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Liberals Vote Down Racing Amendments

Published: December 7, 2015 7:14 pm ET

Last Comment: December 13, 2015 4:26 am ET | 5 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Today Bill 144, Budget Measures Act, 2015 was considered in detail by the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs. Bill 144 establishes a new Act, the Horse Racing Industry Act, 2015, which will govern the horse racing industry upon dissolution of the Ontario Racing Commission.

Perth-Wellington MPP Randy Pettapiece, who serves as opposition critic for the horse racing industry, and Laurie Scott, MPP Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, issued the following statement after the Liberals voted down all amendments to the Horse Racing Licence Act, 2015.

“In 2012, the government decimated the horse racing industry when it abruptly cancelled the Slots at Racetracks program. This decision was made without any consultation with industry experts.

“Now the government is ramming through the Horse Racing Licence Act in an omnibus bill, without taking the interests of the industry into account.

“We in the PC caucus have spoken with horse people and the industry associations. During the committee process, we made a number of important amendment recommendations based on these discussions.

“We called for:

• the removal of the AGCO’s maximum infraction penalties including jail and excessive fines;
• the ability to appeal decisions of the Horse Racing Appeal Panel to the Superior Court of Justice;
• making the grounds for a warrant the same as it is in the legal process, meeting the same standard of proof that a criminal prosecutor would; and
• the removal of the government’s ability to seize and hold onto property during an investigation.

“The government voted down all of these reasonable amendments, proving once again that the Liberals are not interested in supporting the needs of the horse racing industry.

“The government promised to strengthen and support the horse racing industry. Their actions today show they are doing neither.”

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December 13, 2015 - 4:26 amWow you guys! With all the

Geoff Maltby SAID...

Wow you guys! With all the "mistakes" by the O.R.C and C.P.M.A. Lately you think its fair that you cannot appeal a Judges decision? Are you guys nuts? This is not about being easy on cheaters, this is about being fair an just. Also with these new rules, the O.R.C. can charge all expenses against anyone they are investigating no matter of guilt or not.

December 10, 2015 - 2:05 pmMore stringent penalties

More stringent penalties would be OK, provided all the rules are enforced equally and evenly upon ALL participants.

December 8, 2015 - 9:29 amNot so sure I disagree with

John Hill SAID...

Not so sure I disagree with the government on this one. Integrity is a big issue and this is an attempt to address that. However I don't think they should operate outside the laws (warrants, repossession). The liberals have a majority and whatever they say goes and this is in our future !

December 8, 2015 - 7:42 amNot sure these amendments

Ted Decker SAID...

Not sure these amendments were reasonable as mentioned by Mr Tropea. Seems the industry was looking for possible lesser penalties and more appeals for those who violate. Perhaps the government was looking out for the public in this instance. Follow the rules and the proposed amendments mean nothing.

December 7, 2015 - 8:20 pmI believe that some people

John Vance SAID...

I believe that some people believe those amendments were unnecessary and that strong legislation is not a bad thing.

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