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Ontario Passes Bill 144

Published: December 10, 2015 3:58 pm ET

Last Comment: December 13, 2015 4:37 am ET | 4 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

On Thursday, December 10, the Ontario Government passed Bill 144 (the Budget Measures Act, 2015), an omnibus bill that contains two particular pieces of legislation that directly affect the province’s racing landscape.

Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa had initially introduced the bill in the legislature on Wednesday, November 18. On Wednesday, December 2, Ontario Harness Horse Association General Manager Brian Tropea made a presentation to Ontario’s Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs in which he unveiled and discussed proposed amendments to the two bills. To learn more about the proposed amendments, click here.

The two bills in question are the Ontario Lottery Gaming and Corporation Act, 1999, and the Horse Racing Licence Act, 2015. On Monday, December 7, the Ontario Liberals voted down all amendments to the Horse Racing Licence Act, 2015.

The Province of Ontario issued a press release stating that it has passed the Budget Measures Act, 2015. The contents of that release appear below.

Ontario Passes Budget Measures Act

Today the Ontario government passed the Budget Measures Act, 2015, enacting a number of new statutes and amending several others. These measures further the economic plan set out in the 2015 Budget and demonstrate the government's commitment to creating a dynamic and innovative business environment.

Highlights of the Act include:

  • Removing the Debt Retirement Charge as of April 1, 2018 for all non-residential consumers - nine months earlier than previously estimated - to reduce businesses' electricity bills, providing certainty to commercial, industrial and other users and helping them plan investment decisions more effectively

  • Enacting amendments and provisions to support the socially responsible sale of beer in grocery stores

  • Designating the LCBO head office lands, Ontario Power Generation's head office building, the Lakeview lands and the Province's shares in Hydro One and Hydro One Brampton as qualifying assets under the Trillium Trust Act, 2014. The net revenue gains from the sale of these assets will be dedicated to the trust to fund public infrastructure projects across Ontario

  • Strengthening the oversight of raw leaf tobacco

  • Integrating the operations of the Ontario Racing Commission with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation and the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, to support a stable and sustainable horse racing industry

The Budget Measures Act, 2015 is part of the government's plan to build Ontario up. The four-part plan includes investing in people's talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives and building a secure retirement savings plan.

Quick Facts

  • Removing the DRC will result in estimated savings for a typical large industrial company of about seven per cent, a large northern industrial company more than eight per cent and a small business about four per cent on their electricity bills.

  • Ontario's economy continues to grow in an increasingly competitive global environment. Since the 2009 recessionary low, the province has created 553,200 new jobs, the majority of which are full-time positions and in industries that pay above-average wages.

  • Ontario has made significant progress to give consumers more convenience and choice when purchasing beer. Initiatives include a pilot of 12-pack sales at 10 LCBO stores, launching the first of 25 Craft Beer Zones in existing LCBO stores across Ontario, free listings for Ontario brewers in the Beer Store network of stores and new on-site sales outlets for small brewers.

  • The government is committed to the long-term sustainability of the horse racing industry, the people that love it, and the communities that depend on it. The province is moving forward to best support a stable and sustainable horse racing industry in Ontario.

Additional Resources

December 13, 2015 - 4:37 amNobody knows! It's that

Geoff Maltby SAID...

Nobody knows! It's that simple. If the Government has a plan they don't want to or wont let us know their plans. We have only wanted the "one" Horse persons group for three years now. The Government put a hold on it! Not us.

December 11, 2015 - 3:43 pmI am not at all surprised

Rosemin Dias SAID...

I am not at all surprised that none of the amendments proposed by OHHA were not at all adopted or considered because they did not have proper political backing. Had the horse racing industry gone into the committee room with a united front and a coordinated effort with the Tories or NDP maybe the amendments would have had a fighting chance. Horse racing divided won't survive and the current leadership isn't progressive enough to see that. Very sad state of affairs for the industry.

December 10, 2015 - 6:42 pmI'm so sorry that the state

John Vance SAID...

I'm so sorry that the state of affairs for this province has come to this. Who do they think they are kidding. I sincerely hope the initiative for horse racing is more palatable than the other three comedic "improvements".

December 10, 2015 - 6:21 pmThere it is. Right from the

Ted Decker SAID...

There it is. Right from the horses mouth. The O L G C and the A G C O, once the O R C is out will support a stable and sustainable horse racing industry. So is it the status quo or do Mr Tropea and Ms Leslie know exactly how the government plans to make horse racing sustainable?

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