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Petition With 23,000 Names Presented

Published: April 24, 2012 8:26 am ET

Last Comment: April 24, 2012 6:36 pm ET | 2 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

An emotional rally was held during Rideau Carleton Raceway's Sunday, April 22 card of live racing.

The rally was part of an ongoing effort to save horse racing in the face of the provincial liberal government's plan to end the mutually-beneficial slots-at-racetracks program. The program generates billions in revenue and 60,000 jobs for the Ontario economy, all the while adding to the provinces tax base and costing Queens Park virtually nothing.

The rally, which was held in the winner’s circle, featured speeches of support from local politicians, and it revealed the depth of attachment people in the region have both to the sport and to Rideau Carleton Raceway in particular.

Nepean Carleton Conservative MPP Lisa McLeod wiped tears as she spoke of her long love of horse racing and how deeply rooted the sport is in the region.

Leeds-Grenville PC MPP Steve Clarke told the audience of his youthful evenings “standing on the tables on the tarmac and cheering for my winner,” adding how he has passed his love of racing on to his son.

Stormont–Dundas-South Glengarry Tory MPP Jim McDonnell was also on hand to assure the audience that his party was firmly behind the industry.

Roxanne Villeneuve-Roberston, Tory candidate for the nomination in Prescott-Russell, revealed that her father, Noble Villeneuve, a former cabinet minister, was a great patron of RCR and is very upset with the latest crisis facing the industry.

The highlight of the rally occurred when MPP McLeod was presented with two powerful messages. RCR marketing representative Chantal Guindon presented her with written resolutions from 15 different municipalities expressing their dismay with the government and strong backing of RCR as a major employer in the region.

Then, in an overwhelming show of support from the general public, a petition containing the names of 23,157 was presented to McLeod by RCR marketing representative Suzanne McDonald. All the speakers assured the audience that they would continue to fight on behalf of RCR, and its horse people.


April 24, 2012 - 6:36 pmMaybe all of our racetracks

Peggy Powell SAID...

Maybe all of our racetracks should be so bold & not sit back & wait to see what crumbs the government will throw us.

April 24, 2012 - 12:08 pmHaving attended Rideau a few

Having attended Rideau a few weeks ago I only have words of admiration for the hardwork they have done to try and fight this horrible decision. I admire all the people from this area who worked so hard to fight for this industry and hope that somehow they can survive.

Gary Blackburn

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