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Racing Discussed In Legislature

Published: March 19, 2014 1:09 pm ET

Last Comment: March 20, 2014 11:12 am ET | 3 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

On Wednesday, March 19, Randy Pettapiece, the Ontario PC Critic for Rural Affairs and Horse Racing, issued a release regarding the exchange he had with Premier Kathleen Wynne in the legislature on Monday.

During question period, Pettapiece told Premier Wynne that it shouldn’t take a lawsuit to get the Province to pay attention to Ontario Standardbred breeders.

In answering, Premier Wynne provided an update in regard to the negotiations between the Province and sectors of the racing industry.

Pettapiece’s release states that immediately following Monday’s question period, Pettapiece filed notice of his dissatisfaction with the Premier’s response, taking the extra step of forcing a ‘late show’ debate on the issue. The matter was debated Tuesday evening.

To read the transcript of the Monday exchange, click here.

To read the transcript from the late show debate on Tuesday, click here.

The contents of Pettapiece’s release appear below, followed directly by video of the Monday exchange in the legislature.

Horse breeders’ lawsuit due to Liberal inaction: MPP Pettapiece

(Queen’s Park) – It should not take a lawsuit to get the Liberal government to pay attention to the concerns of horse breeders, says Perth-Wellington MPP Randy Pettapiece.

A group of Ontario standardbred horse breeders recently filed a lawsuit against OLG and served notification to the province. The lawsuit states that the cancellation of SARP was made with no prior consultation or offer of compensation.

During Monday’s question period in the legislature, Pettapiece asked Premier Kathleen Wynne: “Why should it take a lawsuit to force you and the NDP to pay attention?”

In her response, the Premier touted what she called her “very, very successful” record on the horse racing industry.

Pettapiece responded: “I’ve spoken to leaders in the industry, and they tell me the Premier’s spin is completely at odds with reality. It’s not up to the courts to sort this out; it’s up to you, because you and the NDP made the mess. You need to clean it up.”

Immediately following Monday’s question period, Pettapiece filed notice of his dissatisfaction with the Premier’s response, taking the extra step of forcing a “late show” debate on the issue.

The matter was debated Tuesday evening, with Pettapiece again raising the concerns of horse breeders and asking why the government has refused to resolve this issue outside of the legal system.

Pettapiece revealed that the government had the chance to avoid the lawsuit by signing a tolling agreement with the breeders, “so that discussion would have taken place and, hopefully, a resolution.” The government refused.

“Standardbred breeders have been asking for a discussion on compensation for the last two years for the real losses they have sustained due to the government’s cancellation of SARP,” Pettapiece stated in the legislature. “The breeders want to work with the government to establish a plan to rebuild the breeding sector, but obviously the government didn’t want to work with them.”

Pettapiece concluded: “When will they and their partners, the NDP, ever take responsibility for the chaos they have created in this industry?

The Premier did not attend the debate, sending her Parliamentary Secretary, MPP Grant Crack. Crack did not even mention breeders at any point during his response.

March 20, 2014 - 11:12 amFirst off let me thank Mr.

Dave Nicol SAID...

First off let me thank Mr. Pettapiece for his ongoing support during this ongoing tragedy! It is certainly refreshing to have an elected representative dispute the bafflegab and demand a truthful response, which of course wasn*t forthcoming from those responsible! This was intended to discuss the standardbred breeders, but everything but, came from the government side. Am I surprised? Unfortunately no, as the government side have a script in place that they stick to irregardless of the question! I would also be remiss if I don*t add a request to all our political friends, PLEASE leave your political infighting till the next election instead of detracting from the horse racing industry by constantly including attacks on the other opposition party! Thank you in advance!

March 19, 2014 - 7:41 pmAll is great with horse

John Fallone SAID...

All is great with horse racing as she sees it.
I was working 108 race nights yearly before the Liberals cancelled SARP. In 2013 We ran 25 race nights. I guess to the Liberals taking an 80 day pay cut is all okay. Oh wait a minute there is always un-employment. Oh no, no un-employment for 25 weeks of work oh well maybe welfare.

Miss Wynne i'm sorry you see this as all well but you are dead wrong. SARP may have of been classified as a make work partnership to keep thousands of people employed without costing the taxpayers a nickel. Now Taxpayers are paying and with thousands un-employed, tell me how this makes sense?

I believe your 5 year plan will kill off the Standardbred Horse Racing industry for good.

March 19, 2014 - 3:15 pmThey have never explained

They have never explained what is meant by non-transparent. The industry participants know what part of it was not transparent and could have been "fixed" very easily had the government and particularly the ORC had the courage to stand up to those responsible.

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