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Ontario's Budget To Pass; Includes "Transitional Aid" For Horse Racing

andrea-horwath-budget.jpg

Published: April 23, 2012 3:50 pm ET

Last Comment: April 25, 2012 9:09 am ET | 55 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

"We will not be plunging Ontarians into an election tomorrow."

In a press conference at Queen's Park on Monday afternoon, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath confirmed that the Liberals changed enough in the 2012 provincial budget to not vote against it on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, Premier Dalton McGuinty noted that "transitional aid" for the horse racing industry was discussed but no further details were given.

In an interview with Bullet News on Monday evening, Welland's MPP Cindy Forster of the NDP said the agreement's details were not finalized at the time of the announcement this afternoon.

“There are no details at this point,” said Forster. “Hopefully, we’ll get those in the next couple of weeks.”

Forster also stated that the transitional aid would come as "one-time funding."

Trot Insider will update this breaking story with details as they become available.

April 25, 2012 - 9:09 amI am of the strong opinion

I am of the strong opinion that the time has come for a strong legal response to the actions of the Liberal government. The fact that Government is our only true competition from a wagering perspective at the same time they make the rules would no doubt have some very interesting legal implications. There is also the very real reality of explaining the irrational devastation of an entire industry...unless of course you intended to sell all of the properties you control in that industry...what is a true gambling monopoly worth in Ontario?

The Government does not own any of the properties that generate a majority of their casino profits(the tracks) so by eliminating this competition their properties(or ones they would like to now sell licenses for) become much more valuable. A second question I would have is how is the WEG reality going to play out. The Government is not going to pull the slots from either property and WEG will not have slots in place for "Warehouse" rent...so what are they going to be getting? And if that deal is made with WEG what deal is being offered to other track properties? Forget fair being fair the law will come into play here and if property "A" is offered "X" than at some point there will be the question of "If WEG gets "X" why are we only being offered "Y".

A final observation...for now, just how long has this plan been in place? The Liberals knew how bad things were financially and lied through their teeth. We know they were looking for quick fixes ala the PC governments 407 sale (Huge mistake)as part of this process. At the same time they continued to express how much they recognised and supported Ontario's strong horse racing community and the 60,000 jobs it supported. People made major financial investments in these communications and the biggest piece of these communications was the recent extension of all contracts at the tracks...the same contracts that have now been terminated...following a year where the Government profited $1.2 Billion from the operations.

On this point I feel it is fair to call our track partners and not just the Government to task as these escape clauses were never discussed with horse people. Having a one year contract in an industry with a 3-4 year investment cycle? Not one business person worth his or her salt would ever venture down that path, especially in a game as risky as horse racing. If you give me information and I act on it and it turns out you may have been misleading me...that may be actionable...which brings us back to the beginning of my ramblings.

Freedom of information requests should be going to Queens park at a non-stop pace regarding communications on this issue to the Finance Minister's office, the OLG, Ministry of Infrastructure, etc. Lets pull the covers back on this issue as I for one would like to know what has made the destruction of an industry by OUR elected Provincial Government such a compelling and attractive proposition.

Darryl MacArthur

PS.Someone earlier in this thread discussed starting a rural political party for the next election cycle...I for one think this is a great idea and can promise any and all candidates that they will have the support of our entire industry with my name on the top of the list. We have our own issues that need to be represented and with all due respect to the PC party they need to play in too many sandboxes for our message to be put on top of the heap. The level of contempt that has been shown to us by the Liberal government will not be soon forgotten.

April 24, 2012 - 7:44 pmThe horsepeople need to have

The horsepeople need to have a massive general meeting and elect a committee that will weigh "all" options. This gov't does not seem to respect opinions and will happily be a bully if allowed to. It has proven in earlier past dealings however to be quite weak and timid when actually confronted by a united and forceful group. The blitzkeig tactics employed by the Liberals have provided impressive short term gains but they are destined to lose the longer term war against an organized foe standing up for what is right. The horsepeople need to unite and earn the Liberals 'respect'. Lobbying is always a good step - but in this case it is not enough. Proper action is the best medicine.

April 24, 2012 - 3:05 pmI have one more comment to

jim rigg SAID...

I have one more comment to make and it is directed to Duncan he denys the figures of 60,000 people then he should check with the Minister of Infrastructure who has the study sent to him back in 2005 at a cost of over $100,000 which states well over 60,000 people are directly involved in someway with our Industry.

April 24, 2012 - 2:25 pmThe liberals are now going

The liberals are now going to infect us with transitional aid. The truth is we will be diagnosed with transitional aids and the prognosis is most of us will have less than a year to survive!! All remedies so far have been unsuccessful but we haven't given up hope that somebody will find us a cure. I hope somebody comes up with some other ideas soon or horse racing may go by the way of the dinosaurs. Please somebody with some power and pull step up . I'm 45 I'm not quite ready to be extinct quite yet.

April 24, 2012 - 2:24 pmThe liberals are now going

The liberals are now going to infect us with transitional aid. The truth is we will be diagnosed with transitional aids and the prognosis is most of us will have less than a year to survive!! All remedies so far have been unsuccessful but we haven't given up hope that somebody will find us a cure. I hope somebody comes up with some other ideas soon or horse racing may go by the way of the dinosaurs. Please somebody with some power and pull step up . I'm 45 I'm not quite ready to be extinct quite yet.

April 24, 2012 - 1:02 pmI AM so sad. I am a fan of

bill w. SAID...

I AM so sad. I am a fan of harness racing they did not care what people said. 2 percent tax are u kidding me.

April 24, 2012 - 11:34 amBILL HARRIS - Best comment

LIZ THERRIEN SAID...

BILL HARRIS - Best comment I've seen in this thread. A Lobbyist AND a Publicist are truly what's needed here. Maybe an investigative reporter. Anger and disappointment will not make this tragedy go away.

My observation during many years of following horse racing has been that horse people, expecially harness, are too complacent about promoting their sport. You have so much to offer in the way of entertainment and national pride but no one outside of the industry knows about it. There are any number of wealthy and influential people connected with horse racing who must step up and use their power to make the media pay attention.

WITHOUT PUBLIC SUPPORT ALL THE BAD THINGS FORETOLD IN YOUR LETTERS WILL SURELY COME TO PASS.

Fight fire with fire - use the same tactics the politicians use even if it goes against your principles. If you don't - prepare to watch your sport, livlihoods and horses come to the sad end you are predicting.

April 24, 2012 - 11:13 amBill, while your efforts and

Paul Gangle SAID...

Bill, while your efforts and ideas are to be admired, the only way to save the industry is to change the gov't because no amount of lobbying is going to change the philosophy of this gov't.... that horse racing is "subsidized". This is McGuinty's vendetta against rural Ontario for not supporting the Liberals in the last election. Therefore all his future efforts will be focused in the GTA where he got most of the support. OHRIA has already hired professional lobbyists and where did it get us? The only way to defeat this gov't is to force an election and toss them out of power but I don't know how we can do that without the support of both the opposition parties. Has anyone got any ideas?

April 24, 2012 - 10:25 amSuspiciously silent in all

Marty Adler SAID...

Suspiciously silent in all of this is the Minister of Agriculture, Ted McMeeken!
"Meek" might be the word!!!!!

April 24, 2012 - 9:33 amI see a defeatist attitude

Bill Harris SAID...

I see a defeatist attitude emerging in this thread and I would like say that this is only the first budget in a minority government. There will be another one next year about the same time. I suggest now would be a good time to hire a full-time lobbyist who can spend their entire time over the next year or so informing the all of the politicians, and I mean all, the benefits of a strong horse-racing business. It's obvious to me that these people just don't get it. All major business interests have people in Queens Park speaking to the decision makers on a daily basis. Why can't the horsepeople? I suspect money is the number one reason. I would think that just ONE day of trainers and drivers giving up their 5% as well as owners tossing in another 5% would be a great start. Breeding farms, feed suppliers, harness shops etc. could donate what they deem fair. As well, all the lettered organizations could do their part.

I realize there would be no guarantees. But right now there is no sustained media attention, most MPP's have no idea what their giving up and the general public has even less. I would say a full court press for the next year or so by a registered lobbyist could mean different results at the next budget vote.

April 24, 2012 - 9:27 amHorvath and her provincial

jim cauchon SAID...

Horvath and her provincial ndp friends, and oh yea, bff sid ryan, etc....only had one thing in mind over the last 10-14 days....
gladhanding all of us, meeting all of us,,and thus building the provincial ndp emailing list,,,,looking for future donors and new party suupporters.

to let this premier off the hook,with all his incredible proven baggage, is shocking really.

but the truth is...the conservatives just want mcguinty to stew in his financial goo so they look like white knights a couple years from now when they make a bid..
---BUT, to win, Hudak and the conservatives might well eventually have to beat a liberal/ndp coalition,,,,the first step of which was established yesterday, w/ Horvath allowing mcguinty off the hook.

it aint nice, but its political reality
jctoronto

April 24, 2012 - 8:59 amI was at Kawartha Downs last

I was at Kawartha Downs last nite it was like atending a funeral, the hope that people had on Saturday was sure not there on Monday.Thanks Andrea. All we can do now is target the slots and lotteries, stay away and tell all your friends and neighbours to stay out of the slots.Save your money you will need it.

April 24, 2012 - 8:56 amI guess we have come to the

alan guthrie SAID...

I guess we have come to the realization that we can't expect anything but lies,misconception and ridiculous decisions from our politicians anymore. "JOBS,JOBS,JOBS" is what the NDP's shouted that day at Queens Park, what a joke. Transitional funding for what? it might be enough gas money for 60000 of us to get down to our local welfare offices to apply. The decisions made on a daily basis by our government in this counrty make me want to puke. I usually have alot to say on here, but today, I am absolutely speachless.

April 24, 2012 - 8:53 amStop putting the blame on

Diane Lord SAID...

Stop putting the blame on the NPD. The liberals and the OLG are the culprits in this matter. Casino's in the USA are losing money therefore their heading north to big city's like Toronto to do business with the Liberals and OLG. All people have to do is to stand together and boycott any future Casino in Toronto. People should also stop supporting anything that has to do with the OLG( lottery tickets, slots, etc.)

April 24, 2012 - 8:22 amCan anyone define

Can anyone define "transitional aid".

April 24, 2012 - 7:34 amWhere has all the leadership

Paul Gangle SAID...

Where has all the leadership gone in this Province? Hudak went into hibernation when the announcement was made, Horwath put up a front.... but that's all it was. Everyone knew she would cave. And then, there's "devious Dalton" who has done nothing but deceive the public since elected 9 yrs. ago. It doesn't take rocket science to calculate the effects of the devastation to the horse racing industry as well as losing 60,000 jobs and decimating the rural economy. I say......only in Ontario.

April 24, 2012 - 5:17 pmWe don't have to take this

Taylor Rigg SAID...

We don't have to take this laying down, we all have trucks and trailers. It's maybe time to use them. Maybe a show of numbers may get there attenion.

Brad Fritz

April 24, 2012 - 6:55 amI agree with David Woolley

jim rigg SAID...

I agree with David Woolley what do we do now? I really think there are ways we can overcome this fiasco, we still have a year to try and together with the Race Track Owners,OHHA,OHRIA There must be a way to entice people to come to the Tracks for the races and not the slots a suggestion might be to have a draw after each race for $100 another could be to enter into discussions with the OTPP,The Chiefs of the Native Nations and maybe then we will all survive without the govt's B.S.

April 24, 2012 - 12:52 amRecently, Andrea Horwath

Recently, Andrea Horwath said “Our proposal calls for stabilization plans to protect jobs in industries affected by this Budget like horse racing, tourism and culture". Now it is clear that this was just more political posturing (essentially BS). How does transitional one time funding translate into protecting jobs in the racing community or rural ontario? Once again just another shallow promise made by a politician more concerned about retaining seats at Queens Park then doing the right thing for Ontarians.
Others have commented on the lack of math and comprehension skills of Mr. Duncan and Mr. McGuinty. How is it possible that they can't see the negative impact this will have on the jobs and economics of this province? The only answer is the backroom deals have been made and they don't care about rural ontario!!
I feel Ms. Horwath and the NDP have squandered an opportunity. 100 million for an election would have been a small price to pay compared to the billions that will be added to the debt with McGuinty and Duncan in charge.

April 24, 2012 - 12:03 amAbsolutely brutal.

Absolutely brutal. "Transitional aid?" This industry doesn't need transitional aid, it needs transition away from politicians with no respect for the sport, the hard-working people and horses, the farms, the racetracks, etc.

April 23, 2012 - 11:56 pmCan there be legal action

Randy Copley SAID...

Can there be legal action taken against the Liberals for this ridiculous and disgusting decision? This nonsense has to be bordering crimenal behaviour.

April 23, 2012 - 10:49 pmso, do they dare answer the

Sheila Lewis SAID...

so, do they dare answer the question as to how they propose to retrain the people who will now lose their way of life? Have they included the millions that will be required to support the new additions to their already stressed public works (welfare) system? Not to mention the bankruptcies of the farmers, the breeding farms and the trainers who will no longer be able make a living when the owners decide that the return is not worth the investment? The decision made by todays government has turned back the horse racing industry 50 years.

April 23, 2012 - 10:35 pmAlways thought the NDP still

Dean Bell SAID...

Always thought the NDP still had common sense left in them. Guess not. My whole future of out owning a horse is over.

April 23, 2012 - 10:03 pmAll I have to say is that I

Peggy Powell SAID...

All I have to say is that I am ashamed to call myself a Canadian living in Ontario today. This is how our politicians represent themselves to the rest of the world by thowing away 60,000 jobs for an American owned casino. I think in 2 or 3 years they will be saying I guess that we should have listened to the now extinct horse racing industry, for they knew what they were talking about.I for one will be emailing them for the rest of my life telling them of the hardships that they have caused us. I have lost all faith in any of the governing parties.And I know that I am not alone. Horses may not be important to them but the people involved should be. The horses are the innocent parties in this entire mess and it is to bad that they have no voice because we all know the fate of so many of them. This is a sad day for rural Ontario.

April 23, 2012 - 10:02 pmOverall it's best not to

Overall it's best not to vote. The government may get in. The NDP couldn't give a rat's earlobe for rural Ontario either.

April 23, 2012 - 9:11 pmI cannot post what I really

I cannot post what I really feel on here because I am sure it will be censored but lets just say Fiberals and $$#wath will never get my vote. EVER

April 23, 2012 - 8:26 pmI for one DID vote. And it

I for one DID vote. And it was not liberal!!! I VOTED PC, and at least hudak, said the budget was dead to his party right from the start. he held to his word, his party was voting the budget down, what more did he need to say after that.

April 23, 2012 - 8:26 pmWe got screwed! Anyone

Ian Dow SAID...

We got screwed! Anyone surprised the NDP showed their true colours, they are more concerned with their own jobs they don't give a damn for the 60,000 people who's jobs are in jeopardy as long as they have their noses in the trough.

Let's not forget this when we do finally get an election

April 23, 2012 - 8:09 pmmaybe when Andrea shows her

Tammy Aspden SAID...

maybe when Andrea shows her face tomorrow we should show her what 60,000 people and 35,000 horses look like !
Tammy Aspden

April 23, 2012 - 8:04 pmThanks Andrea You should be

John Fallone SAID...

Thanks Andrea
You should be ashamed of yourself, one thing is for sure the NDP will never now get into power. By the way do you have a farm to house our horses, oh ya its called the slaughterhouse.
Jack L. would be very proud of you NOT.

You have really angered a lot of people.
I say we rebel but we are canadian to prim and proper, but one day enough will be enough and this hit very close.

What do think can happen when people cannot fend for their family.

April 24, 2012 - 7:02 pmWOW... a 2% surtax on

WOW... a 2% surtax on earnings over $500,000... Let's see, a quick (and small) pay cut, or transfer some earnings to tax-free benefits... or I can even take all my money and leave Ontario!!! that tax will be sidestepped by every last person it is aimed at and will benefit nobody in Ontario! Meanwhile with the loss of the slots at the racetrack here is the outcome... 30,000 horses slaughtered, 65,000 families on welfare (50% will not be able to be retrained for other work), $3.5 Billion lost from Ontario economy... and food prices taking a big jump... the farmers that were helped by the horse racing, are the same ones that put the food on Ontario's tables, they are going to have to recover the $2B that this decision takes from their pockets, and the ONLY way they can do that is by charging more at the store.

For the first time in history, FOOD WILL BE A LUXURY ITEM in Ontario.

Take a bow Andrea and Dalton... you make great partners in the destruction of the ENTIRE Ontario Economy!!!

CORRUPTUS IN EXTREMUS

April 23, 2012 - 7:43 pmThe real villans in this

The real villans in this whole scenario is the OLG who advised Duncan and McGuinty they could raise a billion more in gaming revenue. Getting mad at the NDP is understandable but they didn't propose the ending of the slots at racetracks that was the Liberals.So what do we do now. Do the OLG bureaucrats think that if they get rid of horseracing that the gambling money will come to them in other forms of gaming, praticularly with the introduction of sports book gaming.My suggestion is don't get mad get even.The whole of rural Ontario should stop buying lottery tickets,and scratch and win tickets as well as playing slot machines.hit the OLG in the pocketbook were it hurts

April 23, 2012 - 7:30 pmjust think andrea horwoth

rob st denis SAID...

just think andrea horwoth she has to show her face out side to talk to the people one day and lets let her know how we feel the turn coat she turned out to be

April 23, 2012 - 7:02 pmHow many NDP MPP would be

Tim Dean SAID...

How many NDP MPP would be standing on the podium at Queen's Park if a rally was held tomorrow...
ZERO....Here's a leader of a party not listening to her party
I'm not 100% sold on the PC as well....Tim Hudak never mentioned horse racing either over the last month...
he wanted reduced spending....that doesn't sound like horse racing..
Some day I would like to meet the SC sensorer and buy him or her a beer...or maybe give them a horse or two....the other comments not posted were good ones though...but maybe not printable...

April 23, 2012 - 6:59 pmAndrea and Dalton, Do tell,

Andrea and Dalton,

Do tell, How do you plan on balancing the budget with this $500m yearly income when you haven't accounted for the $1.2 B /year you have just thrown away by ending the Slots at Racetracks program (argueable one of the most lucrative and efficient govt contracts ever established).You have both missed the point - we dont require any more taxes on anybody; rich or poor - we need you to stop spending OUR money recklessly. I bet Dalton has the first dollar he ever made stuck to his dresser mirror.

The math: 1.2 Billion lost times five years (Slots at Racetrack program) = $6 Billion
$500 Million gained times five years (tax on rich) = $2.5 Billion
Result: We are now $18.3 Billion in debt instead of $15.3B
Note to all current and prospective politicians (a.k.a. those who can't run their own legal practise) - We are not stupid; we are civilized however, and won't seek your head unlike some other jurisdictions in the world - for that your are surely fortunate!

April 23, 2012 - 6:29 pmI agree Jody! Horwath says

Carolyn Rae SAID...

I agree Jody! Horwath says she wanted to hear what Ontarians had to say before she made her decision. Unfortunately, I believe if the truth were known, she was relishing all the publicity she and her NDP party were getting and loving the power she had if only for a few weeks.

I guess we all know where we stand now as far as the NDP are concerned. We are considered less than worthy of a change of regime to Andrea Horwath, and less than worthy of recognition by McGuinty and Duncan. Duncan, who as recent as today, still maintains the numbers affected by the Horse Racing industry are "inflated", as well as his comment that if the horse racing industry is doing so well, then why do they need the 345 million dollar a year "subsidy".

It is not surprising that the McGuinty Liberal Government isn't listening, the old adage goes that you can't talk and listen at the same time, and Duncan still hasn't learned that!

April 23, 2012 - 6:29 pmI think I will change my

I think I will change my will and leave all my horses to McGuinty so that he will have the problem of what to do with them if I have a heart attack worrying about them.

April 23, 2012 - 10:00 pmThe Liberals are hellbent on

John Hill SAID...

The Liberals are hellbent on destroying our industry and apparently have the blessing of the NDP. Will the "transitional aid" make our mortgage payments,pay our truck and trailer payments,buy grocerys. We were sold out weeks ago by the NDP in the $250 million job creation concession by the Liberals in the budget. Our "transitional aid" probably won't buy a bag of oats for each horse affected.

April 23, 2012 - 6:06 pmWe didn't need transitional

We didn't need transitional aid before they decided to cut the successful slots at racetracks program. By the way what is transitional aid and how is going to save the lives of the horses who are not going to have a place to race? Is the government going to retrain all the unemployed horsemen? Maybe they can retrain all the unemployed racehorses . I'm sure this so called transitional aid is really going to help balance there books. Not likely!!!

April 23, 2012 - 6:02 pmLooks like another

Looks like another politician saying one thing and doing another. At least Tim Hudak and the PC's didn't lead us on for 4 weeks.

April 23, 2012 - 5:54 pmI am finished voting for any

I am finished voting for any goverment,they wonder why less and less people vote at the poles.This is why,because they do not listen to the people.They all pretend to act for the people,but are afraid to stand up to people like McGinty when the time comes to change goverment policy.WHAT AH CROCK!!

April 23, 2012 - 5:42 pmRural ontario gets screwed

Rural ontario gets screwed again. We might as well have a communist government as they just do what they want to do and the hell with 60,000 jobs and peoples livelihoods. Bill Murdoch our recently retired MPP, recently said there needs to be 2 levels of government, one for Toronto and one for the rest of Ontario !!

April 23, 2012 - 5:36 pmI have voted Liberal my

Doug Good SAID...

I have voted Liberal my whole life....... Never again.
I would have switched to NDP....... not now.
Andrea had her chance and it may never return.

April 23, 2012 - 5:28 pmShame on Andrea. All those

Georg Leber SAID...

Shame on Andrea. All those NDP members who came out and said they support us at the Queens Park Rally (on camera) have now just thrown us under the bus. How can you stand up and make such a passionate speech and just lie to the public?

It all stems from the fact that the NDP are in debt $3 million and can't afford an election. I still don't know how a political party can expect to run the provice and not pay back their own bills.

I made some statements in earlier posts that it is time to start our own political party, perhaps called the Rural Party of Ontario and just run candidates in Rural ridings. We have to strike back.

If we can target just a couple of ridings Andrea Horwath and Dwight Duncan should be easy to defeat. They are both in ridings where people are directly affected.

Georg Leber-ICR Racing

April 23, 2012 - 5:26 pmA letter I wrote to Nickel

A letter I wrote to Nickel Belt MPP France Gelinas (NDP)

Dear France,

It is with great regret that I write to you this afternoon. The announcement of NDP support for the 2012 Liberal Budget leaves a very sick feeling in the stomachs and hearts of many Ontarians. While you may think this budget and the concessions to the NDP have made this decision of support worthwhile, sadly it falls so very short. This budget is no "fairer" then it was without the NDPs support. Once again, Rural Ontario will pay the price. Once again, so too will Northern Ontario. The lack of jobs and job creation, the ability for Northerners and rural Ontario to sustain growth and economic development will be grossly hindered. The depths to which the Horse Racing Industry impacts the province has obviously been over-looked. Ontario will be in for a great surprise. The commitment to "transitional aid" will just be a slower death to the entire industry and the sport. Families and businesses effected by this latest development will look at out-migration, liquidation and a number of Ontarians will end up on welfare. This is no way to decrease the strain on the provincial deficit.

The vagueness and spin the Liberals have put on this industry has already cost people collectively millions, just ask the Breeders of Ontario. When people feel secure in their employment communities thrive - that rug was pulled from us the day the Liberals ended the slots-racetracks revenue sharing agreement and now almost two months later we are no further ahead, nor do we have any more answers. Even at the 11th hour, while horse racing has been represented at the table, the lack of detail or dialogue, concerning, as our future is at stake. I strongly believe that the Liberal discontent for Rural Ontario is not their only motivation with regard to this issue. Deals have been made in backrooms and the Liberals and the OLG are in bed with someone, it is just a matter of time before the truth comes out and it will.

Ontario better brace itself. A 2% tax hike to the rich making over 500k a year equates to approximately another $3200 that person will have to pay at tax time and go towards government coffers, BFD, when so many are unemployed and looking for work. Dismantling successful, thriving industries with world renoun reputations and handicapping the second largest sub-sector in Agriculture, criminal. Divesting of government assets to the highest bidder for short-term gain, short-sighted. Negatively impacting the economic development of Northern Ontario with the divestment of the ONTC, brutal.

I have made only a few points above, many more exist. I believe this is a missed opportunity to add fairness and commonsense to a fiscally irresponsible government. Supporting the Liberal government on this budget may cost the NDP a chunk of their reputation as the advocate of the blue collar, hard-working, everyday Ontarian....Bedding down with the devil as some may see it. There was more honour in standing up for the Ontario people and defeating this budget then siding with the arrogance of an old boys club, who have shown time and time again, they are out of touch, unaccountable and non-transparent. In the end they do what they want to do, because simply, they want to do it. No regard for anyone but special interests that line pockets.

There is not much else to say at this point. Any change to the SAR agreement, any change to racing beyond what is currently status quo will just be a slower death to a remarkable industry in Ontario with so much history. We as an industry were willing to sit down and make some compromises that would allow the current structure to continue to ensure success for industry participants which would lend security to their investments but that too, flicker of hope will snuff out with the talks of "transitional aid."

This could have been a time for the NDP to gain more electorial seats in history, perhaps becoming a majority leader or at the least, official opposition. Now you sit in third place, with a voice and platform for the people of Ontario but unwilling to use it collectively as a whole against the Liberal idealisms.

Although I have tired to convey my utter disappointment in this decision, there truly are no words that can describe the loss of hope I feel - for my family and families alike in Ontario that have invested so much of who they are into what they do.

This was never about politics for me, far from it. It was always about the hard working people of Ontario who have no voice....

A very sad day indeed.

MJ Pappin-Lamoureux

April 23, 2012 - 5:10 pmLook close, that is the

Tim Bates SAID...

Look close, that is the second face of Horwath. She is not supporting racing by passing this budget with no return to the commitment in place!

April 23, 2012 - 5:09 pmIf Mrs. Howarth, NPD can not

If Mrs. Howarth, NPD can not respect all the horsemen, women, and all the people involved in the horse racing industry with their family.. She will not deserve ever to be Premier of this Province. Members of NPD Party promised us at Queen's Park that they will support the horse racing industry involving 60000 people (agricultural and rural sector) . Promises are promises, and she should commit with promises made by her MPPs. You should be ashamed Mrs. Howarth to let go a successful partnership program who returned 1.3 billion a year, 2.1 billion invest in Ontario Economy +++++ $$$ and not protecting all these 60000 people/JOBS by not voting down this budget. It was the only chance that we had and you blow it. Ontario people would never forget, you just made huge damage to NPD Party. One day you were standing up for us and the next day you changed your mind because Mr. McGuinty gave you a little candy... STRENGTH AND COURAGE does not represent you. This is my opinion and of many many others also.

April 23, 2012 - 5:00 pmWhat do you expect from a

Al Morrison SAID...

What do you expect from a Politician? The truth?

April 23, 2012 - 4:58 pmgee what passes for news

gee what passes for news anymore - how is this a surprise to anyone?

April 23, 2012 - 4:54 pmJody To me it was obvious

Jody

To me it was obvious that she would throw us under the bus. Not that I am PC supporter by any means but at least they had the audacity to say we 100% reject this budget because they saw it for what it was UNACCEPTABLE !!

Horvath never ever came out in support of this industry when given the chance in her speeches she made in public. Not once did Horvath ever spend more then one second on camera discussing our plight. I have listened to all of her comments both in the Legislative question period as well as saw each and every interview that she has done on camera in the past 2 months and not once did she spend more then 5 seconds talking about this industry. You would have thought with 60,000 jobs being in jeopardy that she might have been able to at least pretended like she cared. She is a disgrace with her Job Jobs Jobs motto.

She has put her political agendas in front of 60,000 jobs this business will lose and as a citizen of Ontario that is discuting of a leader of a party who could have changed this.

Gary Blackburn

April 23, 2012 - 4:51 pmRural Ontario takes it again.

Brett Riley SAID...

Rural Ontario takes it again.

April 23, 2012 - 4:21 pmThanks for nothing Andrea.

Thanks for nothing Andrea.

April 23, 2012 - 4:20 pmI guess she didnt actually

I guess she didnt actually read what I sent her party. I said I was ready for an election!!!!!! So much for "Opening the lines of communication for Ontarians" I just cant believe that Ontarians told her they didnt want the Liberals out of office or that an election wasnt in order for the splurging Dalton lead regime!

April 23, 2012 - 4:12 pmThe best quote of the

The best quote of the day?
Dalton McGuinty "my mother gave me the best advice of my life on my wedding night - what ever happens keep on talking". He then went on and critizised Tim Hudak for refusing to talk.
Now isn't that just a little bit disengenuous; I don't recall him ever talking to the horse racing people. Am I wrong?
Ted Wilson

April 23, 2012 - 4:06 pmSURPRISE

Tony Bolger SAID...

SURPRISE SURPRISE........they didnt want to loose there jobs either,17 seats are the most they have had since Bob Ray days..........oh another NDP who turned Liberal


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