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PC Party To Support SARP Motion

Published: March 26, 2013 8:12 pm ET

Last Comment: March 26, 2013 9:15 pm ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

"If we decide to build more gaming facilities or expand gaming in Ontario, let's do it at the existing tracks. It's been such a wonderful successful economic development tool, to create these 60,000 jobs and it's something we're absolutely committed to doing if we win government."

While some doubt was cast earlier this week, according to MPP Monte McNaughton there's no doubt the Progressive Conservative Party will support Essex MPP Taras Natyshak's motion set to be presented and debated at Queen's Park on Thursday, March 28.

"We're days away from the end of the very successful slots-at-racetracks program, a program that actually a former PC government developed," McNaughton told Trot Radio's Norm Borg. "We're doing what we can here at Queen's Park to stand up for the industry on behalf of the 60,000 people that work in the industry so I'm happy to support it this week. "

That motion calls for the extension of the Slots at Racetracks Program beyond the March 31, 2013 deadline and for referendums to be held before new casinos are built in Ontario.

"First of all, what Tim Hudak said is we're going to shelf all of this casino expansion...we're not going to build 29 new casinos in the province. Secondly, if we decide to expand gaming - if we happen to get elected and Tim Hudak becomes Premier - then we want to build on what is already working well in communities and what's been very successful and that is we would expand gaming at existing locations. Of course we need the private sector to be involved, I think it makes sense that the horse racing industry has the first chance at buying existing locations and slot machines at those locations."

While McNaughton agrees with the NDP in that the slots-at-racetracks should be saved, one place they fundamentally differ is in who should run those casinos.

"We are in serious trouble in the province of Ontario with this massive debt that's set to hit $550 billion by 2019 so we can't continue with the government being all things to all people, and there's no reason why bartenders and pit bosses at casinos need to be government employees. That is where we do differ from the NDP," offered McNaughton "We want to strengthen partnerships with the job-creating horse racing industry, not tear them apart, and I think going forward it makes sense we'll ensure that the horse racing industry is part of the gaming strategy."

When McNaughton was asked by Borg if he feels the NDP and PCs both want in change in government, McNaughton noted that the NDP could have brought down the government by voting down the budget last year - a move that, in his view, ultimately aided the Liberals in their attempts to end the slots-at-racetracks partnership.

"If we back up even to a year ago, Norm, I introduced a bill here at Queen's Park - an actual bill which was supported by the entire PC caucus and the NDP - which would have called for a referendum before any new casino was built anywhere in the province. The government didn't want local people to decide where these casinos were located. Of course my bill went through first and second reading before McGuinty prorogued and that killed my bill.

"Unfortunately what we're seeing this week from the NDP is a motion and as I said we are supporting it but we need a bill to actually change things."

To listen the to the full interview between Borg and McNaughton, click the play button below.

Trot Radio Episode 291 - MPP Monte McNaughton
Audio Format: MP3 audio
Host: Norm Borg

March 26, 2013 - 9:15 pmFinally, a plan that makes

Finally, a plan that makes sense. To destroy the horse racing industry that history proves is the greatest contributor to the province of Ontario makes no sense no matter how you analyze it. Lets take the necessary action to put this plan in motion. sincerely Bruce T. Winning

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