The Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association (OHRIA) would like to formally thank Liberal Leadership candidate Dr. Eric Hoskins for building a platform around respect for rural Ontario and horse racing industry as a whole.
The past year has been extremely painful for horse racing, as the entire industry has been devastated by the government’s plans to cancel the Slots at Racetracks Program, which set to take affect in March 2013. The industry is in crisis, with 60,000 jobs at risk, over half of which are in rural communities, where jobs are harder to come by. Ontario’s breeding industry operates on a multi-year cycle and has already taken a crippling blow this year due to the government’s plans.
OHRIA is pleased to see that Dr. Hoskins acknowledges that the current government’s race to build new casinos, needs to be reviewed, and horse racing needs to be an integrated part of Ontario’s overall gaming strategy.
The President of OHRIA, Sue Leslie, believes Eric Hoskins platform is a step in the right direction:
“I am happy to see Dr. Hoskins taking a stance on rural issues. The Horse Racing and Breeding Industry has endured countless blows by the current government as they have continued to move forward with plans that will kill our industry and hurt Ontario’s rural economy and traditions” said Leslie.
“We sincerely hope the other candidates will follow suit, and we will be watching closely.”
In his detailed platform, Hoskins says he will ensure the Horse Racing Industry is an “integral part of the provincial gaming strategy” and plans to develop a strong government partnership with the sector. Hoskins also commits to helping rural Ontario through job and education programs, transit strategies, and tax credits for employers hiring rural employees.