their expenses for the Racing side of the equation to maximize the casino profits. Lets face it, the casino side of the track operations has little overhead and is a steady revenue producer, while the track side has it's inherent costs and overhead. The government will not consider the industry generated money at the farmgate as it won't show up on their balance sheet.
The logical Govt department for racing is the Agriculture Portfolio, where at least one can have a meaningful conversation about matters affecting the industry. Imagine the fun that will come with talking about equine issues with a money changer! Frankly, there are not enough shovels in the barns to clear the HS being peddled as benefits of the alignment with MOF