It is eleven pm and I should be going to sleep but I have made the mistake of reading the self indulgent , cliched , writings of John Snobelen that he offers as sober commentary published in the Friday Sun. I sit here fuming thinking you stupid ass.
I was one who for many years thought SARP was flawed and needed to be changed on the basis of how many dollars sustain how many jobs. There was too much racing with too little customer demand. I envisaged a smaller industry that met customer needs while giving people a chance to adapt over a reasonable period of time. What I did not envisage was Dwight Duncan’s demonisation of the industry with his straw man argument of health care versus horse racing. The intended purpose being to reallocate the twenty per cent of slot revenues that sustained racing to gaming companies . He is a disingenuous, deceitful man who the province is better off without . When the panel recommended enhanced rents , single gaming sports betting, and a lottery tied to racing I believed perhaps saner heads would prevail. Those ideas have vanished into the political ether and only one was accepted in limited circumstances and it is purely transitional.
I like everyone in the industry understands what has been announced so far only temporarily assures the survival of one third of what existed. If there is not some semblance of certainty created by qualifying racetracks to bid on the gaming facilities located on their own property it is game over. The fallout to the industry and the suffering of people who are losing their livelihoods, farms, and horses has not even been addressed.
So when I read Mr Snobelen’s piece which offers such helpful platitudes as ”change is never easy” and the particularly insulting gem:
“The offer of tax dollars to support the racing industry isn’t enough for some people. To those who feel entitled to billions in slot revenues, millions will never be enough.”
I can only conclude that this panel does not understand the pain being suffered by people in the industry, particularly those in the Standard bred industry and rural Ontario. The industry does not need a lecture it needs help. Who will compensate breeders for the hundreds of millions of non taxpayer dollars Dwight Duncan erased last year. Who will explain to children why farms are being lost and horses slaughtered or euthanized. No Mr Snobelen if you cannot understand the depth of changes that were forced on rural Ontario and the pain it caused then frankly you should just shut up. If the best help you have to offer are paternalistic cliches about the “best rising to the top” then we would be better off not hearing from you. You should be ashamed . You owe the people in the industry an apology because you know just how badly this file was botched. Read the panel`s report its all in there.