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Duncan Questions Employment Figures

Published: March 28, 2012 2:37 pm ET

Last Comment: March 29, 2012 9:51 am ET | 2 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

The reigning Ontario Liberal Party, whose credibility has been questioned on multiple fronts as of late, has announced that it doesn't believe that the livelihoods of up to 60,000 Ontarians depends on the overly-successful and mutually-beneficial slots-at-racetracks program.

Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan --- who yesterday at Queen's Park delivered his 2012 budget address to less than rave reviews --- has been cited as saying that the idea that the livelihoods of 60,000 Ontarians depend on the slots-at-racetracks program and the Ontario horse-racing industry is "grossly exaggerated."

Minister Duncan, whose party is currently getting taken to task in regard to the Ornge scandal, among other things, has said that "nobody" buys the 60,000 number.

Duncan's position on the numbers has been brought to light in an article by the CBC.

An independent poll conducted by Forum Research days before the Ontario Liberals' 2012 budget announcement found that three-quarters of Ontarians approve the slots-at-racetracks program. The poll also found that two-thirds of Ontarians approve the current slots-at-racetracks arrangement.

The current slots-at-racetracks arrangement --- a bilateral, commercial contract --- sees slot machines housed within Ontario raceways annually funnel $1.1-billion in revenue to the provincial government (roughly $15-billion overall since the inception of the program). On top of that, the Ontario horse-racing industry annually sends $261-million in direct taxes to the Ontario Provincial Government.

Taking into account full-time, part-time, and seasonal jobs, the current slots-at-racetracks agreement--- which has proven to be the province's most lucrative gaming agreement --- employs 60,000 Ontarians and annually leads to $2-billion in direct economic impact within the Province of Ontario.

The Ontario Liberal Government has taken the stance that 'value for money' is of utmost importance for the province. Given the facts that the Ontario horse-racing industry has repeatedly and respectfully presented, it firmly and logically believes that the Ontario horse-racing industry provides tremendous value for both the government and residents of Ontario.

"The slots-at-racetracks program may be the best public-private partnership ever entered into by the provincial government," Sue Leslie, chair of OHRIA, has said.

"It makes absolutely no sense for the government to continue to push less profitable forms of gaming, when over the last 14 years the horse racing industry has proven to be its best partner. Tearing up that $1.1-billion in profit for the government to chase what will become a highly controversial and less profitable vision just isn't responsible."

March 29, 2012 - 9:51 amLet's get this bunch of

Let's get this bunch of fools out of there.
Everyone--please go through the SC website, and contact as many NDP people as you can (including Ms. Horwath) and tell them we want another election due to the budget, etc. There are many buttons to use on the SC website in order to gain the ear of Ms. Horwath.

Hudack and the Conservatives "are going to vote against the budget to a man", so the NDP are the ones who can help us.

March 28, 2012 - 9:47 pmBefore this crystalizes any

Cecil Cook SAID...

Before this crystalizes any further along party lines, suggest that some of you invite Dwight Duncan to spend some time in the backstretch, see a few horses, shake a few hands, and invite him to take a horse out on the racetrack for a slow jog. He won’t really begin to understand your position until he sees you with your horses. There are easier ways to make a living. You’re in the racing business because you love the horses. Until he sees you with the horses, it will just be a discussion about employment figures, revenue, gambling, and who has the right set of numbers.

If Dwight won’t come, suggest that you invite any of the MPPs to come. There are 107 of them. There’s bound to be a few horse players among a group this size.

And if they won’t come, suggest that you invite the general public to come. There will be access and control issues, but a guided tour to include a pass exchange for a driver’s license might work. They can’t all jog a horse, but they can pet one. For them to understand why you’re in horse racing, they need to touch a horse.

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