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OMAFRA Panel Members Discuss Report

Published: December 3, 2012 3:41 pm ET

Last Comment: December 4, 2012 1:26 pm ET | 11 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

TVO's The Agenda with Steve Paikin conducted an interview with the three OMAFRA Panel members that penned the report to transition Ontario's Horse Racing Industry.

Panel members Elmer Buchanan, John Snobelen, and John Wilkinson join Paikin to tell him their vision for a sustainable horse racing industry, and the interview is available for viewing before its Tuesday night air date below.

December 4, 2012 - 1:26 pmLike most of the rest of you

Dave Nicol SAID...

Like most of the rest of you I found this interview contained a little truth and a lot of fiction. I believe some of our members and supporters should have the opportunity to present our side of the issue. I also sent an E mail to Mr. Paikin asking for equal time on the agenda. I also sent a few suggestions of names they could consider. Silence is golden but not referring to this travesty!

December 4, 2012 - 10:51 amHere's an email sent to me by

Jamie Higgs SAID...

Here's an email sent to me by Taras Natyshak, This plan is the best plan moving forward and is what should have been done all along. We need to get behind a party maybe should be the NDP as Privitization may not be the way.

Hi Jamie,

Just wanted to send you a copy of the motion put forth by Andrea Horwath in Oct. This motion died along will all other bills and motions due to prorogation. Although motions are not binding, they send a strong message throughout the legislature and beyond. Here it is, for the record.

All the best,

“That, in the opinion of this House, the government should delay the implementation of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation's transformation of gaming strategy until after the 2014 Ontario Municipal Elections in order to allow those municipalities who wish to undertake a referendum on the issue of being a host site for a casino in a cost effective way on the Municipal ballot, the opportunity to do so and that the government should freeze any changes to the Slots at the Racetracks partnership in order to enable the horseracing industry to continue to operate while the government engages the industry in a robust consultation with the goal of ensuring its survival, stability and growth in Ontario.” Filed October 4, 2012.

Taras Natyshak

December 4, 2012 - 9:07 amI have e-mailed Steve Paikin

Bobbi Morley SAID...

I have e-mailed Steve Paikin and suggested that he talk to Mr. Runciman and Mr. Mills to get the other side of the story. There were so many inaccuracies in that video, it made me ill. They did have some good points, and yes, we need to rejig our program, but wouldn't it have been nice if the government had met with us and proposed a three year draw down?

December 3, 2012 - 10:03 pmThe continuous referral to

The continuous referral to slot revenue as "government money" and their assertion that the government's "subsidy" to the industry is not returned dollar for dollar is maddening. As previous posters have pointed out, the true financial picture is not being presented. Is it possible for a "panel" representing the industry to be interviewed by Mr. Paikin? Surely we deserve equal air time.

December 3, 2012 - 8:57 pmI assume that the casino

Rick Karper SAID...

I assume that the casino operators and/or bingo operators will receive a commission for their efforts vis-a-vis the slots under the new proposed arrangement, not a "subsidy".
As long as racing's compensation is considered a "subsidy", we are in big trouble.

December 3, 2012 - 7:22 pmIn the interest of the public

Carey Isenor SAID...

In the interest of the public good, could these 3 political appointees please tell the people of Ontario what tax they paid to give the racing industry purse money to race for. If the 20% (10% of which went to purses) or $345 million that they said in this interview was tax dollars, how was the 75% or over $1 Billion the Govt. took recorded? The public good was being put first here. Their tax dollars are more wisely spent at bingo halls and as yet to be built Casinos run by American companies.

How is the public good served in the next 2 years when the Casinos are not yet operational and the bingo halls fail to produce the over $1 billion in yearly profits due to a 47% take out(not 20%)and their predictions are not realized. Are these not the same predictors that just lost $14 Billion last year and the two headed monster has backed into its cave. When , as they say, about 23,000 are out of work and the economy is down even more so across the province. When this big problem is solved by cutting racing in half in the first year, so horse people can find there equlibrium.

Do you think this might cost more than $345 million unnamed tax dollars (half of which went to purses)

December 3, 2012 - 6:59 pmI think when you put the

Norm Brunet SAID...

I think when you put the public sector into private sector positions ( OLG )you inevitably come up with these problems and complications. I know all 3 are very well versed in government and the mechanics however it would of been interesting to see this quandry from a private sector person's point of view.
I firmly believe that if the private sector was running the casinos and slots at tracks from the start there would be no mention of subsidy and everybody would see it has revenue sharing with at the worst some tweaking on the percentages over time.
Is leaving the slots at the tracks with no compensation to horseman not an attitude of entitlemnt ? I can't remember the last time I got something from the government for nothing !

December 3, 2012 - 6:58 pmYou would almost think this

You would almost think this was edited by OLG.
Lots of talk about subsidies, cost to the tax payers, and responsible government.
No mention of the 1.1billion per year added to the Ontario treasury.
Only talk about the return not meeting the 345 million spent. We need a representative to go on that show and one by one tear apart their screwed mathematics.
The Liberals have been tossing out figures with no validity their entire term.
get a shovel!

December 3, 2012 - 6:57 pmInteresting discusion but

Randy Young SAID...

Interesting discusion but generally disingenuous.
Lots of talk about the $345 million and how taxes collected from the industry won't cover it. No discussion of:
- the $1 Billion a year contributed to the province.
- the taxes that will be lost when 20 or 30 thousand jobs disappear.
- why the Liberals made such a hasty decision with no consultation with the industry and no cost benefit analysis.
- why the Government won't explain (in detail) how their new gaming strategy will replace the $1 billion cash flow after March 31, 2013.
- why the Liberals and OLG are so focused on Private Casinos when the profits of those currently operating are deteriorating.
- why the Liberals and OLG are so adverse to supporting the Horse Racing Industry amd the significant number of Ontarians that rely on it for employment, BUT are willing to bail out a dying non-profitable Bingo Hall Industry and reward them with a 47% revenue agreement.

December 3, 2012 - 5:29 pmYou are absolutely right, I

You are absolutely right, I presume the gov't thinks every dollar of the percentage the "operators" will get is going to be coming right back to them ........

December 3, 2012 - 4:43 pmI know I feel reassured after

Chuck Ibey SAID...

I know I feel reassured after listening to this! Right! Still call it a subsidy rather than a gaming partnership. It is ok for the govt to subsidize bingo halls to the tune of $893 million though. How much will/have the govt subsidized privately owned casino operators?

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