December 19, 2014

Horwath, Hudak Oppose McGuinty’s Call For Prorogation Following His Resignation As Premier

According to October 15th interviews with the Toronto Sun, neither NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, nor PC Leader Tim Hudak supports Dalton McGuinty’s plan to prorogue Parliament in league with his surprise resignation announcement.

Prorogation could stymie legislature activities for six months while the scandal-ridden Liberals organize a Leadership Convention and try to regroup.

Horse racing leaders are currently scrambling to assess what the current political situation means for an industry that has been eagerly awaiting the OMAFRA Transition Panel’s Final Report. That document is expected to contain a formal plan to allow for the sustainability of horse racing and was to have been submitted to the government by mid-October.

See the Toronto Sun’s Andrea Horwath Interview here.

See the Toronto Sun’s Tim Hudak Interview here.

Keep The Pressure On The NDPs, Urges OHRIA, If You’ve Already Called, Do It Again Before April 24th Budget Vote

OHRIA President Sue Leslie is asking every Ontario horseperson to call NDP MPP offices before the Budget vote on April 24th, to let the polititians know how the cancellation of the Slots at Racetracks program affects you and your livelihood. Her letter appears below:

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Last month, just after the Ontario budget was announced, we asked you to phone NDP MPPs and help make the case for protecting Ontario’s horse racing industry. Together we mobilized thousands of people and were able to get our industry included as part of the NDP negotiations with the Liberals over the budget.

On Tuesday, MPPs will vote on the budget for the first time. It is one of two votes that will happen in the next little while on the budget that could defeat the government.

With the stakes so high it is critical that you phone NDP MPPs again to remind them how important Ontario’s horse racing industry is to our economy.

For your convenience, I have included the instructions from our last call to action to the NDP. Please take the same steps again this time.

It is important that everyone in our industry share our stories with the NDP. We need the NDP to understand the serious degree of impact here.

I have been impressed by the NDP’s commitment to stand up and fight for our industry, and it is important in the coming days and weeks, we solidify that by making our concerns part of their negotiation.

This presents an incredible opportunity, but one that will only be realized if we all stand together and everyone picks up the phone and makes three short calls.

In our time of need, we must all find the five minutes it will take to do this before April 24, 2012.

1)    Call your own NDP MPP or the closest NDP MPP to your community (numbers below).
2)    Tell them your name, what city you live in, how horse racing impacts you. Urge them to support an extension of the OLG Slots at Racetracks Program through 2015 and to have the government negotiate with OHRIA on the long term future of the industry.

e.g. ‘My name is XXXX XXXXX. I’m from XXXXXXX and work as a XXXXXXX. Can you please tell MPP XXXXX that it’s important to me and thousands of other Ontarians that the NDP demand the government honour the OLG Slots at Racetracks Program through 2015 to protect the 60,000 jobs Ontario’s horse racing and breeding industry support? That will give the government and OHRIA time to work together on a long term plan for our industry.

3) Call Andrea Horwath’s Office 416 325 2777:

Tell them your name, what city you live in, how horse racing impacts you. Urge them to support honouring the OLG Slots at Racetracks Program through 2015 and to have the government negotiate with OHRIA on the long term future of the industry.

e.g. ‘My name is XXXX XXXXX. I’m from XXXXXXX and work as a XXXXXXX. Can you please tell MPP Horwath that it’s important to me and thousands of other Ontarians that the NDP demand the government honour the OLG Slots at Racetracks Program through 2015 to protect the 60,000 jobs Ontario’s horse racing and breeding industry support? That will give the government and OHRIA time to work together on a long term plan for our industry.

MPP NAME RIDING PHONE NUMBER
Teresa J. Armstrong London–Fanshawe 519-668-1104
Gilles Bisson Timmins–James Bay 705-268-6400
Sarah Campbell Kenora–Rainy River 807-274-7619
Cheri DiNovo Parkdale–High Park 416-763-5630
Cindy Forster Welland 905-732-6884
France Gélinas Nickel Belt 705-969-3621
Andrea Horwath Hamilton Centre 905-544-9644
Michael Mantha Algoma–Manitoulin 705-461-9710
Rosario Marchese Trinity–Spadina 416-603-9664
Paul Miller Hamilton East-Stoney Creek 905-545-0114
Taras Natyshak Essex 519-776-6420
Michael Prue Beaches–East York 416-690-1032
Jonah Schein Davenport 416-535-3158
Peter Tabuns Toronto–Danforth 416-461-0223
Monique Taylor Hamilton Mountain 905-388-9734
John Vanthof Timiskaming–Cochrane 705-647-5995

 

I want to end by thanking you again for your support and all the important actions you’ve taken to support Ontario’s horse racing and breeding industry.

Sincerely,
Sue Leslie
President – Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association
http://value4money.ca

 

Protect Jobs in Horse Racing, Andrea Horwath Tells Liberals

 

On Tuesday morning, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath stated that she would not
give approval to the 2012 Budget without plans to protect jobs in industries
affected by the budget, including horse racing.

In the final set of New Democrat proposals, according to the NDP release, “to
make the Ontario Budget more fair for everyday people”, the NDP demanded
transitional aid “in sectors hit by proposed Budget measures like horse racing,
tourism and culture.”

“There are nearly 550,000 people looking for work in Ontario. Instead of
addressing this crisis, the proposed Budget actually throws people out of work
in rural and Northern Ontario and sells off job-creating infrastructure. We can
do better,” said Horwath in a release. “Our proposal calls for stabilization
plans to protect jobs in industries affected by this Budget like horse racing,
tourism and culture.

“We want to ensure that this budget doesn’t cost us more jobs than it
creates. Thousands of jobs are currently at risk because of the decisions made
in this budget,” said Horwath at Queen’s Park. “Causing more job loss in the
middle of a jobs crisis makes no sense whatsoever, and that’s why we’re also
insisting that moves to further privatize or deregulate government oversight be
reviewed and approved by the Legislature or a standing committee before they’re
enacted.”

In her speech, Horwath stated that Ontario’s families have been burned too
many times by “poorly planned privatization and deregulation schemes before,”
citing the recent Ornge scandal and issues with the 407ETR and the eco-fee
disaster. Video of the speech is available here.

(Standardbred Canada)

 

Your Input To Save Horse Racing Is Crucial–Contact NDP Members of Provincial Parliament NOW!

 

OHRIA is calling on anyone impacted by the termination of the Slots at Racetracks program to contact their closest  NDP member of the Ontario Legislature. Some guidelines are provided below to make this a quick and easy process:

1) Call your own NDP MPP or the closest NDP MPP to your community (see below).
Tell them your name, what city you live in, how horse racing impacts you. Urge them to support honouring the OLG Slots at Racetracks Program through 2015 and to have the government negotiate with OHRIA on the long term future of the industry.
e.g. ‘My name is XXXX XXXXX. I’m from XXXXXXX and work as a XXXXXXX. Can you please tell MPP XXXXX that it’s important to me and thousands of other Ontarians that the NDP demand the government honour the OLG Slots at Racetracks Program through 2015 to protect the 60,000 jobs Ontario’s horse racing and breeding industry support? That will give the government and OHRIA time to work together on a long term plan for our industry.

2) Call the NDP Budget hotline 1-855-ONT BDGT (1-855-668-2348). Leave a voice message supporting Ontario’s horse racing and breeding industry. The NDP want to know what you like/dislike about the budget, whether you would support an election,your name, city  and phone number.

A sample message is: ‘My name is XXXX XXXXX. I’m from XXXXXXX and work as a XXXXXXX. I dislike the government’s plan to cancel the OLG Slots at Racetracks Program because it will kill 60,000 jobs in Ontario and really hurt rural Ontario. If you’re going to support the budget, I want you to make your support conditional on the government honouring the OLG Slots at Racetracks Program through 2015 to protect the 60,000 jobs Ontario’s horse racing and breeding industry support. That will give the government and OHRIA time to work together on a long term plan for our industry. If the government won’t agree to that, then I would support an election and will vote for the party that supports Ontario’s horse racing and breeding industry.

3) Call Andrea Horwath’s Office 416 325 2777: Tell them your name, what city you live in, how horse racing impacts you. Urge them to support honouring the OLG Slots at Racetracks Program through 2015 and to have the government negotiate with OHRIA on the long term future of the industry.
e.g. ‘My name is XXXX XXXXX. I’m from XXXXXXX and work as a XXXXXXX. Can you please tell MPP Horwath that it’s important to me and thousands of other Ontarians that the NDP demand the government honour the OLG Slots at Racetracks Program through 2015 to protect the 60,000 jobs Ontario’s horse racing and breeding industry support? That will give the government and OHRIA time to work together on a long term plan for our industry.

Please contact the NDP Member closest to you:

Teresa J. Armstrong (London–Fanshawe) 519-668-1104
Gilles Bisson (Timmins–James Bay) 705-268-6400
Sarah Campbell (Kenora–Rainy River) 807-274-7619
Cheri DiNovo (Parkdale–High Park) 416-763-5630
Cindy Forster (Welland) 905-732-6884
France Gélinas (Nickel Belt) 705-969-3621
Andrea Horwath (Hamilton Centre) 905-544-9644
Michael Mantha (Algoma–Manitoulin) 705-461-9710
Rosario Marchese (Trinity–Spadina) 416-603-9664
Paul Miller (Hamilton East–Stoney Creek) 905-545-0114
Taras Natyshak (Essex) 519-776-6420
Michael Prue( Beaches–East York) 416-690-1032
Jonah Schein (Davenport) 416-535-3158
Peter Tabuns (Toronto–Danforth) 416-461-0223
Monique Taylor (Hamilton Mountain) 905-388-9734
John Vanthof (Timiskaming–Cochrane) 705-647-5995

Hudak and Horwath Both Slam Ontario Liberals’ New Gaming Strategy

Over the weekend, the leaders of both the Progressive Conservatives and the NDP have come out against the Ontario Liberals’ newly released gaming strategy with guns blazing.

PC Leader Tim Hudak served as Member of Provincial Parliament for the Fort Erie, ON region when the Slots at Racetracks program was introduced in the late 1990s. On Friday he told the Fort Erie Times that he strongly opposes the Liberal government’s decision to scuttle that long-standing and profitable program and that he will rally the caucus to urge the government to reconsider.

The closing of the slots at Fort Erie, Hudak said, will be a “knockout blow” to the already struggling economy of that city. Unemployment in the Niagara region at 10.2 per cent, is already the second highest in Ontario and “this is going to make it even worse,” he added.

“Wrong headed”, Says Horwath

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath pulled no punches in her denunciation of the Liberals’ new gaming direction that stands to decimate the Ontario Horse Racing Industry.

“It’s wrong headed, it’s short sighted and it makes no sense whatsoever,” she told CTV News in Windsor on Saturday.

Horwath pledged to officially question the rationale behind the Liberals’ new direction for gaming when members of provincial parliament return from March break.

“We’re going to bring it back to the legislature,” she said, “and we’re going to try to force the government to give a rationale and explanation as to why to deep six an industry that has thousands and thousands of jobs at stake.”

A recent poll has shown that Ontarians soundly reject the Ontario Liberals’ new direction for gaming.

Of the 107 seats in the Ontario Legislature, the Liberals hold 53, the PC’s 37 and the NDP 17.

The Legislature resumes sitting in Toronto on Monday, March 19th at 10:30 am and proceedings can be viewed on live webcast by clicking this link.