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Liberal MPP's Pro-Racing Proposal

Published: August 16, 2012 4:58 pm ET

Last Comment: August 18, 2012 10:15 am ET | 13 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

According to a report, on Thursday, August 16, Peterborough MPP Jeff Leal held a press conference at his constituency office to publicly release his proposal for the future of the Ontario horse-racing industry --- one which would keep slot machines at eight to 10 racetracks via a modified version of the slots-at-racetracks program.

The article by The Peterborough Examiner explains that under Leal's proposal, if racetrack slots are ultimately relocated, raceways would still be allowed to retain some of the revenue from the machines as a way of maintaining the horse racing industry.

“All these dollars stay locally and it creates jobs for people,” Leal was quoted as saying in the report. “It’s not a subsidy, but it’s an investment.”

Leal has submitted his proposal to the OMAFRA panel that is reviewing the industry's transition from the slots-at-racetrack program.

The article states that the proposal also includes a recommendation to review whether the government should give money to non-profit instead of for-profit companies that run racetracks.

The article quoted Leal as saying, “I think we need appropriate oversight, whether it’s for-profit or not-for-profit, to make sure that any approaches that we take the dollars that are intended for the horse-racing industry go back into the horse racing industry… to sustain a viable industry.”

“It’s encouraging that some Liberal MPPs have recognized the importance of the horse racing industry and they feel the need now to work with us to find a path forward,” Ontario Harness Horse Association Rep. Dave Gibson was quoted as saying. “I don’t think as an industry we want to see any racetracks lost, but if this model comes to fruition we’ll deal with what we have to deal with.”

(With files from The Peterborough Examiner)

August 18, 2012 - 10:15 amWELL, WELL, WELL......Finally

WELL, WELL, WELL......Finally a LIBERAL that is starting to see the light. RESTORE
THE PROGRAM...leave ALL race tracks as they are. If MPP Jeff Leal wants to do something worth while, let him cross the floor to the other side....

August 17, 2012 - 6:36 pmYes, in business or in

Yes, in business or in government, you must be careful which horse you hitch your wagon to. No doubt many inside the Liberal provincial party are not towing the party line. They know or at least suspect that their days at Queens Park may soon be over. Too many of us old folks are fed up with, to mention one, high hydro bills, and two a government that has a line up in the courts, re lawsuits. The two bi-elections will be an indicator of things to come. I could be wrong. Bruce T. Winning

August 17, 2012 - 4:13 pmI am 73 years old .I was born

Tom Kelly SAID...

I am 73 years old .I was born and bred in PETERBORO .My grand father raced at pterborough and linsay fairs and at Morrow Park My father had horses with Hugh Stewart and Donny Bye..JEFF LEAL IS LIBERAL MPP FOR PETERBOROUGH, I WROTE A LETTER TO THE EDITOR ..MON AUG. 13 ..I guess he got wind of it , so Jeff if you really feel like. Crossing the floor to the PCs I will support you ...OTHERWISE SUPPORT RACING CONTINUING AT KAWARTHA DOWNS.DOWNTOWN PETERBORO IS NOT THE PLACE FOR ( GODFREY- TANNENBALM ). Bingo.....TOM KELLY

August 17, 2012 - 2:06 pmThe one thing I have noticed

Mark McGuire SAID...

The one thing I have noticed about the cancelling of the SAR program is it has a lot of people that are usually not that concerned with politics alot more riled up. The Mcguinty Government formed their minority with only 18% of the vote. One thing the Liberals didn't count on was waking the sleeping giant(voting public) which should be the end of them.If Mr. Leal wanted to do the right thing for himself and the people of Ontario he should cross the floor.

August 17, 2012 - 12:31 pmTerry, amazing how Duncan

Maury Ezra SAID...

Terry, amazing how Duncan states this decision (based on false numbers and analogies) is final, but wasn't their decision to build a power plant in Mississauge "final" at one point too?

August 17, 2012 - 11:52 amWELL, WELL,

WELL, WELL, WELL,..........Finally a LIBERAL that is starting to see the light.
RESTORE THE PROGRAM...leave ALL the racetracks as they are. If MPP Jeff Leal wants to do something worth while, cross the floor to the other side. If anything needs to be replaced or downsized it is the financial part of this LIBERAL government. they need to be re-vamped. NOT THE MONEY MAKING PARTS OF THE ECONOMY. See you all at the by-elections.
just an added comment....have you received your August Hydro bill yet?? We have and I have noticed and I quote...
""IMPORTANT NOTICE; We have applied to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) for an increase in Delivery rates for most customers. If approved by the OEB, new delivery rates will be effective on January 1, 2013. For more information......""
Sooo. they have wasted no time getting taxpayers to start paying for the Mississauga screw up. in fact between the delivery charge & the Debt retirement charge that is more cost to me than my actual hydro usage. But no matter how you try to concerve your usage they will still add up to the same amount because of all the extra add ons...

August 17, 2012 - 11:42 amIt is very evident that there

Paul Gangle SAID...

It is very evident that there are "cracks in the armour" within the Liberal caucus.The two bi-elections will tell the tale and hopefully send a clear message to the Liberals that all is not well on the western front. However I am convinced that the only thing that will save horse racing, albeit in a limited form in Ontario, is a change in gov't. Yes, there needs to be a revised criteria with relation to the sharing of slots revenue with race track operators and 14 race tracks with slots will not be in operation. However, I do think that an agreement can be worked out on a revenue sharing basis with the remaining tracks that do survive. The status quo is not feasible in so far as the gov't is concerned. Our only hope is that the majority of tracks who do promote racing will have slots. Jobs and the rural economy are at stake.

August 17, 2012 - 10:29 amLike most of you I have been

Dave Nicol SAID...

Like most of you I have been spending my limited resources to fight my own government! Is this what we used to call Democracy? I think not. I know not. Because of the unforgivable actions of this government using lies and bullying behavior to kill jobs it is very difficult to treat them with any kind of respect, but my upbringing will make me try. I have said in the past I know there are liberals with a heart among them, hopefully this is one of them? This kind of dialogue should have shown up sooner rather than later but it is never too late! Are there any more ready to converse with our representatives as there should have been ages ago, we can only hope so.

August 17, 2012 - 8:21 amNorm Brunet sums it up nicely

Roy Steele SAID...

Norm Brunet sums it up nicely why didnt this proposal come out before the budget vote everybody is doing just enough to save thier own skins. What it does do however is it shows the split inside the Liberal party. The teachers are geting lots of air time along with the Doctors time to turn up the volume.

August 17, 2012 - 6:25 amI wrote to Mr. Leal last nite

Terry Fried SAID...

I wrote to Mr. Leal last nite thanking him for the courage to propose something outside party lines, something that could at least open a dialog. I encourage others to do so also. My four letters to McGuinty and Duncan went unanswered until 2 days ago when Mcguinty passed the buck and Duncan sent a reply which basically said how supportive he was of our industry but take a ride cause the decision is made and final. Guess they thought they better answer now, the byelections are coming up.

August 17, 2012 - 1:04 amModification? Call a spade a

Modification? Call a spade a spade. Let's kill the notion that politics are made for people not smart enough for business. Keep the Slots-At-Racetrack partnership. Enough already.

August 16, 2012 - 6:35 pmAt last, a liberal MPP coming

At last, a liberal MPP coming out with what looks like a good proposal. Now all he has to do is to get the other MPPs to agree to it.If we go down to 10 racetracks or if we lose Windsor, Hiawatha and Fort Erie, then the other tracks should be told that they have say, 5 years to get their house in order. Increase the handle and generally prove to the gov't that they mean business or the same thing will happen to them.

August 16, 2012 - 5:25 pmI imagine that some Liberal

Norm Brunet SAID...

I imagine that some Liberal MPP's are trying to save their skins by dis-associating themselves from this don't make sense decision, but a little late. The damage caused by this party will haunt the industry and the province for years to come. Foreign investment will think twice before they come back as no one wants to go through this again. No one will trust government again in this province.

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