Massicotte Comments On Rescue Plan

Published: February 6, 2009 09:27 pm EST

Paul Massicotte of Attractions Hippiques (AHQ) sent a letter to Le Devoir on Thursday to clarify an interpretation that was made in an article regarding AHQ’s rescue plan.

To view Massicotte’s letter in English, click here.

For the French version, click here.

(Attractions Hippiques)

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Once again, tis time to enlighten some of you who think putting Montreal down is going to be a good thing. Why putting down your biggest track that is bringing most of your parimutuel? Why put down the center of the horseracing industry in Quebec which may bring more people to live programs? - yes, I used "may", that will depend if they (AH) can find that plan, or whoever will be in charge by then. Why putting down a track that had 100 years history and success?

If you think Montreal is bringing the industry down it's because of those who are running the industry, not just the owner but horsemen as well. Remember the horsemen strike about more then a dozen years ago? That didn't help either. And at that time, parimutuel would be reaching around the million on every program. Going back further, the police raid at the paddocks due to drugs. That didn't help either. The Casino of Montreal... well since that thing came up, that didn't help either. That would start what I could call "The Montreal Game War". Loto-Quebec vs Blue Bonnets owners. And there are many more events I could add which I would think made customers got tired or disinterested of Blue Bonnets and the horseracing industry.

Yes, Montreal went through difficult moments in history but which company doesn't. We all have our ups and downs. But logically, If you eliminate the center of all your operations the rest will fall (domino effect). If you prefer a picture of what I mean, take for example the Chess game. No matter how pieces you have left, if your King is defeated it's the end.

Back to Mr. Massicotte's letter. RSM Richter shouldn't even be in this scene at this moment. I still remember horsemen who assisted court telling me they (RSM Richter) didn't have any idea of what the horseracing industry consists of. So, uh... yeah... Great, isn't it? We have a bunch of clueless people taking care of the industry. Don't you think tis time you put them aside and deal with the problem, Mr. the Owner? We could put some regular customers at the Hippodrome and they would do a better job than those headless scarecrows. No offense, I respect your hard work you did at school but you MUST study the field before you do anything. Repeat... MUST!!!
38 million $ at Trois-Rivières and Quebec... so yeah - why did you invest at Trois-Rivières and Quebec at the first place, Mr. the Owner? Oh, more jobless people will come and play... ok... but your Ludoplexes are empty... Game Over! I understand their plan was to move Montreal, but why move Montreal at the first place? Density of population is the highest at Montreal compared to its neighboring territories.
Hippodrome of Montreal's building, at this very moment should be completely destroyed though. Unused 3rd floor, ceiling leaking, bad air quality. I think that 38 M$ could've cover that. Anyhow, that's the past and we cannot change it.
As for the 3000 horsemen and 650 AH employees. Yes, we need to save them, I agree, but what will be your plan? We've been waiting for months... You were supposed to show one this week and now you got an extra month extension to work on it. Doesn't this sound like a student doing his homework at the last minute...? Pathetic, no?
Why not gathering all your employees and hear what they have to say. If the man with a tie can't solve it, ask the man with the brain. That's it.

Monsieur Massicotte.

Tout ce que je retiens de votre lettre est la menace des pertes d’emplois et je cite « Je partage l’opinion de Mme la sous-ministre adjointe que, sans l’acceptation du plan de redressement, tous ces emplois seront appelés à disparaître. »

La vérité, M Massicotte, c’est qu’il y a effectivement un conflit dans le domaine des chevaux de courses au Québec. Mais le conflit est entre le gouvernement et vous et non les hommes de chevaux et vous. Nous, nous sommes les otages.

Nous, nous essayons juste de sauver notre peau. Avant votre venue, M. Massicotte nous avions 16,7 millions de bourses et quatre Hippodromes en fonction, sans aucune aide du gouvernement……

Et maintenant vous voulez offrir 12 millions dont 9 millions viendraient du gouvernement, et la fermeture de l’Hippodrome de Montréal. Et vous êtes surpris de notre réaction.

Pour ce qui est de la fermeture de l’Hippodrome de Montréal, M Massicotte, je vous répondrai par une question. Est ce que le circuit ontarien aurait le même rendement si Woodbine était fermé ??? En passant hier (6 février 09 à Woodbine, il s’est gagé 1.5 millions. Oui, oui gager pas jouer (avl). Si vous vouliez travailler, M Massicotte, vous pourriez redorer le blason que les hippodromes du Québec méritent et vous savez quoi, vous feriez de l’argent.

La question que je me pose, M Massicotte, est la suivante. Aimez- vous le domaine des chevaux de courses? Ou peut-être aimez-vous mieux les alv et l’immobilier ?

En finissant, M Massicotte, j’aimerais bien vous appuyer mais après avoir passé ma vie dans le domaine des chevaux de courses, je ne trouve pas votre offre équitable.