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Why Truro Staff Were Laid Off

Published: February 23, 2018 2:22 pm ET

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Trot Insider has learned that all staff employed at Truro Raceway were laid off on Friday (Feb. 23) in a move to separate the track's operations from the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition Commission (NSPE).

The surprising news was delivered at a staff meeting on Friday morning. In an emailed statement to Cat Country 99.5 FM, Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell stated that the layoffs were a necessary step to ensure the long-term viability of the racetrack which will now be operated under a lease agreement by the Truro Harness Horse Owners Association.

"The NSPE and Truro will be separated, and this is part of that transition period as far as moving the staff over to the new company," Robyn Crowe, Executive Director of the Nova Scotia Harness Racing Industry Association told Trot Insider. "Truro Raceway Inc. has a lease agreement with the Dept. of Agriculture for the racing side so it's not going to affect anything. We'll still be running business-as-usual and our simulcast is back up for tonight.

"It was not totally expected that they would be going in to lay the staff off today, we were a little surprised by that but we did know that this was something that would have to be done in the future and were prepared for it."

According to Crowe, many of those affected by the layoff from the NSPE will have a similar role with the track going forward under its new management and operations.

"We're going to have to do a little bit of a review on that but I would say likely yes, definitely all of our simulcast staff and our track maintenance team will be back in place...right now it's just a transition period for those staff to move over to the new company and then once things get going we'll have to do our own reviews and see what's going to be necessary and what isn't."

Last week, Truro Raceway was announced as the host track for the 2018 Atlantic Regional Driving Championship slated for June and Crowe confirmed that the announcement has no impact on plans for the 2018 harness racing season.

"We're racing all of our scheduled race dates and doing all of our scheduled events, and I think this is a positive move in the right direction for us, to be honest."

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