Sudbury Downs Terminates 38 Jobs

Published: September 28, 2012 07:33 pm EDT

Trot Insider has learned that Sudbury Downs has been forced to terminate the jobs of 38 staff members at the track due to the uncertainty surrounding the Ontario horse racing industry resulting from the provincial government's decision to end the OLG Slots At Racetracks program next March.

Sudbury Downs management stated in a press release on Friday that it had no choice but to put 38 staff on notice this week that their employment would be terminated after the track's last race program scheduled for November 24, 2012. The release stated that the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) has advised that its current partnership with Sudbury Downs will end on March 31, 2013 and that horse racing at the Chelmsford, Ontario track will not survive with the relocation of the slot machines that have operated at Sudbury Downs since 1999.

“It’s a terribly difficult and sad thing to have to do,” said Sudbury Downs General Manager Ken Le Drew regarding the terminations. “We’re still fighting to survive, but the Province has turned its back on our local industry and our Mayor and city councillors appear bogged down with their own internal issues.

"The future of Sudbury Downs remains uncertain but, with our race season coming to an end, we must give staff fair and proper notice and let them know, at present, there will be no job to return to in April 2013."

“This is just the start,” advised Andrew MacIsaac, Director of Operations at Sudbury Downs. “Without some positive developments, further notices of termination will be issued for December 31, 2012 and March 31, 2013.”

The 100-plus jobs at risk are just Sudbury Downs employees and do not include the horsepeople, their employees, OLG staff or the businesses and jobs that support horse racing.

(With files from Sudbury Downs)



When I used to race one track I never made it to was Sudbury. My family and I made the trip this year to Sudbury and I will say this, we were treated better than, well, any track I have visited. Andrew gave us the full tour of the facility personally, I have never heard of a director of a track taking time out of his busy duties on a race night to do this. The racing was exciting, I mean no follow the leader and no back scratching, it was great. The staff were wondereful, the food was great and now it seems a track that really wants people to come has to close down due to narrow minded thinking.
There is nowhere for these guys to race within 200k, they will have to up root their families and leave their homes. I can only hope in the grand plan to save racing all invovlved don't look at Sudbury as too small a market but a market that should be grown due to the location.
If putting people out of work, making people leave their homes and devastating an industry is the plan it sure is working.
I would really like to see a progress report on what the associations are doing to save the SAR partnership, or have you given in to back room promises like the governmant has? Is the industry really ready to let a track like Sudbury that runs a first class operation just drop off the face of the earth?
Sad day for all really when you think about it.

Greg Parke

I am sitting in my living room listening to parliament proceedings & as always the premier is avoiding answering the questions he has been asked.Of coarse his party will not release all of the incriminating evidence. He says that in over 200 years of Ontario government never have the oppostion parties attempted to put a contempt motion against one honourable college. I ask him if there is anyone in his party who should be called honourable. I fully agree with him that the minister of energy was not at fault for the closer of the power plants, for only 2 liberal seats, he was just doing what he was told . He is guilty however of not standing up to the corrupt leaders of this party if he is not one of them. The horse racing industry are not the only Ontarians who will suffer greatly if the existing government is not OUSTED quickly.
MR McGuinty I say to you that in 200 years there has never been a government like yours. Shame on you.

I Raced and Stabled at Sudbury Downs, Through the early eighties. It was owned and operated by J. C. Macisaac , with a great deal of pride in the facility. He ran a first class operation , and it worked on it's own. Racing was kind of the "only bet in town " and the stands were full every Sat. and Wed. night.It would be difficult in today's climate for some one regenerate that situation. I feel lucky to have raced at that time and will always have great memories of Sudbury Downs. Best of luck , Tim

Sudbury Downs is the only Race Track in Northern Ontario and has been operating for just shy of 40 years ... but the OLG and Dalton McGuinty have decided to put it out of business ... just take away their slots revenue and then place an expanded gaming facility close by (in downtown Sudbury) to compete for the available wagering dollars ... and Sudbury Downs has little or no chance of survival. Unfortunately, the City of Sudbury is providing no support.

Regretably, this same senario will be playing out throughout Southern Ontario in the near future.

Congratulations Mr. McGuinty. As a result of your decision to end the SAR program, you have just terminated the livelihoods of 38 more hard working people. I hope that you, your buddy Duncan, and your puppet Godfrey, are proud of yourselves. We're not.