Wellington County doc highlights impact of slots closures
Published Wednesday, August 1, 2012 6:18PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, August 1, 2012 7:16PM EDT
A new short documentary produced by Wellington County is the latest push back against the Ontario government’s plan to shut down slots at many of the province’s racetracks.
The five-minute “Restore the Programme” video highlights the impact the closures will have on the horse racing industry.
Jana Reichert, economic development officer for Wellington County, says “$33 million is spent on an annual basis by horse owners and the equine industry so it’s pretty significant
Since its release on YouTube on Tuesday, the video has already received more than 1,100 views, but the film’s producers are hoping MPPs will be the ones to take the message to heart.
In the video, Jody Jamieson, winner of the 2011 North American Cup, says “It would just be devastating if it were to disappear today.”
Jamieson and other members of the horse racing industry fear their livelihoods could be in jeopardy if the government scraps slots at many provincial racetracks.
In another clip racehorse trainer Travis Umphrey says “I’m 43-years-old, do I look at getting trained in something else? What will happen next year, I don’t know, but it’s made for many sleepless nights.”
Around 60,000 people work in Ontario’s equine industry, and Andrea Ravensdale, who produced the documentary, says they won’t be the only ones affected.
“There’s such a trickle-down effect it will have a dramatic impact all over Ontario…What’s going to happen to those people and what’s going to happen to the horses, that’s something that really needs to be considered by the provincial government.”
A copy of the video has been sent to every MPP, in the hopes of persuading them to reconsider their plans.
Meanwhile Ravensdale is encouraging people to watch and contact their local MPP to voice their opinion.