The Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association is pleased to announce that the Progressive Conservatives and the New Democratic Party are again working together in the Legislature to support Ontario’s horse racing and breeding industry.
OHRIA has been working closely with both parties on MPP Taras Natyshak’s motion that calls for the extension of the Slots at Racetracks Program beyond the March 31, 2013 deadline and for referendums to be held before new casinos are built in Ontario.
The text of Natyshak’s motion is as follows:
That, in the opinion of this House, the following principles should be immediately applied to the Province’s gaming policy:
1) Implementation of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s transformation of gaming strategy be suspended until after the 2014 Ontario municipal elections in order to allow municipalities wanting to be a host site for a casino to undertake a referendum on the issue on the 2014 ballot;
2) A panel, composed of representatives nominated by the three recognized parties, be tasked with hearing from stakeholders and drafting fair spending limits for parties taking part in the referendum on casinos;
3) Changes to the Slots at the Racetracks partnership be frozen, in order to enable the horseracing industry to continue to operate while the government engages the industry in a robust consultation with the goal of ensuring its survival, stability and growth; and
4) Current funds from unclaimed purses due to racetrack closures be made available to local or community race tracks. Filed March 18, 2013.
PC MPP Monte McNaughton has traded dates with NDP MPP Taras Natyshak to ensure Natyshak’s motion will be debated and voted on prior to March 31, 2013.
On behalf of OHRIA, Sue Leslie has expressed the industry’s appreciation that the NDP and PCs are working together to protect the industry.
“We worked hard to ensure the NDP voted to support MPP McNaughton’s private Member’s bill in the last legislative session and are pleased to see the PCs are willing to work with the NDP to support MPP Natyshak’s motion now. Our industry is in crisis and needs all elected officials to work together to ensure our industry has a future in Ontario,” Leslie said.
Ontario’s Horse Racing Industry Association continues to work with all parties to address the urgent issues facing the horse racing and breeding industry in Ontario.
(Standardbred Canada with files from OHRIA)