In an open letter issued Tuesday to Premier Kathleen Wynne, MPP Randy Pettapiece urged the province’s Premier to explain why it appears that Standardbred breeders are the only group excluded by the announced government support programs.
Queen’s Park Toronto, Ontario
April 29, 2014
The Hon. Kathleen Wynne, MPP Premier Room 281, Main Legislative Building Queen’s Park Toronto, ON M7A 1A1
Open letter to the Premier of Ontario
I understand that your government has finalized breeder support programs with the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society and the Quarter Racing Owners of Ontario Inc. I am disappointed that Standardbred breeders appear to have been excluded from these funding programs.
I have heard from leaders in the industry who are extremely concerned with the contradictory information that they are receiving from your government. In an April 4 letter to Walter Parkinson, the President of the Standardbred Breeders Association of Ontario, you stated that, “an enhanced breeders program … is available for all racing breeds – Standardbred, Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse.”
However, in a March 12 interview with Trot Insider, industry leaders feel that Mr. Snobelen suggested that Standardbred breeders are not receiving the same level of enhancements to the Horse Improvement Program as some Standardbred breeders have filed a lawsuit against OLG.
The Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association has requested clarification on these two statements to determine which is correct. They would like to know whether there is an enhanced breeders program for Standardbred breeders, or whether Standardbred breeders have been excluded for seeking damages as a result of your government’s short-sighted decision to cancel SARP.
Standardbred Breeders deserve a serious response. Their livelihood depends on the success of the horse racing industry and equal treatment with the other breeding groups. It is unacceptable that they have not received a clear answer from your government on the status of their funding.
Please respond directly to the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association, issuing a copy of your response to my Queen’s Park office.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this serious matter.
Randy Pettapiece, MPP Perth-Wellington