March 09, 2012

Time to Check Your Facts Mr. Duncan: Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association Says

Yesterday, Sue Leslie, President of OHIRA, issued a press release regarding a statement recently released by Finance Minister Dwight Duncan in the Windsor Star. The following is the OHRIA press release.

Finance Minister Dwight Duncan provided an emailed statement to the Windsor Star on Wednesday, March 7, 2012, regarding the OLG Slots at Racetrack program that contained a number of inaccurate statements.

"Since 1998 the horse racing industry has received $3.4 billion in government support, including $345 million last year alone. That's more money than we spend on water and road safety and more than 10 times the amount the governments of Alberta, B.C. and Manitoba provide to their horse racing industries combined. We as a government need to be accountable to the taxpayer and decide whether or not we're spending their hard-earned dollars wisely. The review of the slots at racetrack program will help us to do just that."

To read the Windsor Star article, click  here.

Minister Duncan claims the horse racing industry has received "government support".

Fact Check: The horse racing industry has received no government support, but has received it's share of revenue generated from OLG Slot machines at private racetracks in Ontario as part of a revenue sharing agreement with OLG.

Minister Duncan claims Ontario provides "more than 10 times the amount the governments of Alberta, B.C. and Manitoba provide to their horse racing industries combined."

Fact Check: Alberta provides 67% of revenue generated by slots at racetracks to their horse-racing industry, while Manitoba provides 100% of revenue from slots at racetracks to their horse-racing industry. By comparison, Ontario provides just 20% to our horse-racing industry.

Minister Duncan claims tax dollars are being spent on horse racing in Ontario. "We as a government need to be accountable to the taxpayer and decide whether or not we're spending their hard-earned dollars wisely."

Fact Check: The OLG Slots at Racetrack Program is not a taxpayer subsidy. It contributes $1.1 billion dollars of profit to the Government of Ontario and provides taxpayers with $1.1 billion dollars worth of healthcare funding that does not come from tax revenue.

"We would hope the Finance Minister would stick to the facts when discussing the merits of the OLG Slots at Racetrack Program, because the facts demonstrate this is an excellent value for money," said Sue Leslie, President of the Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association (OHRIA).

OHRIA has launched a website http://value4money.ca to allow Ontarians to write members of Provincial Parliament to show their support for the horse racing and breeding industry in Ontario.

For more information contact Sue Leslie, President of OHRIA at 416 679 0741 or email ohria@ohria.com.


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