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Pettapiece, Arnott: Liberal 'Impact Study' A Sham

Published: August 14, 2012 2:06 pm ET

Last Comment: October 10, 2012 5:55 am ET | 24 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Citing the Ontario Liberal Party's official advice to cabinet regarding scrapping the slots-at-racetracks program, which is attached in this note, Perth-Wellington MPP Randy Pettapiece has accused the McGuinty Government's impact study as being a sham, adding that the McGuinty Liberals had made up their minds to 'kill' the horse-racing industry before receiving an economic analysis.

“This report exposes the sheer arrogance of this Liberal government toward the horse-racing industry --- not to mention the thousands of people whose jobs are on the line,” Pettapiece stated in his open letter, which appears below in its entirety. “It’s as if they just cooked up this report after the fact to try to defend this decision they had already made.”

MPP Ted Arnott, who is right beside Pettapiece with the claims, agreed, stating: “To the extent that they studied the economic impact, it was superficial and flawed in many respects. Their numbers are highly questionable, and likely won’t hold up under scrutiny.”

Arnott went on to add, “It looks like it was done on the back of a napkin.”

To view the Liberal report, click here or view the PDF below.

Pettapiece's letter appears below

Horse Racing Economic 'Impact Study' A Sham: MPPs Arnott, Pettapiece

(Wellington-Halton Hills) - A newly released document reveals that Premier Dalton McGuinty's government had already made up its mind to kill the horse-racing industry, even before it received an economic analysis.

That document, released today by MPPs Ted Arnott (Wellington-Halton Hills) and Randy Pettapiece (Perth-Wellington), offered confidential advice to cabinet on the economic impact of ending the Slots at Racetracks Program. That report is dated March 14, 2012 - two days after Finance Minister Dwight Duncan announced he was ending the partnership between the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) and the province's racetracks.

"This report exposes the sheer arrogance of this Liberal government toward the horse-racing industry - not to mention the thousands of people whose jobs are on the line," said Pettapiece. "It's as if they just cooked up this report after the fact to try to defend this decision they had already made."

Arnott agreed, while questioning the legitimacy of the report's findings: "To the extent that they studied the economic impact, it was superficial and flawed in many respects. Their numbers are highly questionable, and likely won't hold up under scrutiny."

He added: "It looks like it was done on the back of a napkin."

Removal of the Slots at Racetracks program would, according to the report, result in job losses of between 3,500 and 5,800 annually.

"The report dramatically understates the potential job losses, completely overlooking the true economic spin-offs the equine industry creates throughout rural Ontario," Arnott observed.

The Liberals' own 2004 provincial budget backs up Arnott's contention. That budget boasted that the Slots at Racetracks program had preserved and enhanced over 60,000 jobs, providing over $1.1 billion to the province's agricultural sector since 1998.[1]

Pettapiece and Arnott also noted the report's finding that 11 of the 17 racetracks now operating across the province could shut down: "Which ones will close, and why won't they say?" asked Arnott.

In June, the province announced its three-member transition panel on the future of the industry. Pettapiece and Arnott are calling on the panel to support those in horse racing who stand to lose their jobs. They are urging the panel to push back on the Minister of Finance.

The panel's recommendations are expected on August 17.

October 10, 2012 - 5:55 amFurther proof to the maxim

murray brown SAID...

Further proof to the maxim "Figures don't lie, but liars figure".

August 16, 2012 - 7:34 am1) If you close the slots,

Barbara Chu SAID...

1) If you close the slots, there are no millions to spread anywhere.

2)Their assumption: the larger tracks would survive. Wrong. Woodbine was one of the first to announce closure.
-The number of race dates lost at Woodbine would equal several smaller tracks.
-The number of full time jobs lost at Woodbine would equal approximately ALL the full time jobs at the smaller tracks.

3)No Woodbine, no Fort Erie = no thoroughbred trainers, breeders, adoption society, and no further Olympic 3 day eventers from that source.

4) Average salary (Stats Can, 2010) in the health care sector in Ontario is $833.32 per week. Add in employee benefits (vacation, medical/dental plans, sick days) and this means each employee costs $60665/year. If that was all it took to run health care, that would be nearly 5700 jobs. You can't stand a nurse on a street corner and call it health care. You need rooms, beds, bandages,stethoscopes, paper, computers, xrays, telephones and so on. Same argument for education. Employment figures are therefore (very) wrong.

4) The argument is made that the jobs in education/health care will be not only more numerous, but also higher paying. Simple arithmetic tells you this is impossible.

and I haven't finished reading it yet.

August 15, 2012 - 6:21 pmClient to accountant "How

Lynne Magee SAID...

Client to accountant "How much does 2 and 2 make?". Accountant to client "How much do you want it to make?".
Seems to me, after reading this so-called Impact Study, that the authors who manufactured it were given the pieces of the puzzle and told how to put it together to look exactly like the government wanted it to look. Not surprising.

August 15, 2012 - 5:17 pmIMPACT STUDY "REFORMING SARP

Norm Brunet SAID...

"REFORMING SARP would lead to a smaller reduction in industry gross spending (210 M in 2010$) relative to the size of the program (330 M in 2010$)because it is expected that patrons at racetracks that would close down would wager at other remaining tracks such as Woodbine(or electronically). Moreover, the reduced return on capital to horse owners and breeders as a result of PHASING out of SARP (i.e fewer races in Ontario and reduced purses) would NOT lead to a SIGNIFICANT reduction in the economic size of the industry."

Why he is using words like reforming and phasing out is beyond me. NONE OF THAT IS OCCURING.

It must be the new liberal economics but if you take 180 Million $ out of an industry there will be a SIGNIFICANT reduction in the industry. Without a doubt the province will be drained of capital, good horses ( no one will want to race a good horse for lesser purses) and trainers and drivers whom depend on a % of the purse will leave Ontario.
I did not expect the liberals to have someone whom knew about the industry but at least someone whom knew something about economics.
What's even sadder is that someone got paid to do this report.

August 15, 2012 - 2:52 pmThis is just one more example

Paul Gangle SAID...

This is just one more example of the BS drummed up by the Liberals to justify their actions. Do they really think that people are going to believe this crap??? McGuinty, Duncan and Godfrey (the 3 stooges) and a lot of other ones, need to go. These donkeys, no offense to Ricky and Tucker, are throwing away $1.1 billion in revenue for the Province, not to mention the revenue lost by the various other municipalities and are coming up with these ridiculous numbers. Time for an election.

August 15, 2012 - 1:11 pmRoy Steele's comment

Roy Steele's comment regarding no proof that the players presently attending the racetrack slots will switch over to casinos is absolutely correct. I find it strange that the OLG, who has contact information for the slots players through their Winners Circle Rewards cards, would not have taken the time to survey the slot players to find out why they attend the racetrack slots and not the casinos. I've had a Winners Circle card for at least 12 years and no one from OLG ever contacted me or any one else I have spoken with to get their input. Most people I talk to at the slots don't like the atmosphere at the casinos. They like the convenient parking and accessibility of the racetrack slots. They like the smaller size of the locations like Flamboro, Grand River, etc. If I could sit at a machine and do a survey of the folks sitting around me, don't you think the OLG could have taken the time to consult with their know, the ones who are providing them with the millions of dollars of revenue for Health and Education. But, I guess their customers' opinions are of little or no importance.

August 15, 2012 - 11:34 amI have just gotten

Peggy Powell SAID...

I have just gotten confirmation that Marty Adler will be at Ted McMeekin's BBQ on Thursday from 4-7pm at Waterdown Memorial Park (200 Hamilton St.N,at Parkside drive )Everyone is welcome so come prepared.

August 15, 2012 - 11:23 amGlenn Bechtel...I accept your

Glenn Bechtel...I accept your apology on behalf of my 2 donkeys, Ricky & Tucker:)
Just today the Guelph Mercury had a front page article from Arnott, about how the LYING LIBERALS didn't do homework on slots and then in the letters to the editor of the same paper Sandra Soloman is commenting on how D.unmb McGuinty is bying votes in K-W with respect to the fact that his Mother, has urged him to put time frame on the highway 7 re-alignment. (to be done in the next 3 years)
Along with that is a Letter from our own Anthony MacDonald. (keep it up)
More papers should be running these articles and pointing out all of the untruths that LYING LIBERALS continue to spit out...and that is more crap than my donkeys produce...

August 15, 2012 - 12:05 amI think the stupidest comment

I think the stupidest comment I read was the answer on why Quebec is an example of why Ontario will still have a vibrant racing industry after March 2013. In Quebec there was over 30 million bet last year on horse racing. What they hope the cabinet doesnt know is that number of people involved in horse racing is down 80 percent and would be more if it was not for Rideau. Number of horses in Quebec is down 80 percent and of the 30 million bet less than 300000 was bet on horses racing in Quebec. If these donkeys wrote a report on the automotive industry in PEI they would say that the province has a thriving auto industry because everybody drives a car. Again I apologize to the members of the donkey family.

August 14, 2012 - 11:24 pmScary the lunatics are

Roy Steele SAID...

Scary the lunatics are running the assylum ..... continious reference to this $345 million SARP subsidy will be directed to Health care and education (Ornge and babysitting)can someone answer me this if we are closing down slots at tracks how can the $345 million dollars be made for the govt coffers. No assurances that the cliental will travel from the closed slots to the casinos. This document could turnout to be the biggest snow job in the history of polotics.

August 14, 2012 - 10:38 pmHaving gone through the above

Having gone through the above report there are numerous mistakes however, when I came upon the question citing differences between the training costs in the OHRIA report( and the Equine Canada one( I did find the discreptancies decribed by the report.

Essentially the OHRIA study shows 283M in training 14,111 "active racehorses", while the Equine Canada report shows 172M in training costs for 16,479 horses. Both reports seem to exclude all other "costs to keep" and labour expenses when calculating their training costs. The discrepancy amounts to almost a $10,000 difference in reports.

If OHRIA or anyone else could analyze this particular Q and A to provide me with the answers explaining the differences it would be particularily helpful.

Greg Kingshott

August 14, 2012 - 10:22 pmI would like to mention one

Peggy Powell SAID...

I would like to mention one more time that the Minister of Agriculture,Ted McMeekin is holding a community Appreciation BBQ on Thursday, August 16at Waterdown Memorial Park (200 Hamilton St.N at Parkside Drive) and everyone is welcome. Please come out for a free meal & bring along your signs, pamphlets,shirts & even your horses & trailers. Let us show Ted how much we and our horses appreciate him & all he has done for Agriculture in Rural Ontario.

August 14, 2012 - 9:48 pmAbsolutely unbelievable.

Absolutely unbelievable. This information needs to get out into the mainstream media. I hope we can count on Mr. Pettapiece and Mr. Arnott to see that the disgraceful deceit of McGuinty and the Liberals is made public. Just who the heck are Eduardo Rojas and Tony Stillo and what do they know about the horse racing industry? Probably a couple of pencil pushing number crunchers who wouldn't know which end of the horse to feed and which to shovel up after!

August 14, 2012 - 8:30 pmNumbers mean nothing. Anyone

Nancy Braid SAID...

Numbers mean nothing.
Anyone involved with Statistical Analysis, or Accounting, knows that you can take any report, any numbers and tweak them to get the desired results.
The fact that nay numbers listed from horse racing are listed as exaggerated should be a warning sign - that no matter what is said - the Government is intent on finding some way of discrediting it.

August 14, 2012 - 8:15 pmWho are these authors - and

Nancy Braid SAID...

Who are these authors - and who paid for the report

August 14, 2012 - 8:14 pmAnyone involved with

Nancy Braid SAID...

Anyone involved with Statistical Analysis, or Accounting is well aware that any number or report can be skewed to attain the desired results.
All one has to do is - ignore this, enhance that - and voila - you have the results your employer wanted.
That is one of the reason Ms. Horwath tax on the rich was a joke.
Anyone earning over $500,000.00 already has an accountant doing their books.
Do you not think that it didn't take much to take that $500,000.00 and suddenly oh sorry - your earnings are now $480,000.00 - no longer subject to the extra tax level.
The same applies to this report.
Anything that supported the racing industry claims is being skepticized by the author as unreliable or exaggerated.
Where as anything that supports the Governments decision is over-exaggerated.
Isn't amazing that a few years ago, the Government was all praise about the partnership.
Now Mr. Godfrey and his business partner Larry - want to take a good chunk of the profits for themselves - talk about conflict of interest and insider information.
Ok - enough ranting for this evening.

August 14, 2012 - 6:45 pmI cannot believe some handed

Bill Harvey SAID...

I cannot believe some handed this in. The impact study report lacks any sort of professional look. I'm not sure a high school teacher would welcome this with A. The Q and A section is just ridiculous and insulting. I also can't wait till the 17th as well, although with the all apparent corruption and misleading by the liberals and others I am not the optimistic about the future year.

August 14, 2012 - 5:42 pmThis report is not just

This report is not just inane, it seems fraudulent. Their premise that the OLG can transfer 340 million from the SARP to education and health care just does not stand scrutiny. The most they can move is 170 million. The other money is for use of faclities and upkeep, since they have no buildings of their own. This rent money has to be paid to someone, and could very well be a bargain. Since their basic premise is inaccurate, the whole report is tainted and thus worthless. I am sure professionals could point out more errors and distortions. It is absolutely unconscionable that any government base a policy on statements that are misleading or even false.

August 14, 2012 - 5:14 pmHow could they possibly

Maury Ezra SAID...

How could they possibly assume that the $345 million horse racing was receiving in total would directly go to government coffers if SARP ended? That was a ridiculous oversight. A good portion, maybe all of it, would go to new operators in the way of profit and enticements to take over operations and expand.

The government sure looks inept in putting this document together.

August 14, 2012 - 4:23 pmRead the report twice, then I

Read the report twice, then I had my teenage daughter, an "A" student in her last year of school, read it. She pointed out that some people in the horse business must hold more than one licence. No they do not. The figures do not make any sense. If this is the kind of report our politicians are guided by no wonder we are in such deep financial trouble. I have a strange suspicion that the province of Ontario is in much more series financial trouble than Mr. Dwight Duncan is telling us. Time for a change folks. Bruce T. Winning

August 14, 2012 - 4:06 pmHaving tried to read through

Karry Howard SAID...

Having tried to read through the legible portions of this impact study with its OEP, ERL, GDP, and its FTE I am reminded of something my father-in-law used to say; "What a crock of sh#t!!"
OHRIA lied, Equine Canada lied - everyone lies but the Liberals.
Imagine providing a list of questions and answers to the robots in the back benches so they can spew the party line.

Here's my confidential advide to cabinet: (McGuinty + Duncan) X Multiplier (dir+indir+induced) = Two lost by-elections + One fall election.

August 14, 2012 - 3:28 pmThis document isn't even

Peggy Powell SAID...

This document isn't even worthy of the time it takes to read it . They are just stating the same old lies . 3500-5800 jobs annually, what a joke. Why are there 31,000++ people licenced by the ORC if there are under 6,000 people in jeapardy of loosing their jobs. It should have been written on a piece of toilet paper & then flushed.

August 14, 2012 - 3:23 pmMr Pettapiece & Mr.

Mr Pettapiece & Mr. Arnott...THANK YOU for uncovering this pile of POOP...Now, you guys have to convince Mr. Hudak & Ms. Horwath that this has to STOP NOW ! The PC's & the NDP's have to take a stand and as THE CORPORATION OF THE COUNTY OF WELLINGTON said in the Video....RESTORE THE PROGRAM.
The panel is just another ploy by the LIBERALS to try and make peace with the horseman and all aspects of Agriculture. I have said all along this was a stacked deck and it sure seems to be true.....Apart from Mr. McMeeken, whose job is Agriculture, the other two are another pile of wasted tax dollars and I for one resent MY TAX DOLLARS going down the toilet.

August 14, 2012 - 2:42 pmThis impact study report

This impact study report appears very unprofessional and difficult to decipher. Can't wait till August 17th to see what the panel has to say. Cp

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