June 28, 2017

OHRIA Responds To Ontario Budget –Lettter From Sue Leslie

I wanted to send you an update on our efforts to work with all three parties at Queen’s Park to find a sustainable way forward for the Ontario horse racing and breeding industry in light of the government’s cancellation of the Slots at Racetracks Program.

OHRIA has been engaged in discussion with senior government officials and opposition party members for more than two months now and while the news is that these efforts have resulted in some transitional funding, as confirmed by Budget 2012, we do not believe this is sufficient to support or sustain our industry.

There is still a lot of work and effort to be done to ensure that there is a go forward model that is fair to horsepeople, breeders and the racetracks.  This is a key aspect that OHRIA will continue to work towards in any future agreement.

OHRIA continues to work diligently with representatives from the government, opposition parties, OLG and industry participants to find a resolution to ensure horse racing and breeding can continue to provide thousands of Ontarians with employment, drive local rural economies and provide the public with the entertainment they derive from visiting Ontario’s racetracks.

The passage of Budget 2012 does not provide our industry with all the tools we need, however I want to assure you that conversations are ongoing and OHRIA remains committed to do whatever is necessary to ensure that the horse racing and breeding industry in Ontario is preserved for the long-term.


Sue Leslie
President – OHRIA
416 679 0741

Ontario Budget Passes In Legislature, OHRIA Continues to Seek Industry Sustainability

On Tuesday, April 24, the Ontario Liberals’ budget survived a 52-37 vote in
the Legislature at Queen’s Park, one in which Andrea Horwath’s provincial NDP
party abstained from participating in.

The Liberal Budget will now be debated in the Legislature before it passes.

OHRIA President Sue Leslie is still fighting for sustainability and
transitional aid.

“We are still focused on sustainability, not transition,” Leslie told Blood-Horse. “Until we can have meaningful dialogue about how
this industry is going to be sustained rather than how this industry is going to
be transitioned, it certainly cracks the door open, but the door needs to be
opened a lot more yet.”

Leslie went on to say that the focus will remain on information and PR
campaigns in the days ahead while continuing discussions with Liberals and

(Standardbred Canada)

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

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)