The Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association (OHRIA) congratulates Ontario’s five newest MPPs today and looks forward to working with them to improve Ontario’s horse racing industry.
The industry has been in the spotlight since the McGuinty Government’s decision to scrap the successful Slots at Racetrack Program. With all parties now committed to finding a way to stabilize the horse racing industry, OHRIA hopes these new MPPs will help secure a brighter future.
New Scarborough-Guildwood MPP Mitzie Hunter is committed to putting the Horse Racing Industry Transition Panel’s recommendations into action when she joins the Liberal Caucus with new Ottawa South MPP John Fraser.
“Premier Wynne and the Ontario Liberals are committed to a sustainable future for horse racing in this province,” said Ms. Hunter. “I believe that the [Horse Racing Industry Transition Panel] plan presents a strong approach to an Ontario horse racing industry that has a long term future, and I hope that input from stakeholders like OHRIA makes it even stronger.”
The NDP’s new MPP from Windsor, Percy Hatfield, has committed to working with the horse racing industry, a view shared by his party and new London-West MPP Peggy Sattler.
“I agree with the horse racing community that the ideal option is to reestablish the Slots at Racetrack program or comparable partnership. I also agree that racetracks should have the first right of refusal to host a new casino before building new casinos in the same region,” said Mr. Hatfield in an email.
The Progressive Conservative’s Doug Holyday has also acknowledged the importance of horse racing in Ontario.
“Horse racing must be a key component of Ontario’s gaming strategy,” said Mr. Holyday. “[The Progressive Conservatives] will build partnerships with the horse racing industry, allowing it to thrive.”
OHRIA President Sue Leslie is cautiously optimistic about the future of the horse racing industry in Ontario.
“We’ve had a tough couple of years, but we are pleased that all parties, and their new MPPs are committed to working towards a solution that will result in stability and success for the horse racing industry,” said Ms. Leslie.
“We congratulate these new MPPs and look forward to working with them, and the Horse Racing Industry Transition Panel to chart a path forward.”