Liberal-NDP budget deal to blame for Fort Erie racetrack job losses

October 3, 2013

(Queen’s Park) – Job losses now taking place at the Fort Erie Racetrack can be traced directly to the 2012 Liberal-NDP budget deal, says Perth-Wellington MPP Randy Pettapiece.

That budget cut off the Slots-at-Racetrack Program (SARP), with no plan or alternative to sustain Ontario’s horse-racing industry. An estimated 60,000 jobs are dependent on that industry.

“[The decision to cancel SARP] was made without warning, without consultation, and without even so much as an economic analysis,” Pettapiece said in the legislature’s question period.

Fort Erie has taken several hits from the Liberal government, Pettapiece noted.

“Fort Erie has suffered some devastating blows at the hands of this government. You’ve shut down their ER, you’ve closed their tourism office, and now this,” he said.

Pettapiece continued: “Why is it more important to hang on to a few dozen jobs for Liberal and NDP politicians, than it is to hang on to many thousands of jobs in the horse racing industry?”

In August 2012, Pettapiece and Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott released a document revealing that the government had already made up its mind to kill the horse-racing industry, even before it received an economic analysis.

Last month, Pettapiece exposed the true cost of the Liberals’ horse racing transition panel. Through a freedom of information request, he learned that the three-member panel has spent, so far, over $526,000 in compensation and expenses.

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Randy Pettapiece, MPP  |  416-325-3400  |