Oct 11, 2013
By Michael Kramer
Premier Kathleen Wynne’s government is going to put up to $400 million over five years to help Ontario’s struggling horse-racing industry.
A panel appointed by the Liberals after their cancellation of the slots-at-racetracks program made the recommendation today.
The panel’s report urges the government to pump up to $80 million per year over five years, starting next April, mainly to help cover purses and the costs of live racing.
It also calls for a standard-bred racing alliance to operate a “a world class racing circuit.” The eight tracks in the province would be located at Hanover, Clinton, Grand River, Western Fair, Flamboro, Georgian, Mohawk and Woodbine.
The panel doesn’t support a full race calendar at Fort Erie’s track but endorses the current 30-day calendar at Ajax Downs.
The Progressive Conservatives say the damage has already been done in rural Ontario, where farms have gone bankrupt and people have lost their jobs