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Kawartha Discussed At Queen's Park

Published: March 25, 2015 6:51 pm ET

Last Comment: March 27, 2015 10:43 pm ET | 5 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

On Wednesday, March 25, Laurie Scott, MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, asked the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Jeff Leal, to make a commitment to Kawartha Downs and finalize a long-term transfer payment agreement.

“Kawartha Downs hosted a very successful 2014 season, with attendance and wagering second only to Woodbine Racetrack across the province,” said Scott. “Sadly, despite all of this success, they saw no reward and were denied their request for additional race dates this season.”

The track was recently approved for another 18 date season after their request for more dates was denied. Kawartha Downs is the only track in the province without a five-year long-term transfer payment agreement, which is vital to the horse racing community so stock can be purchased and maintained.

They have also asked the Ministry Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs to increase the purse pools to help secure that they have enough horses to race.

“Kawartha Downs has one of the smallest purse pools across the province and no announcement has been made by your ministry if they will receive their requested increase,” said Scott. “If they remain at 18 dates and $35,000 purse per night; it will slowly lead to the death of horse racing in our area and across Eastern Ontario.”

Scott pointed out that these decisions impact the horse racing communities not only in her own riding of Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock but in the Minister’s riding of Peterborough as well.

"We see the horse racing industry as very important to rural Ontario," said Leal during Question Period. "We had three very distinguished individuals -- Mr. Buchanan, Mr. Snobelen, Mr. Wilkinson -- put together the five-year plan for horse racing in the province of Ontario. We're hearing very positive comments coming back. My colleague, the Finance Minster has been working with us. The previous Minister of Agriculture, the Honourable Ted McMeekin, and the Premier herself has made a commitment to horse racing in the province of Ontario to make sure it drives our rural economy."

(With files from Office of Laurie Scott MPP)

March 27, 2015 - 10:43 pmJeff you wait till you get

randy fife SAID...

Jeff you wait till you get elected, then show your true colours. All the people want is an answer not walk around the question but I guess that's a political answer

March 26, 2015 - 2:57 pmJeff Leal & the OLP wanted

Chuck Ibey SAID...

Jeff Leal & the OLP wanted tracks to improve the product & handles! Kawartha has done that so you reward them by slapping them in the face with no 5 yr plan, no added days or funding! Why am I surprised?

March 26, 2015 - 1:46 pmTo Laurie Scott- thank you

Dave Snowden SAID...

To Laurie Scott- thank you for the question
To Jeff Leal- you spoke a lot, gave the same answer twice and still ducked the question. YOU are obviously out of touch with your horsemen (women) in your area if you think keeping the status quo at KD is a "win".

March 26, 2015 - 9:50 amJust when I thought this

Diane Bryant SAID...

Just when I thought this couldn't get any worse, Jeff Leal stands up and opens his mouth. First off Jeff you didn't answer the question that was asked, oh you did a good job of dancing around it, second those three that you praise for putting together a great deal for horse racing don't give a dam about the sport. If they did they would be helping put a plan together that would secure jobs, and make this industry one that will stand the test of time. I am a racing fan who has been going to Kawartha for over 30 years, it has become part of our life.
I have watched what your government has did to the wonderful people who make their living at this sport. It is a shame that your feel nothing for the devastation created by the government. I still have not figured out the reason why you'd take a profitable business both to the horseman and the government and rip it apart. I know there was huge tax dollars generated from this business, family's making a living, many jobs created. So I ask you what are you doing to generate that lost revenue.
And to you Sue Leslie you need to stop promoting how great this is, not sure why you are in the position you are, if you were in a union industry you would of been relieved of your duties by now.
So in my closing I hope to see you Mr. Leal at the Kawartha downs this summer, and if you are out there on the track promoting yourself and how you have saved the day, I will ask you this question once again, When is Kawartha going to get the deal the deserve?

March 25, 2015 - 8:08 pmJust answer the Question

Just answer the Question Jeff.

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