As a supporter of Ontario’s horse racing community, I was disappointed to learn that the McGuinty Liberal Government plans to destroy the horse racing industry, an important rural and agricultural job creator, by eliminating the Slots at Racetracks program.
I have opposed McGuinty’s plan from the beginning. At Queen’s Park I have introduced petitions (to view video click here), spoken at rallies (to view video click here), and addressed the 2012 Liberal Budget in defence of the horse racing industry (to view video click here). At home, in Nepean-Carleton, I have spoken to horsemen, the public and the media (to view Sun News Interview click here, to read Standardbred Canada article click here) about the potential fallout for the Rideau Carleton Raceway and the 1,000 jobs that are at stake, in my community alone, because of the Liberal scheme.
On Thursday, August 30, 2012 I will use my one private members business this year to stand up for the horse racing industry and rural jobs by calling on the Auditor General to review the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s new gaming plans, including its revenue and expenditure projections, mental health and addictions impact and its effect on Ontario’s horse racing industry. I will also reiterate the Ontario PC Caucus call for a referendum to take place in any affected municipality where the OLG is proposing a new casino in order for the community to determine whether it is welcome or not. You are invited to join me at Queen’s Park on August 30, 2012 for the debate and light refreshments afterward.
In the week ahead I will be mounting a campaign to vigorously defend this motion and I am hopeful for your support.
At a time when Ontario is lagging in economic growth I cannot understand why the McGuinty Liberals would risk losing thousands of jobs in rural communities to gain far fewer in urban centres, while also increasing the social and economic affects casino gaming will have on our inner cities. Representing a suburban/rural riding in Ontario’s second largest City, Ottawa, has made me acutely aware how the Liberal plan will impact my constituents-rural and urban. Eliminating the Slots at Racetracks program and forcing casino’s on urban communities is a radical shift in Ontario’s gaming culture. I think Ontarians ought to have more information on how this will affect them and they also ought to have their say on whether they want new casinos in their community or not. That is what my private members motion calls for. That is why the Auditor General must review these plans and why local residents should have their say.
To join my campaign to support this legislative initiative, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 416-325-6351.
Lisa MacLeod, MPP
Nepean – Carleton