Statement on Standardbred Horse Breeders lawsuit

June 23, 2017

MPP Randy Pettapiece, PC Critic for Horse Racing, issued the following statement today regarding the ongoing civil lawsuit between a group of Ontario standardbred horse breeders and the Ontario government & the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG):

“In 2012, the Ontario government abruptly announced the cancellation of the Slots at Racetracks Program (SARP), which effectively removed about $300 million in annual funding for the horse racing industry in Ontario. While racetracks received some compensation from the government, standardbred breeders did not.

Ontario’s horseracing industry deserves answers from the Liberal government as to the facts behind the scrapping of SARP. To this end, the plaintiffs have called for several key witnesses to appear at the trial – including former Premier Dalton McGuinty and our current Premier, Kathleen Wynne.

According to a recent Toronto Star article, the Ontario government is now pushing the court to dismiss 13 of the 15 witness summonses. What is the government trying to hide around the decision to cancel SARP? Are there facts that Premier Wynne would rather not see come to light before the next election?

I strongly support having these witnesses appear in the interest of government transparency and accountability. I urge Premier Wynne to allow these witnesses to be questioned under oath.”