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Huge job losses feared - Liberals' OLG decision blamed

Tuesday, January 22, 2013   by: Staff

Ontario's Liberal government's moves have left thousands of Ontarians fearing for their jobs, particularly in the horse racing industry.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada - which plans to have a presence at this weekend's Liberal leadership convention - issued the following news release today:

Racetrack employees held hostage by uncertainty

PSAC wants Province to consider human impact of ending the Slots at Racetracks Program

TORONTO (January 22, 2013) - A dark cloud of doubt and disbelief looms over the future of Ontario's racetracks, along with the thousands of workers tied to the horse racing industry.

The decision by the Liberals to end the Slots at Racetracks Program (SARP) will affect over 55,000 jobs related to the horse racing industry.

Workers at racetracks across the province are also a part of this uncertain future.

Thousands of regular, hard-working Ontarians, living on modest means with families to support and bills to pay, are faced with potential unemployment if the government does not reverse its decision to end SARP.

Public Service Alliance of Canada member Sandra Saunders works as a full-time chef in the main kitchen at Georgian Downs Racetrack and is worried about how she will be able to make ends meet if there is no job left for her after March 31.  

A further concern for her is the competition she will face in finding a new job if hundreds of unemployed racetrack workers hit the job market at the same time in Simcoe County.

"There aren't a lot of jobs out there right now" says Ms. Saunders. "This is going to hurt the whole community, not just the racetracks, if so many people are out of work. If people have no money to spend, it will hurt other businesses in the area too."

Craig Simpson, also a PSAC member, has worked in shipping and receiving at Georgian Downs Racetrack since last March and is already dealing with reduced hours and an uncertain future.

"Before the Province cuts the Slots at Racetracks Program and thousands of people lose their jobs, they need to sit down and negotiate something that works for everyone. So far they haven't done that. The workers have no say in these decisions. We don't even know what is going on - there is no communication, and a lot of us are going to be hurt," states Mr. Simpson.

Mr. Simpson is also worried about the impact on the local community.

"I know a guy who runs a small restaurant outside the racetrack. If we close down, there goes his job too. This is how he makes his living."

The OLG's current plan involves eliminating the revenue sharing Slots at Racetracks Program that has helped support the horse racing industry and generated over $9 billion in revenue for the Province over the past decade.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) launched a Fight Back campaign last weekend to put pressure on the Liberal delegates to vote for candidates who plan to protect the Slots at Racetracks Program, or delay its elimination until a responsible transition is set in place.

PSAC will be joining other labour and community groups at the Liberal Convention on January 26 to continue to pressure the provincial government on this issue and other austerity measures affecting their members.


Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
honda1984 1/22/2013 7:32:51 PM Report

well i guess if she is for jobs she is going to bring the outdoor licences back to
I'm In 1/22/2013 8:42:04 PM Report

She is just wanting to reduce the provincial deficite she helped create under McGuinty, somebody close her mouth. Poor Ontarians if they vote this party back in the next provincial election, they just barely got the minority government in the last provincial election. 2% of the Ontario Governments budget is paying government employees, is that going to reduce a deficite, that will only weaken the economy with more people out of work which means less revenue in the government coffers.
jay 1/22/2013 8:53:54 PM Report

This story is focussed mainly on the Racetrack situation, but this hits much closer to home involving both the OLG employees at Foster Drive and the Sault Ste Marie Casino...would be nice to have some investigative reporting done on our situations here in the Sault when it comes to the Liberals and the OLG.
Pilgrim 1/22/2013 9:34:03 PM Report

I know someone will take issue with my comments, I know we are talking about peoles livelihoods and all associated with that, but in addition

"13,000 horses could be destroyed in 2013 if Ontario horse racing industry collapses" (Jan.22, 2013)

tere 1/22/2013 10:08:32 PM Report

We need to get rid of these idiots along with our MP....our local OLG is definitely doomed...I know of dozens of ppl that have jumped ship and taken other jobs and now the building is for sale...the writing is on the wall..wake up David O!!!!!!
Algomasteammaker 1/22/2013 10:51:05 PM Report

tere...I believe you mean of MPP....David Orazietti...not our MP!!
I'm In 1/22/2013 11:25:53 PM Report

That's what tere meant, our MPP Orazetti needs to go along with our MP Hayes too all he has done so far is got money for the Old Stone House, he's complaining that the Bridge Plaza contruction is costing more everyday. Doesn't he know the cost of living goes up everyday, get the project going so it won't cost more Hayes. These elected politicians need to be without jobs and see how ordinary Canadians live daily in fear of losing their jobs.
Biggfinn 1/23/2013 4:58:52 AM Report

Well in my view all gambling needs to be shutdown in this province.

No lotteries, casinos or bingos anywhere. All gone.

I couldn't care less about the people who lose their jobs at these outfits - if you take work in an immoral industry that's the way the cookie crumbles.

muf 1/23/2013 6:41:53 AM Report

Hate to see some of the profits generated from OLG go towards hospitals etc eh Biggfinn. What happened, did you lose 2 bucks on a scratch ticket?
theprotector 1/23/2013 7:31:04 AM Report

hey our mp is letting dozens and dozens of jobs moved out of the sault, no one cares, no one realizes that this negativily affects the tax base, small business, roads, schools etc - and above all it affects VOTES!!!!
OMGWTF 1/23/2013 8:38:28 AM Report

Getting rid of the horse track payments make these sites easier to sell. Terrible for the industry but it hasn't been self-sufficient for years since horse gamblers are a dying breed and have been for years too. For SSM be more concerned about Lottery job losses after the 1 year people transfer to the successful bidder is up. Interesting way to give everyone a 1 year "severance". It will have huge impacts on the city tax base, home values and businesses when you potentially take millions out of the city.
PS64 1/23/2013 9:01:09 AM Report

Unlike my friends, I have not lost a cent at the casino yet. I win every hand. I lay my $4 down on the counter and the dealer passes me a beer EVERY time.
Dead End Kid 1/23/2013 10:52:01 AM Report

$4 bucks? You're better off going to the New American. The beer is cheaper and the popcorn is free.
Entity 1/23/2013 11:21:54 AM Report

I'm In - "2% of the Ontario Governments budget is paying government employees,"

In Ontario, unionized (750000 workers) and non-unionized (350000) public sector employees are paid about 40% of Ontario's GDP.

OMGWTF 1/23/2013 12:40:54 PM Report

OLG payroll doesn't come from taxes. It comes from lottery and casino sales
tcowen 1/23/2013 1:34:52 PM Report

A 12 year old kid has explained the 'fraud' that has become our Banking System..

Any one claiming that we are in this mess because of a deficit is part of the illusion..

One signature would eliminate our national debt & return us to interest free loans from the Bank of Canada.

My next vote goes to the first person who stops calling it a 'Party'..
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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