Members of the horse racing industry rallied outside Ontario’s legislature yesterday to protest the province’s decision to pull slot machines from racetracks. The move would effectively withdraw the industry share of slot machine revenues, saving the government millions of dollars.
    Dr. Ted Clarke, President of the Grand River Raceway in Elora was there, and says up to 300 full and part-time staff at his operation could be affected by the change. Clarke tells 570 News it was “us who put the money in to build the facility and (Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation) also put money into it. A great investment was made and it seems premature to end it.”
    Progressive Conservative Lisa MacLeod says 60,000 jobs are at stake.
    The Nepean-Carleton M-P-P says she’s collected nearly 30,000 signatures on petitions calling on the Liberals to rethink what she says will be the destruction of an important agricultural sector in Ontario.
    MacLeod also introduced a private member’s bill in the legislature following the rally calling on the Auditor General to review the plan and its impact on the horse racing industry.
    But Finance Minister Dwight Duncan says Ontario can’t afford to spend $345 million a year subsidizing the horse racing industry.
    He also says experts agree with the OLG that far fewer will be affected than the horse racing industry says.

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