OHHA Challenges All Party Leaders to Show Their Support for Horse Racing

CAMPBELLVILLE, ON, June 3, 2014 /CNW/ - The Ontario Harness Horse Association has sent letters to all party leaders asking them a series of questions regarding their plans for the horse-racing industry in Ontario.

Specifically, OHHA has asked party leaders to clean house at the OLG, removing all executives and senior managers who were part of the failure to deliver a workable gaming modernization plan.  We believe the senior executive demonstrated a total disregard for the racing industry in its pronounced efforts to close racetrack venues and move gaming into the core of municipalities, without consultation or support from municipal leaders.  The Auditor General pegged the cost of this failure at $2 billion in revenue the province won't realize and more than $1 billion in unplanned support for horse racing.

OHHA has also called on party leaders to clearly state whether they support equitable treatment between track owners and horsepeople and whether they will support the full integration of horse racing into the province's gaming strategy, beyond marketing help and new products.

"Our industry has been hammered by the government's cancellation of the Slots-at-Racetracks Program.  Everybody running for Premier is talking about 'Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!'.  What about our jobs and the ten thousand horsepeople who have lost theirs because of the OLG's failure to properly consult the horse-racing industry prior to cutting off the lifeblood of our sector?" said Ken Hardy, OHHA President.

"It is clear that all those senior executives and managers that appear on the province's sunshine list and have run the OLG's modernization scheme into the ground were untouched and unmoved by the Auditor General's damning report.  As voters, we need to know which party leaders are prepared to allow failures, that cost the province billions of dollars in lost revenue and more than a billion in increased, unplanned expenses, to go unpunished" added Hardy.

The letters to the party leaders and received responses will be posted at:  www.ohha.ca

SOURCE: Ontario Harness Horse Association

For further information: Brian Tropea, General Manager, 905-854-6442 or 1-866-774-6442 ext. 222, Email: brian@ohha.ca

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