OTTAWA, May 13, 2013 /CNW/ - The National Capital Region Harness Horse Association is calling on Premier Kathleen Wynne to halt the OLG's modernization plans until horse racing is properly integrated and the Auditor General's office has completed its report.
The OLG's modernization strategy has been under constant criticism from municipalities, the horse racing industry and the NDP and PCs for its proposed roll-out of new casinos across Ontario. Ontario's legislature has repeatedly gone on record through recorded votes in opposition to the OLG modernization plan as drafted.
Over the past two months, Premier Wynne committed to integrating horse racing into the OLG's modernization strategy, Ontario Parliament passed a motion calling on the Government to delay the implementation of the OLG's plans until after the 2014 municipal elections, and the Ontario auditor general was ordered to assess the modernization plans and the impact of ending the Slots at Racetracks Program, yet Premier Wynne's government continues to force the issue -- without the confidence of the legislature and no meaningful input from residents.
"Horse people across Ontario are wondering what more needs to be done before the OLG is instructed to stop this process. Why is Kathleen Wynne not listening to Ontario residents or the Legislature? Decisions are being made that impact Ontarians, that will cost us our jobs, and the Premier has been ineffective or uncaring at best," said Gordon McDonald, President of the NCRHHA.
"The RFP for a casino in Ottawa could be due any week now, but we still haven't seen the auditor general's draft report and the final report isn't due until September. The OLG might be asking for a decision from Ottawa City Council before the report is due. What does that mean for us? The Premier needs to stop decisions from happening before all information is available," said McDonald.
The NCRHHA represents all Ottawa area horsemen and has been vocal in its concern over the potential closure of the Rideau Carleton Raceway.
"The legislature has spoken, many city councils have spoken, and horsemen have spoken. Is it too much to ask that we not rush decisions we cannot reverse? The Premier needs to stop this process now," McDonald said.
SOURCE: National Capital Region Harness Horse Association (NCRHHA)
For further information:
Gordon McDonald - 613 292 9476