McNaughton Sends Open Letter To Wynne

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Published: March 15, 2013 11:22 am EDT

“May I remind you that delaying the announcement of racing dates affects over 55,000 jobs across Ontario? Having already disrupted the 2012 breeding season by the cancellation of the government’s agreement to share slots revenue with the horse racing and breeding industry, you are now endangering what little is left of the industry.”

In an open letter to Ontario Premier and Minister of Agriculture & Food, Kathleen Wynne, Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MPP Monte McNaughton (PC) has called on the Leader of Ontario's minority Liberal Party to hurry up and make crucial announcements regarding purses and race dates.

McNaughton’s letter advocates for the 800-1,000 jobs connected to the Dresden Raceway and the over 55,000 jobs connected to the horse racing industry throughout Ontario.

The contents of McNaughton's letter appear below.


McNaughton Urges Premier on Dresden Raceway

PC MPP’s Letter to Premier Advocates for Dresden Raceway and 800-1,000 Local Jobs

This morning, Lambton-Kent-Middlesex PC MPP Monte McNaughton released a copy of a recent letter he sent to Ontario Premier and Minister of Agriculture & Food, Kathleen Wynne. McNaughton’s letter advocates for the 800-1,000 jobs connected to the Dresden Raceway and the over 55,000 jobs connected to the horse racing industry throughout Ontario.

McNaughton’s letter states, “May I remind you that delaying the announcement of racing dates affects over 55,000 jobs across Ontario? Having already disrupted the 2012 breeding season by the cancellation of the government’s agreement to share slots revenue with the horse racing and breeding industry, you are now endangering what little is left of the industry.”

Over the past year, McNaughton the PC Critic for both Economic Development, Trade & Employment and Research & Innovation has undertaken an extensive province-wide consultation with the horse racing and gaming industries to look at long-term, sustainable alternatives to the current approach by the Liberal government. During these consultations, McNaughton has visited nearly every horse track in Ontario along with personally meeting with thousands of people involved in the horse racing industry.

“I note you have recently announced agreements with six Ontario horse racing tracks. Please allow me to point out that this leaves the remaining eight Ontario tracks without the ability to make plans for the quickly approaching season,” writes McNaughton. “I urge you to complete without delay your announcements on purses and race days and immediately finalize these important details.”

McNaughton and the Ontario PCs recently released their 12th white paper titled Respect for Rural Ontario in which they stated:

Horse racing must be a key component of Ontario’s gaming strategy. The government should cancel the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation plan to abandon racetrack slots and spend money on new casinos. Instead, we will build partnerships with the horse racing industry, allowing it to thrive.

To read and share the Paths to Prosperity white papers, click here.


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The government of Ontario has shackled the health care workers in the province by not only freezing the wages for three years but also threatening the agencies and companies with " raise their wages and you get no contracts". This province NEEDS a general strike. Robert Hemsworth

Thank you Monte for standing up for us again and letting them know the hours are ticking by. Words means nothing to us at this point from them, we HAVE to have NUMBERS for PURSE MONEY and NUMBERS for RACE DATES NOW! Please keep up the fight for us Monte. The members of the Industry that are fighting everyday for survival appreciate your efforts much more than you know.

I have never been elected to speak out or negotiate for the horseracing industry nor would anything I write try to interfere with the ongoing negotiations! I have written a few words we see in an endless diatribe, SEMANTICS,MODERNIZATION, CONSULTATION[or lack thereof] MORAL, TRANSPARENT, SUSTAINABILITY, DOWNSIZE( not in my dictionary) but DOWN-GRADE is! PROSPERITY? Sometimes these words are used out of context by our elected officials! Thank goodnes Mr. Mc Naughton is not one of those! Thank you again for your nonwavering support! Don*t know the meaning of any of these words? Get out your dictionary, I did.

This "waiting" game is absolutely unacceptable! There are people who are scheduled to return to work at the racetracks April 1st and they have been left completely in the dark. There are people holding out on paying their stud fees, thereby leaving breeding facilities scrambling! Drivers, owners, trainers, horses even....all waiting.

Since when do we allow Crown Corporations, such as the OLG, to dictate, manage, and inadvertently destroy an entire sector of our Province? It's not only frustrating, but exhausting listening to how the OLG presumes it can steamroll over everything parliamentary, and assumes that they are above the laws of the people.

This presumptuous "right" they feel they have needs to be halted.