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OHRIA Looking For Answers

Published: September 10, 2012 3:33 pm ET

Last Comment: September 13, 2012 5:35 pm ET | 10 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

With the conclusion of the CTHS Yearling Sales this past weekend, OHRIA would like to express that it recognizes the devastation that is being caused to the breeding industry in Ontario due to the crisis that has been inflicted by government with the cancellation of the Slots at Racetracks Program.

OHRIA is aware of the legitimate concerns that, with the poor sales results and the lack of income for our breeders, the industry may be unable to bounce back if an immediate solution is not reached with our government. OHRIA is encouraged by the response sent by the OMAFRA panel as published by the CTHS and Standardbred Canada.

OHRIA once again is urging Minister McMeekin and Premier Dalton McGuinty to send out a statement, prior to the Standardbred Sales this weekend, that there will be an Ontario horse racing industry where buyers can race their horses.

OHRIA continues to work with the OMAFRA panel to create an industry plan which the panel feels they can confidently present to government that will provide immediate reassurance that there will be a viable horse racing industry in the future.

OHRIA is asking for the continued patience and support of the entire industry for the month of September while we determine the willingness of the Liberal Government to work with OHRIA and the OMAFRA panel to find a fair and sustainable solution.


September 13, 2012 - 5:35 pmMr. DeChellis is right.

Lynne Magee SAID...

Mr. DeChellis is right. Pitting one industry against the other is not the way to fight this government. Standing together, along with the doctors would make more sense.
As for the "urging" that OHRIA gave to the appears to have gone unnoticed and the yearling sale starts Saturday. Ms. Hamilton has some interesting ideas. Mohawk backstrech is closing. There are rumours about that the track will close for good and Woodbine will be closed from Dec. 31st until April/13 with limited racing thereafter. Can we afford to remain polite and patient much longer?

September 12, 2012 - 6:12 pmPatricia is dead right with

Patricia is dead right with her comment re: an ultimatum required from OHRIA and ALL other organizations and racing representatives right NOW, to the current government. She is also correct when she states that all out WAR from ALL parties who are surely losing their livelihoods is required to carry our message to the general electorate. We can all concur that canceling SARP is a bad/stupid/incomprehensible move on the part of the Fiberals and their colleagues, but if we cannot get that same message to the urban masses who still have no clue what this boondoggle is all about, then all of the hoping and praying will not stop the inevitable demise of the racing industry in Ontario. Every horse trailer should have a sign on it saying that Dalton and Dwight (Dumb and Dumber) have condemned the magnificent animals on board to death. Then those trailers should be lined up for miles on all major arteries serving the GTA, London, Ottawa, Barrie, Hamilton/Flamboro/Waterdown (McMeekin's backyard), Windsor, etc.. So what if the public gets inconvenienced for a few hours. The industry (meaning every horseperson, vet, blacksmith, feed supplier, Dodge/Ford/Chevy truck dealer, trailer manufacturer, track owner, tack supplier et al) needs to anti-up and pay for PAC ads on every TV station (they only need to be 15 second spots to get our message out). We need to flood every media outlet with the message that there are no answers from the government that explain why they are going ahead with a plan that cancels the most profitable product that OLG currently has and they have nothing in place to generate the $$$ currently coming from SARP. When they lose the revenue stream coming from SARP currently used to support healthcare and education, will Ontarians be prepared for the inevitable cuts to healthcare and education that most surely will follow the shortfall in the revenue stream? It is time that EVERYONE wake up and smell the coffee! You must stop dreaming and DO what must be done to save yourselves.

September 12, 2012 - 2:58 pmHere's one answer, Dwight

jim rigg SAID...

Here's one answer, Dwight Duncan lied when on May 14 He said that He had spoken with the OHRIA regarding His decision and how it affects the Horse Industry. I just learned from the OHRIA that He has never contacted the OHRIA and I certainly believe this is sufficient grounds for an investigation by the Integrity Commissioner if any of the Politicans that I have asked to do this have the guts.

September 12, 2012 - 12:36 amA few things here! First I

A few things here! First I must state that like everyone else in the industry I feel that the cancellation of the SARP is probably one of the most underhanded moves buy any government - provincal or federal - in the history of our great country. It stinks of corrupution and backroom deals. With that being said and in moving forward I also have a few other feelings.

1. What is with all this chatter about that there needs to be more races for young horses ( I just purchased an yearling and have purchased my share over the years, so I indeed invest in young horses also) when it seems like on a daily basis you read that there are no elimations needed for OSS gold events. Is a 40,000 elimination and a chance at a 130,000 final not incentive enough. Why does the ORC and WEG schedule stake races for the same age, sex and gait on the same day? (2yo PC - Champlain at Mohawk and OSS gold elims at Flmd. and then have the draw on the same day?)

2. Not only am I a horsemen Im also a teacher. If anyone believes that - 1. After the cancellation of the SARP program that any of that money will every go to education is off their rocker and 2. Mr Brunet if it is so easy to "babysit" for 100k/yr well then maybe you picked the wrong profession.
As much as I love racing and I try to educate those around me as to just what Godfrey, Duncan and gang are trying to do, calling teachers babysitters or taking shots at any other sectors of the civil service is not going to win us much public support. For example you try to explain to an Education Assistant who works with a group of special needs students all day (and when I say work I mean work - changing diapers on teenage students for example)
that they are only worth 30k of the public's purse while a top "catch driver" makes 300,400,500k (even if you and I know its not the governments money and that there are 60,000 average people who work in the industry that is not what they have been hearing in the media)that the SARP should be continued. Be my guest.

By stating the merits and cold hard facts about the horse racing industry and by making the public aware of the scam the Liberals are pulling is the quickest and most efficent way to garner public support not by bashing other groups/programs in society.

Nino DeChellis - Proud horseman and teacher!!!

September 11, 2012 - 9:37 amThe Liberals had better be

The Liberals had better be given an ultimatum - deliver by end of Sept. or we launch an all out war similar to that of the teachers. We are falling way behind in public awareness.

September 10, 2012 - 11:34 pmIf breeders are not selling

If breeders are not selling stock, and purses go down, the life will ebb out of the horsemen. It has already started now.
The worst part of the whole scenario is that nobody has explained the problem to Premier McGuinty. I can't understand how he can turn his back on an industry that is offering him pails pf money.Yes, PAILS of $$$.

The Premier has made a mistake that is going to cost his Govt. votes and money lost from the SAR Program.

I urge all horsemen and families to keep your chin up and pray that this is resolved to your benefit.

And when I say pray, I mean just that--PRAY!!! While you're down on your knees, pray for the Premier as well. He needs all the help we can give him.

September 10, 2012 - 7:36 pmThis is how that phone call

This is how that phone call would go.

Them: Hi you have reached Ted McMeeken and Dalton McGuinty, how may we help you?

OHRIA: Hi, we would like you to make an announcement since its 6 days from the yearling sale and we want buyers to be reassured that everything is going to be ok.

Them: click


September 10, 2012 - 6:18 pmThis is just like the Liberal

Peggy Powell SAID...

This is just like the Liberal government waiting until it is too late to help the breeders. Now they can then make false statements about how our yearlings are not worth what we say they are . They will down
play anything to cheepen our Industry.

September 10, 2012 - 5:52 pmOHRIA might be waiting a long

OHRIA might be waiting a long time if they still think this government is going to fund racing directly with tax payer dollars, at least for the long run. I don't care how good this socalled plan sounded to some, with its spending guidelines and reduced race dates, the only viable way for racing to achieve necessary funding (besides what it gets from pari-mutual wagering) is for the racetracks with sustainable business models to participate in the gaming revenue in their own facilities. I don't know how the government can be convinced to negotiate on this. It's even possible some negotiations to this effect are already taking place. Maybe the little leverage that the industry has left will have to be used. And maybe the true scandal that is Tannenbaum, Godfrey et al will have to be exposed further. Maybe some politicians in Ontario can be convinced the total moral fabric of the province should not be destroyed by those that are willing to put slot machines in shopping malls.

September 10, 2012 - 4:59 pmThe Finance Minister and the

Norm Brunet SAID...

The Finance Minister and the president of the OLG made an announcement at the beginning of March this year that the SARP was beeing terminated effective April 1 ,2013. The Premier is on record that he would rather give the money to education.
The OMAFRA Report states "Although racetracks will no longer receive a percentage of slot revenues once SARP ends, OLG plans to retain slots facilities at racetracks where it believes there is consumer interest. Negotiations between OLG and some racetrack owners for the rental of the space required for slot facilities have begun."
However most damaging was OMAFRA defining this arrangement has a SUBSIDY. Although the SARP does not have any criterias of a subsidy.
1) the Gov never touches the money
2) the money is not raised through taxation
3) it is not a set amount but a percentage of PROFITS.
4) there are no conditions to this money
However the shrewd Liberals know that public policy will outweight any further considerations for DONATING to the industry if it is branded a subsidy.
The arrangement we have with the OLG is the same that Lotterie ticket vendors have. They get a % of sales AND SO ON AND SO FORTH. They received 226 Million dollars in 2010-2011 and slots have been more lucrative then lotteries. Why is the government not trying to give that noney to education. I guess in a sick and twisted Liberal world it is better to pay a teacher 100K a year to babysit a 4 year old all day then to employ 4 or 5 horseman.
A wise salesman once told me "Never ask a question that requires a simple YES or NO"

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