Open Letter from PC Leader Tim Hudak to Premier Kathleen Wynne

December 21, 2013

Dear Premier,

I’m writing to ask you to make a decision that would save the Fort Erie Race Track.

The track has a long, proud history in my community. When we were in government, I fought to bring slots to Fort Erie to ensure a successful future for families who depend on our local racing industry. But you and the NDP want to see this track closed, ending a way of life for people in Fort Erie.

Earlier this year, your Liberal government – supported by the NDP - decided to remove slots from this province’s tracks.

After offering transitional funding to other tracks, you told the Fort Erie Race Track that the only path forward was to hold a festival.

To save their jobs and their track, the people of Fort Erie put together a plan for a festival that would celebrate the Chinese Year of the Horse from January to August. The schedule would include horse racing, concerts and an Asian Heritage Celebration.

Even though they did exactly what you asked, the people of Fort Erie have been met with silence.

Your office has yet to approve the festival you requested. As the New Year approaches, time is running out for Fort Erie.

My party has a straightforward plan for horse racing that would help Fort Erie and all other affected race tracks.

Our plan would bring back the slots, share revenue with the horse industry, work with operators who will run tracks like a business and build on what’s working. We would look to places like New York and Pennsylvania, where racing is a thriving industry.

On October 29th, I wrote to you asking that we meet to discuss my plan for horse racing. But you gave me the same treatment you’ve given all of Fort Erie – total silence.

I’ve laid out my plan for jobs in the horse racing industry. Where is yours? And if you don’t have one, why won’t you just admit it and take mine?

You need to make a decision. You need to save the race track.

Otherwise it looks to me as though, with the support of the NDP, you plan to close the Fort Erie Race Track. There’s no other explanation for this series of bad decisions on your part.

Attached to this letter is a Freedom of Information Request for all documents your office has related to the Fort Erie proposal.

Folks in my community deserve to know if you have a plan for jobs in Fort Erie’s racing industry, or if your request for a festival was nothing more than a show.

One way or another, the people of my hometown deserve answers and action.


Tim Hudak
Ontario PC Leader
MPP Niagara West—Glanbrook