“The Liberal government decided to end the slots at racetracks program without consultation. This is not an NDP budget, and we would not have made that decision," said Essex MPP Taras Natyshak in a media release. "However, we have stepped in to secure additional funding that will help stabilize the horse racing industry and the jobs that depend on it."
No concrete figures were given in the mid-April announcement, but officials did confirm the funding would begin in 2013 following the conclusion of the current revenue-sharing agreement between the raceways and province. In addition, the Liberal government said it would hold meetings with horse industry representatives to discuss ways in which the industry can adjust to the loss of yearly slot machine shared revenues, which are said to be $340 million yearly.
"We're happy the Liberals have come to the table now," said Brian Topea, president of the Ontario Harness Horse Association, in a comment to The Windsor Star, adding "The door is open now and up until this point it's been closed."