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PEI's Minister Of Finance Praises Investment In Harness Racing

wes-sheridan.jpg

Published: March 10, 2012 12:47 pm ET

Last Comment: March 13, 2012 11:37 am ET | 3 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

"As it stands now, we don't feel it's taking money out of the economy to invest in it, where we're taking away from hospitals or transportation or education or anything in that kind of fashion. We feel it's a very strong investment and it does return money to allow us to make further investments in those key areas that are priorities within our government."

On a recent episode of CBC's Land and Sea, Prince Edward Island's Minister of Finance Wes Sheridan had only praise for the province's harness racing industry. Sheridan discussed how the PEI government has invested over $28 million in the harness racing industry and received that money back ten-fold. In other words, for every dollar invested by the government, they get back ten dollars.

Noting how "at one point in their family history, almost every Islander has likely owned a horse or trained one or raced one or even bet on one," the CBC feature discusses not only the heritage, history and strong tradition of racing but also the economic impact on the province.

"I was down at the barns this morning talking to two of the horsemen, they were discussing how where they buy their feed for their horses - it's local - where they buy all their equipment for training their horses, they buy all that locally," said Red Shores Manager Tom Mullaly. "Two of the large barns I was in this morning were filled with grooms and other trainers, so some of the major trainers here with 20-25 horses employ all of these people. I alone have about 250 staff members here at Red Shores, so I think there's a big impact and it goes further than that. A lot of the horse community have their own farms, they're spread throughout Prince Edward Island, and they're all buying trucks and different pieces of equipment. It can go on and on."

Horsemen Kenny Arsenault echoed Mullally's sentiments on the beneficial economic spin-offs.

"I can see the very good points, the good people, the horses, the feed mills, farmers growing the feed for us. I see that part but other people don't see that. And if we take that away, how many people are going to be on unemployment or at the welfare office or the soup kitchens. It's a ripple down effect."

To view the video feature, click the play button below.

March 13, 2012 - 11:37 amHow lucky PEI is to have a

Carolyn Rae SAID...

How lucky PEI is to have a Minister of Finance so well informed about what goes on in this industry. One who actually has knowledge of the lives of rural people. One who has actually visited the working areas of the industry, with an interest in learning and seeing first hand how committed rural people are to their heritage. Unfortunately, here in Ontario, we don't have such a person. So, we have to figure a way to stop a Minister of Finance, and Premier from putting an end to 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th generation farmers and contributing members to our proud heritage in horse racing.

March 10, 2012 - 4:16 pmDear Minister of Finance Wes

Dear Minister of Finance Wes Sheridan,

Please do us a favour here in Ontario and give your colleague Minister Duncan a quick phone call and explain to him what you have managed to convey so succinctly in this article.

Darryl MacArthur

March 10, 2012 - 1:04 pmI think Mr. Duncan should

I think Mr. Duncan should take his vacation this summer in PEI. The prosperity on the whole Island is assisted greatly by the horse racing industry.Every family in PEI has roots to horse racing. Every family in PEI are linked to horse racing one way or another.
250 people alone are working at Red Shores. In Ontario the number is way higher.

Let Mr. Duncan spot check these families and he will do what is right here in Ontario.Go ahead, Mr. Duncan. Stop at any door to be enlightened.


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