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MPP Clark Calls Liberal Actions "Devastating"

Published: March 22, 2012 4:37 pm ET

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Leeds-Grenville MPP Steve Clark is the most recent Ontario politician to sound off on the Provincial Liberal Government's reckless abandonment of the horse-racing industry via an open letter.

Clark's letter, which has appeared on, has equated the Ontario Liberals' walking away from the profit-sharing agreement with the horse-racing industry as, “nothing more than a desperate cash-grab” to plug holes in a provincial deficit that the reigning government has created.

Citing the Ontario Liberal Party's blindsiding of the horse-racing industry, Clark said that Premier Dalton McGuinty "wouldn’t talk to the horse industry or even let them know what was coming" before pulling the proverbial rug out from those that invest hundreds of thousands of dollars --- if not millions --- in the provincial industry.

“This is devastating to communities in rural Ontario already reeling from this government’s economic mismanagement,” Clark wrote.

The slots-at-racetracks program has been the foundation for the Ontario horse-racing industry to become the global standard other jurisdictions attempt to equal when they construct their own programs.

The slots-at-racetracks program has seen Ontario racetracks concede to host expanded gaming within their walls for a relatively small percentage of the machines' revenues. Those revenues, in turn, have allowed the provincial breeding and racing industry to produce $261-million in annual tax revenue for the government; lead to the employment of 60,000 Ontarians; annually spur $2-billion in economic impact for the province, and fund a myriad of government programs, including health care and education.

Over the duration of the slots-at-racetracks program, the Ontario Government has pocketed roughly $15-billion in revenue from the program.

For Trot Insider's complete coverage regarding the fallout and uproar in response to the OLG and Ontario Liberals' treatment of the provincial horse-racing industry, click here.

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