January 15, 2018
Auditor General of Ontario
20 Dundas Street West, Suite 1530
Dear Ms. Lysyk;
On behalf of the Ontario NDP Caucus I would like to express our support for the Ontario Public Service Employees Union’s request that your office conduct a full value-for-money audit of Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG).
Since the termination of the Slots at Racetracks Program, which had been successfully supporting the horseracing industry for years, uncertainty has plagued the industry. The current funding arrangement in which WEG, a private for-profit corporation, is responsible for distributing millions of public dollars to competing racetracks has the potential for conflicts of interest and may not be in the best interest of the people of Ontario. Moreover, many horse people have raised concerns about the arrangement’s lack of public accountability and oversight.
The Ontario government, by way of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Commission, intends to provide $93 million in public funds to the horseracing industry through WEG in 2017/18. Given this substantial amount of taxpayer dollars, New Democrats support the call for your office to audit WEG and ensure these monies are disbursed appropriately to support the entire horseracing industry in a manner that is in the public interest.
John Vanthof, MPP Timiskaming-Cochrane