June 07, 2012

OHRIA WELCOMES ANNOUNCEMENT OF OMAFRA PANEL

OHRIA welcomes the formal announcement that OMAFRA (Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs) has established a Panel to work with the industry to move forward with a plan that will insure the long-term viability of a successful horse racing and breeding industry in Ontario  

The creation of the Panel is the result of weeks of effort by OHRIA to identify the appropriate point person or persons in government with whom it can engage in these much needed discussions.

“We are encouraged that the government has put OMAFRA on point to hold these discussions that are long overdue”, says Sue Leslie, President of OHRIA.  “We take this as an indication that the government is recognizing the value that our industry brings to Ontario’s agricultural economy and to the public in general.  However, it is not transitional funding that is needed but a long-term funding plan that will insure a vibrant industry in the future. This is a long awaited step but there are many more steps ahead”.

OHRIA recently announced the creation of a Task Force for this purpose and that it has retained Stanley Sadinsky to assist it in developing a proposal on behalf of the industry that will lead to a sustainable industry. The Task Force will report to the Board of OHRIA by the end of June for consideration and ultimate approval of its plan.

“Time is of the essence in developing a picture of what industry revenues and plans will look like for 2013 and beyond”, says Leslie.  “The breeding sector, in particular, is feeling the immediate impact of the uncertainties regarding industry programs that are designed to promote the breeding and sale of Ontario race horses. Buyer confidence is now at an all time low and it is essential to provide clarity before the September sales, clarity that will encourage buyers to continue to invest in Ontario bred horses”.

Sue Leslie
OHRIA President and Chair


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