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Sudbury Adopts Resolution, Urging Others

Published: March 21, 2012 12:19 pm ET

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The City of Greater Sudbury is the most recent Ontario jurisdiction to adopt the resolution against the Provincial Liberal Government's decision to cut the Ontario horse-racing industry out of the mutually-beneficial slots-at-racetracks program.

A report published in The Sudbury Star states that after being brought up to speed about the program by former mayor John Rodriguez, the Greater Sudbury City Council directed city CAO Doug Nadorozny to begin working with other affected communities to lobby the province to change its mind.

Other Ontario jurisdictions that have also adopted the resolution and are pushing others to do the same are the Town of Fort Erie and Essex County (to view the Fort Erie resolution, click here; to read about Essex County's support of the resolution, click here).

The Sudbury Star article has quoted Rodriguez as saying that the slots-at-racetracks program, which supports the Ontario Government, the provincial horse-racing industry, and racetracks' host municipalities all at the same time, is a “win-win-win” agreement.

Ontario's slots-at-racetracks program annually injects $1.1-billion in revenue into government coffers. Besides the massive economic spinoffs, the robust employment numbers, the $2-billion annual economic impact and everything else that the horse-racing industry contributes to the provincial economy, it also annually sends $261-million in tax revenue directly to the Province of Ontario.

"I don’t understand why (the province) wants to fix something that isn’t broke,” the report has quoted consultant John Caruso as saying.

A previous story by The Sudbury Star explained that Sudbury Downs is the lifeblood of about 500 locally-stabled racehorses, each of which is responsible for more than $40,000 in economic activity --- feed, medicine, tack, etc.

Councillor Frances Caldarelli has also been cited in the report, stating that concern should extend beyond racetracks and horsemen, who rely heavily on local farmers. Caldarelli was cited as saying that if the province can do this to farmers, there is reason to fear what it will do to cities across the province as looks to tighten its belt and fight its deficit.

A report on northernlife.ca explains that the provincial government has ensured that the municipality's five per cent share of the slots revenue will remain intact, but that the racing industry is still pressing on for their fair share of revenue.

“The horse-racing industry isn't taking this lying down,” Rodriguez was quoted as saying in the northernlife.ca report. “In fact, there are lawyers looking into the legality of the province walking away from the agreement with little to no discussion about its intent.”

For Trot Insider's complete coverage regarding the fallout and uproar in response to the OLG and Ontario Liberals' treatment of the provincial horse-racing industry, click here.


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