Friday, June 22, 2012

Slots Chatter In Ontario, More & More Disingenuous

The talk in Ontario is heating up (on both sides) as the hammer comes down on the slots at racetracks program. I think, from the horse industry side, the realization is finally setting in that there's not going to be a white knight to save the day. As for the government, well, they just continue to be silly.
  • "We are committed to the people in the industry but there comes a point when it's health care and education or horse racing. That's our bottom line," Aly Vitunski said. "It's unfortunate but we have to choose health and education."
Those type arguments have to be some of the most disingenuous in politics. They're insulting, and unfortunately they're used a lot.

What happened, as most know, is that slots were housed at racetracks as a way to introduce them into a ready made market. The horse industry built infrastructure and a breeding business, based on that. In addition, places like Woodbine changed the way they did business, by not charging for admission, as one example.

It's terrible government policy to not transition a business off of a subsidy, when the government made the overture to begin with. I think others would feel the same way if it was their private business who was offered a similar deal, and you spent millions on products, infrastructure, plant and equipment, only to find at the stroke of a pen it's all over.

The whole thing really, really smells, and McGuinty et al should be ashamed of themselves.

As for racings side, I don't know about you, but the propagandist articles, disguised as news items, on Standardbred Canada are beginning to be annoying. Almost every story I read on this topic uses incendiary language like "ill advised" plan, or "inexplicable" or others. They're acting no better than this lady with her "it's unfortunate we have to choose health care and education" comments, like somehow if you oppose the government's plan you want bad health care and dumb kids.

It's like we're watching two children yelling insults at each other in a schoolyard. I guess that's just the way it is in the business of politics and government programs.

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