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Large Turnout At Queen's Park Rally

Published: March 26, 2012 1:28 pm ET

Last Comment: March 28, 2012 7:48 am ET | 7 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

On Monday, March 26, members and supporters of Ontario's horse-racing industry showed up at Queen's Park en masse to protest the Ontario Liberal Government's decision to close slot parlours at a number of provincial raceways and inexplicably walk away from the mutually-beneficial and highly-successful slots-at-racetracks contractual partnership.

With buses from all over the province converging on Queen's Park, more than 1,500 individuals, including MPPs, representatives from all of Ontario's horsemen's groups and other political representatives, congregated in order to let elected leaders and the mass media know that the industry will not take the Liberals' hasty, misinformed, and reckless decision in stride.

The Ontario Harness Horse Association worked tirelessly quarterbacking the rally.

"Unfortunately, the Liberal Party doesn't seem to be listening at this point, but (with) more events like this they will have to start listening," OHHA General Manager Brian Tropea told Trot Insider.

"I was tremendously pleased with [the turnout]. These people have work to do --- they have to get up and tend to their horses. Most of the people who were on the lawn today had to make arrangements with other people to fill in and do their work for them. They travelled from all over Ontario to be here. It's not like they were within an hour's drive. Some of these people were on a bus at four o'clock this morning. It took a tremendous effort to be here, and the industry appreciates it, obviously."

In closing multiple raceway slots parlours and planning to step away from the economic machine which is the slots-at-racetracks program, the Provincial Liberal Government has essentially taken the stance that employing 60,000 Ontarians, raking in more than $1.36-billion in direct annual revenue, and creating $2-billion in annual economic impact for the province is not worth trumpeting, let alone saving.

The Ontario McGuinty Government has insistently said that value for money is very important for both the province's current and future economic climate. In response to that, the Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association, the voice for the province's horse-racing industry, launched, a website devoted to showing that the current slots-at-racetracks agreement between the Ontario Government and the provincial horse-racing industry is an overwhelmingly positive venture for both the residents and government of Ontario.

March 28, 2012 - 7:48 amYou know ...if the horse

You know ...if the horse racing industry would quit fighting the Liberals they could find you a job ..just so they can take credit for it.

Expand the OLG..put those slots in Retirement Homes for the good of their customers.

Scrap the helicopters under Ornge and get really,really fast buses.

Change the name of the play "War Horse" to War Cow so they can milk it longer.

Throw the damn tourists off Ontario Place and build Fantasy Island Casino, with restaurants, hotels and hookers close by.....what a marketing draw.

All new fresh ideas from the Liberals to help us get out of debt. Keep spending 'er baby, with no hope or planning and you'll fix about running discount air flights to Greece.

March 28, 2012 - 7:46 amCome on folks, early rise on

Karen Duck SAID...

Come on folks, early rise on Friday to get done and drive to your local Liberal MPP Rally! 1 PM START for all except a London area one which is 2:30 PM on SC article. I'm posting copies in my neighbourhood of "Liberal MPP's To Be Targeted In Home Ridings Friday" article from SC on way to barn this morning. I know a lot of our Petition signers will be coming if we get the word out to them. Many asked me how they could do something to help, now is the time to ask them. We need every BODY'S participation that can make it. Come on folks, WINNER'S DON'T QUIT.

March 27, 2012 - 10:37 pmI read the whole budget

I read the whole budget today and tonight off a copy I managed to get on my computer. The only mention of horse people being in trouble is where it says that the Province will be yanking the slots out of Windsor, Sarnia and Fort Erie.

Nothing else was mentioned except for the fact that a Casino in Niagara would be closed.
I know I should be spanked for not remembering the third track.

I don't know if this helps anybody, but I could not find where is said any sort of agreement would be broken.
McGuinty had a two hour meeting with some of his party and he apparently broke his promise to them over something to do with the HST.I think the deal was that a current service or product that only charges 5% GST will have a new 8% added to it so that the total tax will now be 13% HST.There was a mini revolt and his merry band were peppering him with questions.
More later.

March 27, 2012 - 12:02 pmGreat to see so many could

Barbara Chu SAID...

Great to see so many could get away to get there. So far I can't see anything in the Toronto Star (online) or on the CBC about the rally. Are horse people invisible??? Where does one complain?

March 27, 2012 - 11:00 amHi there. I'd like to thank

Patrick Mark SAID...

Hi there.
I'd like to thank you for the great coverage you have been maintaining on the slot/OLG disaster.
I didn't know about the rally. Congrats on the great turnout. Is there a data base I can be added to to stay in touch? I would love to be a part of any upcoming events to show my support & if not attend, share the information within my community.


Dan Boers &
Patrick Mark
[email protected]

March 27, 2012 - 3:11 amStand in line.Everyone is

Stand in line.Everyone is going to feel the budget.

March 27, 2012 - 12:16 amNote to SC--I can't believe

Note to SC--I can't believe that McGuinty understands about how the money is spent or divided. He wants more money in his coffers and the expense for all this will cost him big-time.
I still think he will buckle if the two experts on contract can talk some sense into him.

There he was on TV today--shooting hoops at a school basketball net.

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