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Burgess Letter On Draft Plan

Published: July 16, 2013 3:11 pm ET

Last Comment: August 10, 2013 4:52 pm ET | 29 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

"This opening statement as the Panel's basic and fundamental premise for their current analysis of the Ontario Racing Industry is itself both completely false and very misleading."

In a letter penned on July 16, Canadian Horse Racing Hall Of Famer Robert Burgess provides the Horse Racing Industry Transition Panel with his take on their draft plan. The letter from Burgess appears below.


CURRENT STATUS REPORT by ROBERT BURGESS

Status Report by Robert Burgess on the new Plan of the Transition Panel that calls for the TOTAL DESTRUCTION OF HORSE RACING IN ONTARIO as we have known and enjoyed it for so many years.

This new Plan was presented with great fanfare to many of us by the Ontario Transition Panel at Woodbine Racetrack during the afternoon of July 9, 2013.

The Panel's new draft Plan is prophetically titled: " Toward a Sustainable Future - a Plan for Horse Racing in Ontario." Certainly one thing is very clear. Standardbred racing in Ontario will have no sustainable future if even part of this new Plan becomes law.

My five most serious criticisms of the Transition Panel's new Plan for Racing are:

1 . Please see Page 4, Line 11 of the Panel's draft report. Here the Panel refers to the introduction of the SARP program by the Ontario Government as follows:

"The SARP program provided FAR MORE FUNDS than necessary to stabilize the industry -- ITS ORIGINAL PURPOSE."

This opening statement as the Panel's basic and fundamental premise for their current analysis of the Ontario Racing Industry is itself both completely FALSE and very MISLEADING.

SARP WAS NOT DESIGNED TO STABILIZE THE HORSE INDUSTRY and provide it with far more funds! SARP was designed by the Ontario Government in power at that time, for an entirely different purpose and to solve an entirely different Government dilemma.

The Ontario Government designed and introduced SARP IN 1998 as a structure to compensate the racing industry financially and permanently for its specific agreement to assist the Province of Ontario in its drive TO EXPAND GAMING OPPORTUNITIES IN ONTARIO.

This agreement made by racing with the Province allowed racing's major direct competitor, the Ontario Lottery Corporation, to permanently sublet parts of horse racing's exclusive gambling facilities all across Ontario. The agreement by horse racing with the Province to authorize this sublet was equivalent to Wal-Mart agreeing to sublet parts of its store facilities to a highly motivated competitor like Costco! And to compete with Costco within these very facilities forever.

Under this permanent sublet agreement with the Province the rent to be paid to the horse industry of 20% (10% and 10%) of revenues represented a very fair and negotiated contractual amount that reflected the racetracks' existing facilities, infrastructure and zoning and the intrinsic value of this permanent sublet. These gaming locations continue to be valued as politically safe and socially responsible.

Therefore, we all should know that the true original purpose for the introduction of slots at racetracks in 1998 was to provide a means by which the then Ontario Government would be enabled to enjoy over a billion dollars of new net revenues from these new slot machines installed at Ontario racetracks every year. And Government intended to continue to enjoy over a billion dollars or more in new net revenues from these new OLG slots in every year after 1998. This revenue to the Province will continue in 2013 and thereafter in the foreseeable future.

In 1998 only the racetracks and their horsemen possessed the necessary and essential zoning to permit the installation and operation of these new slots by the OLG throughout Ontario. Therefore, only because of the horsemen's available and essential zoning at its racetracks was this new billion dollar annual windfall payment to Government made possible.

To suddenly cancel SARP in 2012 with OLG slots still being operated by the OLG at our racetracks and to not replace SARP with comparable compensation for our horsemen would be civilly actionable if perpetrated by any normal commercial enterprise. Accordingly, the Ontario Government should not be above the law and should be held accountable for its acts just like any normal commercial enterprise.

Having due regard to all of the foregoing circumstances and the history outlined above our present Government should not be allowed to continue to expropriate the horse industry's unique and essential zoning (permitting the operation of slot machines at racetracks) without continuing to provide proper compensation to the horse industry. This compensation must be comparable to that received under SARP for the past 12 years. Notwithstanding this obvious truth, it seems that after March 31,2013 the slots have still continued to operate on a daily basis across Ontario under the horse industry's unique and essential zoning. However, so far no one has done anything about this serious breach by the current Ontario Government of its legal and moral obligations.

Instead, we have been left to beg for fairness to this Transition Panel whose apparent major goal is to downsize horseracing's importance in Ontario and to render the Province of Ontario completely noncompetitive with all other racing jurisdictions in North America. Neither the Panel nor our Government seem to understand the importance of our business or history to the Ontario economy and to the rural electors in many important provincial ridings.

And what the Panel has offered so far to our industry (a basic $60 million yearly for the finite term of three years and a top up of the HIP program to $30 million for two years) to replace the $345 million paid yearly under SARP is grossly inadequate and insulting. We do not need more bureaucracy and more subterfuge and more public forums.

Given that in 2012 since at least $250 million in provincial taxes is estimated to have been paid by members of the Ontario horseracing and breeding industries (together with their tradesmen and suppliers) the entire payment structure for SARP is almost revenue neutral .

Furthermore, experience at Ontario's racetracks has clearly shown that slot wagering and Government revenues increase substantially where and when coupled with available pari-mutual wagering on horseracing. This resultant increase in Slots wagering also provides additional funding from horseracing to Government. Accordingly, SARP essentially had little, if any, net cost to the Ontario Government.

In order to resolve this urgent matter equitably we now require direct negotiations for representatives of Ontario's standardbred horsemen and breeders with the Transitional Panel and, more importantly, with our Government. No such negotiations of this nature have been offered or proposed to date. As an example, my two requests for an audience with the Panel after it received its second mandate were not even acknowledged by the Panel. Others experienced the same rejection.

2. Please see Page 5, Line 2 of the draft report.

The Panel, in discussing their forlorn efforts for 2013 on page 5 of their report, appeared pleased to be able to state that in its new Sustainable Horse Racing Model that the total purse money available in 2013 would ONLY DECLINE BY ABOUT ONE HALF. This new Sustainable Horse Racing Model also reduced the number of race days for 2013 by about one half. At the same time we are also watching the slaughter or export of about one half of our horses in 2013... It is totally incomprehensible how these scorched earth policies will assist us in growing our overall pari-mutuel wagering handle as specifically requested by the Panel. That request will be absolutely impossible to fulfill with racing dates and available purses cut in half.

The Panel also took great care to include a pious set of paragraphs on Page 22 titled "Promoting Equine Welfare" containing the cautionary note to the reader as follows " The racehorse industry must treat equine athletes with the care and kindness the public reasonably expects".

Surely the public cannot be expected to condone the current widespread slaughter of breeding stock and racehorses for which the Panel should bear 100% responsibility. These deaths resulted directly from their illconceived policies on purses and race dates.

The Panel members likewise seem to be equally impervious to the rampant destruction of the lives and finances of horsemen and breeders. These Ontario residents had the great misfortune to be members of the Ontario standardbred industry at the time the totally unresearched and unexpected announcement was made by Finance Minister Duncan. Standardbred Racing in Ontario fell from Number One in the World to the bottom of the list. The Ontario Government should care. No other thriving and major world class industry in Ontario has ever been treated in this fashion by its own Government.

With 2013 breedings down by 55% we will, over time, have decimated many of Ontario's new stud farms that were built based on the logical expectation of a continuation of enlightened policies by the Ontario Government. In closing these farm facilities we will have eliminated our future horse supply. Mighty Ontario will then be just like Quebec- no horses, no racetracks, no farms, no employment and no pride in its sporting accomplishments.

If any of our standardbred owners actually decide to stay in horseracing they will be forced to patronize stallions standing in jurisdictions with a slot program modeled on Ontario's SARP or to buy a yearling eligible to a similarly progressive sires stake program. They will then have to leave here and race there. There is no hope for anyone else! Even the tiny Ontario Racing Industry championed by the Transition Panel will cease to exist as far as standardbreds are concerned, save at the fairs.

3. Please see Page 11, Line 13 of the draft report.

The Transition Panel has tried to create an illusion of fairness for us by stating the following conclusion in its draft Plan----- " In 2013-14 the public contribution to racing from transition payments will be $60 million and from the pari-mutuel tax reduction will be $50 million making a total of approximately $110 million. This is the funding the Panel has calculated would be needed to maintain a viable industry by keeping a competitive racing product in the marketplace."

Obviously these calculations are not explained by the Panel. Nor is there is any factual basis for such a misleading statement about "a viable industry" by the Panel. We barely have a competitive racing product now even with the carried over funds (currently described as "stranded funds") and three months of SARP revenues for 2013. If no relief or interim funding is received before 2014 then it is absolutely clear that we will have no competitive racing product commencing on January 1, 2014.

There is an additional problem. No one knows exactly what this figure suggested by the Panel amounting to $110 million yearly may mean. This uncertainty exists because the Panel has only promised the $60 million in transition payments for three years.

To even talk about the $50 million pari-mutuel tax reduction now is very specious logic as the Ontario racing industry originally received the $50 million pari-mutuel tax reduction following negotiations with Government in 1996. This reduction was created under a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 1996 with the Government of Ontario and renewed every year since then as a permanent offset to the tax levy.

This is an outstanding example of double counting as the gentlemen on the Panel had nothing to do with this permanent offset to the tax levy. To count it again as funding for future purse distributions is completely illusory. It is a blatant and intentional attempt to mislead the reader and the Government.

For example, Woodbine Entertainment has used all of this annual tax reduction since 1996 to enable it to cancel public admission fees, to offer free parking to patrons and to reduce pari-mutual takeouts. It would be calamitous and impossible for Woodbine to cancel these long term inducements to its customers after 17 years!

4. Please see Page 18, first five paragraphs.

These paragraphs touching upon the integration of horse racing into the OLG's gaming strategy are encouraging, forward- looking and progressive for all parties concerned. Mr. Phillips' new conciliatory attitude towards racing seemed very encouraging and we can hope that it is permanent.

However, the greatest applause at Tuesday's meeting was reserved for the recommendation to the meeting that if gaming modernization is to go forward in Ontario with the development of casinos at Ontario racetracks that NO NEW THIRD PARTIES are needed to share in the resultant distributions.

None of the present parties: tracks; horsemen, the OLG and the Ontario Government can afford the luxury of a new and added and unnecessary partner, foreign or otherwise! Our Racetracks must be given every opportunity and priority to qualify as operators of their own facilities. They have the required expertise.

5. Please see page 19, paragraph 22 of the draft report.

Pages and pages in this draft report are devoted to endless meanderings trying to distinguish among different kinds and sources of wagering.We hear about the different treatments to be applied by the Panel to remote wagering, to wagering on track on local races contrasted to foreign races, to teletheatre wagering and to computer and telephone betting. These distinctions may be important to academics. However, in my view they are and should remain absolutely meaningless as between thoroughbreds and standardbreds. The Ontario horse industry currently has enough other problems without wasting our time on distinctions and false differences of this nature.

These meaningless distinctions do not provide new funds or race dates to thoroughbred racing, standardbred racing or to quarter horse racing.

Our energies should instead be entirely expended in improving our racing product and in enhancing our revenue streams in partnership with the OLG.

We have enjoyed outstanding relations and respect between thoroughbred and standardbred horsemen in Ontario since the days of E. P. Taylor. With the sale of Greenwood both breeds continued in harmony at Woodbine without any serious controversy concerning potentially divisive issues such as the management of the distributions from remote wagering.

To remove standardbred racing from Woodbine and for standardbred racing to abandon the fourth largest municipality in North America would be totally irresponsible. This proposal on Woodbine is an absolute and complete non- starter.

CONCLUSION

Live dates decline, tele-theatres close, purses decline so that betting deteriorates rapidly, commissions decline and the down cycle accelerates so that standardbred purses paid for the first five months of 2013 were $31,981,430 contrasted to $52,860,786 for the first 5 months of 2012. Starters in May 2013 fell to 3490 from 6240 in May 2012.

This flawed Draft Plan for horse racing in Ontario is the current legacy of our Panel. It is further proof of the Panel's failure to even try to make a meaningful contribution to a healthy and prosperous Ontario economy.

Surely they can do better!

July 16, 2013
Robert B. Burgess Q. C.

August 10, 2013 - 4:52 pmMr. Burgess has addressed

David Gage SAID...

Mr. Burgess has addressed several flaws in the transitional panels future plans for the standardbred industry and he is not only 100 % correct but he has expressed our feelings for us in a mannor that spells out how rediculous it was for the government to terminate the SARP program. I commend Mr. Burgess on his time and effert that it took him to put his thoughts in writing and to tell all politicians involved with the destruction of the standardbred racing industry in Canada. As sad as it is it was all about greed by the government to terminate the SARP program. Just like the government took money from us I felt at the time our only way to catch the governments attention would have been to prevent patrons from coming in and playing the slots at racetracks when there was no live racing or when patrons were allowed to play the slots have the share revenue which was a contractual agreement with the government under the SARP program. I can guarantee you we would have gotten the politicians attention then. Unfortunately we all sat back and waited and hoped for a financial outcome which would support the standardbred indusrty which never came. It appears to me the only thing our government understands is how much money can they make without careing where it comes from and how it impacts the source that it comes from. We did vote these politicians in and we can vote them out.

August 9, 2013 - 2:17 pmNothing is going to change

Nothing is going to change until the liberal provincial and federal government is put out of office. They are on a course to terminate industry and commerce here in Ontario and put casinos in their place. They are doing this with high energy costs and taxing the life out of the economy. However, until every Ontarisn is aware this is not going to happen. Amazingly some do not even know who the premier of Ontario is. Just thinking, Bruce T. Winning

July 25, 2013 - 9:57 amRules of WINNING. The bigger

Cy McKenna SAID...

Rules of WINNING. The bigger the WAR chest the better chance of success.Time to pony up guys.We are getting nowhere with talking to these Dalton &Dwight clones.

July 22, 2013 - 11:17 amFirst and foremost Mr.Burgess

john smith SAID...

First and foremost Mr.Burgess I wish to also thank you for
the time you spent breaking down this report filled with
one fabrication after another.I agree that your detailed
and very well explained letter needs to find its way into
major newspapers,ontario ombudsman's office,investigative
programs like the W5,Ontario legislature,CBC Radio and any
other venue available to us.
Well Mr.Burgess thanks to you the lipstick has been wiped
clean from the pig,it is indeed time to pocket pull ,as we
are nearing the head of the stretch.You want pledge support
you got it.I want our horse to keep on racing here in
Ontario.
Thanks again Mr.Burgess

July 17, 2013 - 11:34 pmGod Bless Bob and lots of

Karen Duck SAID...

God Bless Bob and lots of others who are still fighting to keep our livelihoods and our horses, ALIVE. It's time for us to be a "Racing Family" across this entire Province. Winners Don't Quit.

July 17, 2013 - 4:57 pmThanks Mr. Burgess for taking

Thanks Mr. Burgess for taking a leadership role, and challenging the veracity of the transitional panels spin re: the actual events that brought about the SAR program. I, and many others I know, would sure like to contribute to any legal fund set up to try to right the wrong that is currently causing havoc and the demise of the standardbred racing industry.
Edward(Ted) Wilson

July 17, 2013 - 4:48 pmAn Excellent Letter Mr.

Al Morrison SAID...

An Excellent Letter

Mr. Burgess presented the most concise, accurate and comprehensive analysis of the SARP fiasco I have read to-date. Clearly the Gaming Division of the OLG was built on the back of the horse racing industry here in Ontario. One of the important points that Mr. Burgess clarified was the fact that the OLG needed the racetracks and horsemen to provide them with a venue for their slot machines back when they were first introduced as a means of generating revenue for the province. Legislation at that time restricted any kind of gambling to the racetracks. That was the beginning of the "Partnership" that the Liberals now choose to call a "Subsidy". My hope is that Mr. Burgess may be able lead, or at least start, a legal process to challenge the Liberals in court for their breach of contract and reverse the decision to end SARP. The problem is it may already be too late.

July 17, 2013 - 9:01 amCan the industry not lobby

Mike Hunt SAID...

Can the industry not lobby the two other parties to introduce a private members bill that would reverse the legistration of the government until a full review is conducted with consoltations? This would provide immediate releif as the old rules would be in place and probably no resolution until a majority govenment is in place.

July 17, 2013 - 8:43 amWe need to take action. Not

We need to take action. Not everyone can pledge 10,000 but even grooms would probably give $1.00 x 500, plus a little more from trainer, breeders, feed mills, blacksmiths, and should get quite a good donation from veterinarians. Let's get it started.

July 17, 2013 - 8:39 amThis letter as well as with

murray brown SAID...

This letter as well as with most of Bob says or writes is brilliant and accurate. The only problem I see with it is as with most of the criticism directed at the government, we end up talking to ourselves. This has to reach the people who can make or help to make change. Unless this happens and happens sooner rather than later, we will continue talking to ourselves and our industry will continue to shrink.

July 17, 2013 - 7:53 amOur OHRIA slots

Our OHRIA slots implementation committee held out for over one year to achieve the 20% share of the win on the slot machines.

This was crucial as the 20% equaled the take out on wagering on the horses.In effect it made the cannibalization of the wagering a wash.

Now we have 100% cannibalization as we don't share in the massive slots revenue.
It is unfair to base purse allocation based on wagering as over the last 14 years horse racing has created several thousands of slot customers for the OLG-creating the current cannibalization.

The thank you we get is that we are treated as surfs in a kingdom instead of respected citizens of Ontario and equal business partners.

The scandal plagued Ontario government is telling us that horse racing must be transparent and accountable.SHAME on you govt of Ontario.

July 17, 2013 - 5:58 amThe last thing this Panel

Phil Porter SAID...

The last thing this Panel (and the Government) want is someone with Mr. Burgess' knowledge of the industry eloquently communicating factual information about the industry and about a Government that is destroying an industry. It just wasn't in the plan.

July 17, 2013 - 12:13 amWe'd have to be completely

Dave Nicol SAID...

We'd have to be completely ignorant to disagree with Mr. Burgess*s ability to dissect this continual meanderings from this panel. Who else could or would remove the dishonesty into the light for all to see. If the truth in their ramblings were removed the original document would remain unchanged! Their mandate has always been to start with standardbred racing and keep pounding till like the dodo we become extinct! I am a small operator but I also would donate money to the legal pot as required! I usually wear a hat so for Mr. Burgess my hat*s off to him! Keep up the good work and keep speaking the truth till somebody listens!

July 16, 2013 - 11:03 pmMr. Burgess states that the

Rick Karper SAID...

Mr. Burgess states that the Ontario government has breached its moral and legal obligations. Being an attorney, I will leave the legal question to Mr. Burgess, but I think that we can all judge the morality and dishonesty by which the Ontario government handled the SARP cancellation. The lack of consultation and/or negotiation was totally reprehensible.

The panel members seem to feel that the cancellation of SARP was a wise and necessary move. I guess that they feel that New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, etc. are making a bad mistake by guaranteeing their racing industry "a sustainable future".

Chances of owners surviving under the new plan are minimal. Ultimately, there will be fewer horses, fewer racetracks and fewer players.

July 16, 2013 - 9:08 pmThank you again Mr. Burgess

Lynne Magee SAID...

Thank you again Mr. Burgess for stating so eloquently and aptly what was needed to be said about this panel, it's latest report--"Horse Racing Industry Transition Panel Toward a Sustainable Future - a Plan for Horse Racing in Ontario - Draft for Consultation" and the subsequent public 'informational' meetings that were recently held. If only any of the front page of the said document were true. Thank you for the clarification of so many of the points that pertain to the SARP in particular.

July 16, 2013 - 9:00 pmRobert, Very well

Robert, Very well written and accurate take on what has, and is currently taking place in our Industry. We need someone like you to lead us back to the strong Industry we had been. Jerry Schneider

July 16, 2013 - 7:39 pmWhere would you take it from

Where would you take it from here Mr. Burgess? There are still a goodly number of us hanging on and wanting to see something done and right now. Would you suggest legal action? We need someone to take the reins and get something started. Please send your letter to Toronto newspapers. We really need to keep hammering at this. Very well written. Thank you.

July 16, 2013 - 7:21 pmFinally someone with

max cordon SAID...

Finally someone with knowledge of the history of SARP and the requirements of our industry has spoken.
I remember people suggesting at the time of SARP discussion that perhaps we were inviting the fox into the chicken coop. Guess what?
I am also glad that the fate of so many broodmares and racehorses is discussed here. Everyone talks about the racehorse people, the owners and the betting public but no one wants to talk about the athletes themselves. What is the panel's plan for their future? The adoption societies are already so overrun with unwanted horses that they cannot take anymore.
I am appalled that Mr. Burgess was not considered a key person to meet with the panel and provide input. Perhaps they did not want to hear what he had to say!
Thank you Mr. Burgess for your truthful letter.

July 16, 2013 - 6:27 pmI hope someone is listening.

I hope someone is listening. Thank you for your diligence.

July 16, 2013 - 6:26 pmCouldn't agree more Bob,

Ian Dow SAID...

Couldn't agree more Bob, excellent letter, will it do any good?

July 16, 2013 - 5:55 pmAs per usual Mr.Burgess is

As per usual Mr.Burgess is spot on in his critique of this seriously flawed plan for racing's future. Why wasn't someone like Mr.Burgess appointed to offer advice to the government, the obvious answer is they think they have all the answers and a panel of former politicians (a blue ribbon, bi-partisan panel) as members of the government like to tell us will only accomplish two things. Produce findings that the government wants to begin with and run up big expenses.

July 16, 2013 - 5:29 pmAgain and again Mr. Burgess

Peggy Powell SAID...

Again and again Mr. Burgess writes his and OUR concerns in such an elegant and completely true manner. It is just too bad that the Transition panel can,t seem to find the time to speak to him because he is the only representative of standardbred racing who knows what they are talking about. I have said time and time again that if slots are staying at our tracks then we must have a share of the profits. It is the only way. This panel is just continuing to carry out the original Liberal Plan for horse racing and that is to destroy it with no thought of the numerous consequences to not just the industry itself but to all of the hard working people involved in it and that includes a big part of rural Ontario.

July 17, 2013 - 8:40 amDear Mr. Burgess I agree 100%

Dear Mr. Burgess
I agree 100% with the assessment of the current draft proposal and I would even go further.

July 16, 2013 - 5:13 pmI agree 100% with Mr.

I agree 100% with Mr. Burgess. I have said all along this panel is flawed from the beginning because they are operating under the conditions McGuinty and Duncan placed on them, canceling the SARP. A decision made with absolutely no proper research or investigation. Little wonder they have come up with the report they have. These meetings have brought about some great ideas from folks involved in the industry, fans and customers. If the panel is truly committed to the process they will hear what all parties are telling them - they are on a path of complete destruction of the horse racing industry.

July 16, 2013 - 4:42 pmDear Mr.Burgess you are right

John Fallone SAID...

Dear Mr.Burgess you are right on as to what you are stating. Surely I cannot understand why no Legal action is or has not taken place. I beleive with your help we have the power to stop this. But we must file action right away.
Time has run out.

July 16, 2013 - 4:34 pmStrangely enough,or magically

chris bush SAID...

Strangely enough,or magically enough the panel in very short order totally agreed with Duncan and McGuinty that slots were a subsidy. Almost like they were ordered to. Just like the five track proposal and race day cut,which was initiated by these two and confirmed by the panel. Its what makes the industry distrustful of the process as being predetermined and brutally unfair. Because of the ridiculous nature of the meetings themselves some specific questions I had were 1. What company do you know would allow a major competitor in without compensation? 2. Prove to me mathematically that under their proposal that its possible to break even racing a signature horse in Ontario 3. You talked about quality-how are you going to retain quality horses given the purse and race date structure 4. Specifically what are the qualifications of the OLG to offer any worthwhile support 5. As in every other business what are the new revenue sources going to be and how much are they going to contribute? 6. Since racetrack management has been an on going problem under the old sarp strucure, How specifically are you going to motivate them to do their jobs to market and promote to new fans given that tracks like flamborough and georgian would prefer not even to race? There are many more that the panel did not address. Clearly not only is the panel in over their heads but I think any rational observer can conclude their mission is to follow a predetermined plan that really provides for racings managed obliteration. P.S. To the panel: save the glowing press releases for when you actually successfully accomplish the goal of a world class racing industry. It is disingenuess to the unknowing and insulting to the rest.

July 16, 2013 - 4:16 pmGreat letter Bob! If we don't

Greg Perry SAID...

Great letter Bob! If we don't put a stop to this panel's proposals our future is doomed. We are looking at being completely subsidized until they decide to pull the plug. Please Ontario, don't let Larry, Moe & Curly pull the wool over your eyes, they are not our friends. Remember who brought them in originally, Dalton & Dwight! If we are not sharing in the slot revenue from our racetracks directly, we have no hope of increasing handles while competing with them. Now is the time to charge the hill, and let the government know they'll have to deal with us in good faith or face the consequences.

July 16, 2013 - 4:16 pmWell said Mr Burgess. Let's

Norm Brunet SAID...

Well said Mr Burgess. Let's not forget the history of Toronto and Hamilton's referendum's which returned back then a resounding NO to casino's in those 2 cities. If you say something enough times people will start believing it and that is exactly what has happened here.
When this government convened this panel all they wanted was that SARP would be defined has a subsidy. The rest was history after that.
The question here MR Burgess is "In your legal opinion do the horseman have recourse in a court of law for damages against the OLG ?"

July 16, 2013 - 4:10 pmCIVILLY ACTIONABLE Mr.Burgess

Georg Leber SAID...

CIVILLY ACTIONABLE

Mr.Burgess if you want to go forward with a law suit, I pledge $10,000. I would hope that there are owners and breeders that could pledge much more than me.

I attended the meeting on July 9. The biggest issue is purse size. To see this as a glaring example, look at the Grassroots races at Hanover this weekend. I have 2 horses entered and I am paying a starting fee of $300 each to race for $9000 where last year I raced for $24,000.

So yes I would be proud to be a plaintiff, suing on behalf of the fans (listed first) owners, breeders, trainers, grooms and everyone else our business touches.

Georg Leber-ICR Racing


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