June 14, 2012
NDP’s Natyshak concerned about future of horseracing and breeding in Ontario
Taras Natyshak NDP MPP for Essex, hosted a press conference at Queen’s Park to expose what the future may hold for the Ontario’s horse racing and breeding industry.
“We only have to look next door to Quebec to see the loss of jobs that will occur here if the government moves forward with its ill-conceived decision to cancel the Slots at Racetracks program,” said MPP Natyshak. “There has been an 80% job loss in Quebec since horse racing was shutdown in 2010. In comparative terms, given the size of Ontario’s industry, this would represent a loss of over 27,000 jobs.”
At the press conference held Monday, the Quebec Jockey Club, the Central Ontario Standardbred Association, the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association, and the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society (Ontario Division) spoke out with concerns about the future of the sector.
In Ontario, the horse racing industry generates 60,000 jobs and provides the Provincial government with $261-million in tax income. With over $2-billion in annual expenditures, the industry’s combined contribution to the GDP is $4.5-billion.
The Quebec experience conveyed by Mr. Tony Infilise, Chair of the Quebec Jockey Club presented a gloomy vision of the future. Statistics shared by Mr. Infilise showed 95% fewer mares in Quebec for breeding in 2010 in comparison to six years ago. The announcement of the cancellation has already had negative impact on Ontario’s breeding industry.
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