Ontario, home to 15 racetracks, more than any other North American jurisdiction, has now committed to a long-term funding agreement with horseracing stakeholders in a move designed to support jobs in rural areas of the Canadian province and strengthen local economies across the region.
The office of the Minister of Finance says the new agreement provides up to $105 million a year, for 19 years, for the horse racing sector, starting April 1, 2019, plus additionally provides support for smaller racetracks and those that are experiencing financial shortfalls.
Ontario's plan includes provisions for a higher minimum wage and better working conditions for industry workers, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over.
“Our government recognizes that the horse racing industry is vital to communities across Ontario,” said Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “That's why our government remains committed to ensuring long-term sustainability of the horse racing industry and the rural communities that depend on it. This new, collaborative agreement will provide owners, breeders and racetrack operators with the support they need to ensure stability and success for the long term.”