'More Honesty At Tracks Than Queen’s Park'
Published: March 14, 2012 3:51 pm ET
Last Comment: March 15, 2012 10:42 pm ET | 7 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments
He is a regular guest on the most listened-to sports talk presentation on Canadian airwaves. He is one of the most respected sports journalists in the nation. He's an award winning racing writer. Dave Perkins is also one of many people that are fed up with the Ontario Liberals' reckless and irresponsible treatment of the provincial horse-racing industry, and he has now put his platform to work.
In his most recent column in the Toronto Star, Perkins has teed-off on Premier Dalton McGuinty's Liberal Government, who, along with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, utilized a well-strategized media conference this week to sing the apparent praises of its new strategy for Ontario gaming. The news conference did everything but trumpet the fact that the Ontario Liberals and the OLG are decimating their most successful venture, the highly-successful slots-at-racetracks program, which will translate to 60,000 jobs lost in the province and the eradication of over $2-billion in annual economic impact on Ontario.
Pro-racing numbers are aplenty when you get down to the crunching, and Perkins utilized just a mere some when he got behind his computer and essentially read the Ontario Liberals their pedigree.
Perkins wrote, "It used to be stated here, and seconded elsewhere, that horse racing was its own worst enemy. For sure, that no longer is the case. In a monumentally misguided shuck, our elected wizards at Queen’s Park have decided to abandon a lucrative source of revenue churned by a historic industry employing some 60,000 Ontarians."
He went on to say, "The Liberals also unleashed dishonest attack ads that speak of 'secret subsidies' to rich guys, money that could be going instead to health care or your kiddies’ kindergartens. It is complete swill."
Reiterating what the racing-industry has publicly been saying for six weeks now, Perkins stated, "Ontario now wishes to renege on a 1998 revenue-sharing agreement for its slot machines, one that has dropped more than $15-billion into the public coffers over 13 years, with $3.4-billion going to racing people." Perkins added that the $15-billion the Ontario Government essentially had gift-wrapped for them, "arrived without benefit of an e-health or ORNGE-type scandal, by the way."
"The Liberals call that $15 billion good business," he wrote. "The $3.4 billion it now calls a 'subsidy.'”
Perkins opted to end his piece with a strong statement, saying in part that racing has always had image issues, but that he would swear to the fact that, "Pound for pound, there is more honour and honesty on any backstretch than there is these days at Queen’s Park."
(With files from the Toronto Star)