Agreement Reached with Woodbine & Province of Ontario

We can breath a sigh of relief … for the time being.  Woodbine Entertainment Group has reached an agreement with the province for 2 more years of slots & horse racing at Woodbine AND Mohawk Racetrack.

Much more work to be done.  I wish it could have been a longer term agreement but I’ll take the good news for what it is…

Interesting about the timing of these announcements….schools, horse racing…Halton related issues.  NOW we need to hear an announcement about Milton Education Village.

Heres a link to the announcement.

Horse Racing in Ontario to Continue

January 23, 2013 2:15 pm

Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Ontario is another step closer to a sustainable horse racing industry after reaching an agreement in principle to provide transition funding to the province’s largest provider of horse racing.

The agreement with Woodbine Entertainment Group will ensure races continue at the Woodbine and Mohawk tracks as the industry adapts to a more sustainable model. Agreements with additional race tracks are anticipated to be reached in the coming weeks.

In order to receive transition funding, racetracks will have to meet accountability and transparency requirements. Providing a number of racetracks with transition funding is part of the government’s horse racing industry transition plan, which includes:

  • Continuing the Horse Improvement Program
  • Providing animal welfare supports.
  • Transferring responsibility for the Ontario Racing Commission to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Helping the horse racing industry transition to a more sustainable model is part of the McGuinty government’s plan to ensure increased accountability for the use of public funds.

Quick Facts

  • Ten race tracks have reached lease agreements in principle with OLG for its slots facilities. Additional agreements with tracks are to be announced in the coming weeks.
  • The Ontario Racing Commission will work with race tracks to provide a revised 2013 racing calendar as agreements are finalized.



“This agreement points to a renewed future for horse racing in Ontario. We look forward to working with additional racetracks towards the further development of a new model for a sustainable industry.”

Ted McMeekin

Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

“The transition funding provides much needed stability for the industry. We are pleased with the government’s commitment to ensure the long-term viability of horse racing and breeding which has a proud heritage in Ontario. We look forward to working in partnership with government as we discuss the long term future of a sustainable horse racing industry.”

Nick Eaves

CEO, Woodbine Entertainment Group

Regional Chair Gary Carr – Advocating for Halton

From time to time the Regional Chair Gary Carr outlines a report on what the Region of Halton is doing in our area to help assist all levels of government provide the services we need and enhancing the environment for creating much needed jobs and assisting in bringing businesses to our area.  Here are some highlights in is his most recent column as printed in the Milton Canadian Champion.

Advocating for Halton

Advocating for the residents of Halton is one of the priorities of the Citizens’ Priorities Action Plan.

Ensuring that growth pays for itself is of critical importance to Halton Regional council and we will continue to advocate for long-term predictable funding to ensure that taxpayers do not bear the burden of growth.

Regional council recognizes even though there are many of levels of government, there is only one taxpayer.

Halton Region has one of the best records in all of Canada for keeping taxes low — 2013 will make the seventh consecutive year in which we have had an average of a 0 per cent tax increase for regional programs and services.

The future that Halton Regional council envisions includes important partnerships with both the provincial and federal governments. The support of both levels of government in the form of long-term predicable funding is essential to ensuring Halton remains a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

On behalf of the residents of Halton, I will continue to meet with Halton’s MPs, MPPs and elected officials of all political stripes to bring Halton’s issues to the forefront.


Regional council has also urged the Ontario government to make appropriate decisions to prevent the collapse of the horse racing industry. At council’s Oct. 3 meeting, councillors unanimously supported a motion to endorse an interim report that identifies the benefits of a strong equine sector and horse racing industry and the need to make immediate decisions to ensure its long-term viability.

Recently, Regional council also supported a motion in support of the Town of Milton’s efforts to build more schools to house its growing population. Investing in Halton’s future is important to ensure our region will continue to prosper for generations to come and remain a location of choice for new businesses.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to e-mail me at You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or on Facebook.