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Delean Dissects Quebec's Bailout Plan

Published: January 30, 2009 8:43 pm ET

Last Comment: January 31, 2009 7:40 pm ET | 3 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

With the government of Quebec renegotiating the original agreement with Attractions Hippiques, which has been in creditor protection since June, the future of the horseracing industry continues to look grim.

An article in today's Montreal Gazette by Paul Delean reports that the government is prepared to permanently board up Hippodrome de Montréal without obliging Attractions Hippiques to spend millions of dollars building a replacement track in the Montreal area. The article also states that Attractions Hippiques will continue to receive revenues from VLTs and off-track betting.

"Is the objective of government to allow Attractions Hippiques to become profitable, or is it to give the industry some chance of surviving and thriving?," racehorse owner Harvey Weiner said.

"If it's the former, the preference of a lot of people - myself included - would be to just shut it down. It'll be little more than a country-fair circuit."

To read the story in its entirety, click here.

(With files from The Montreal Gazette)

January 31, 2009 - 7:40 pmI know very little about the

Observer from Ontario (not verified) SAID...

I know very little about the Quebec horse racing industry and even less about the current situation there except for what I read here, however has the standardbred industry in the province ever considered forming a partnership with the Mohawk nation in the Montreal area to build a track and casino at OKA or Kanasataque (sp)and hire a professional gambling/resort mgmt company (ie Pocano Downs)to run the facility. Problem solved ... no government to play politics with the industry, no incompetant track management to bleed the enterprise dry and no excuses from the horseman if it fails... just a thought?

January 31, 2009 - 6:09 amThis is Sackville Downs all

Shannon O'Rourke (not verified) SAID...

This is Sackville Downs all over again, but on a much larger scale. And the sad thing is that once you are out it is almost impossible to get back in. We've been trying to get back in the Halifax area ever since and all we get is a very minute handout from the Gov't to barely sustain us and told to go away, don't stir up trouble or you get nothing. The Casinos get the Four Course Meal here and we get the scraps. To make things even worse the amount of people involved in the business become less and less making your clout almost non existent due to shear small numbers of people involved in the industry. I say, do all you can to stay in Montreal and it will swing around, it just might take awhile. Don't lose your biggest bargaining chip!!!!

January 30, 2009 - 9:52 pmThere are three huge and

Tony Infilise (not verified) SAID...

There are three huge and basic flaws in the approach of the Quebec Government and Attractions Hippiques:1) Neither are involving the horsemen in any serious way to find a win-win-win solution ( ignoring the "know-how"; 2) The current plan by all appearances seeks to have only the horsemen bear all the sacrifice to find a solution with the four major secured creditors and Paul Massicotte coming out whole; 3) We can't have a viable medium and long term solution without the majority of the market for pari-mutuel betting and purchase of Quebec bred horses which is Montreal. Having Loto Quebec spend about half what it would cost to build a new Montreal Hippodrome in order to erect a private mini-casino suggests that people developing that option don't really understand the business.

The PLQ and the Quebec Government made strong commitments to the industry when the industry was privatized. They didn't do it right. The horsemen nor the industry are at fault. Well managed this is a very sound business that will generate 3,000 jobs. In this economic crisis this is no time through poor judgement to loose existing jobs, the majority of which would wind up on the government dole.

Is there courage and leadership in the PLQ to do the right thing and provide 69-65% of what was promised by Minister Audet in 2005. Compare it to what is done for other industries and jobs. The horsemen are getting abum wrap!


Tony Infilise

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