May 18th, 2023

MPP Gates advocates for government to stand up for Fort Erie Racetrack

NIAGARA - NDP MPP Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls) challenged the Ford government at Queen’s Park today to stand up for the Fort Erie Racetrack as they continue to face serious challenges due to on-going actions from Woodbine Entertainment Group.

“The Fort Erie Racetrack will have their opening day next Tuesday, but right now, they are under attack,” said Gates. “Woodbine has been granted tens of millions in purse money by this government, yet they continue to take actions which will directly harm the Fort Erie Track and the people who work there.”

The Fort Erie Live Racing Consortium filed a grievance with the Canadian Trade Commission in March after reaching an impasse with Woodbine Entertainment Group over horse shipping policies and other related problems. In it’s 126th year, the Fort Erie Racetrack is one of two thorough-bred racetracks in the province.

“Woodbine has enforced a strict horse stabling policy and routinely running ‘B’ level races as an ‘A’ level track at the expense of the Fort Erie Racetrack,” said Gates. “Woodbine refuses to work proactively with Fort Erie in scheduling the Prince of Wales Stakes which would allow both Triple Crown races to be highlighted and well attended in the province.

“Thorough-bred tracks in Ontario should be working together--Woodbine is doing the opposite. The government needs to do the right thing, support horse racing in this province, and rein in this behaviour by Woodbine.”