10/15/2013 3:54PM

Fort Erie: New Democratic Party leader pledges support for track

Michael Burns
Andrea Horwath (right), leader of the New Democratic Party in Ontario, has pledged support for Fort Erie.

FORT ERIE, Ontario – Andrea Horwath, leader of Ontario’s New Democratic Party, was at Fort Erie on Tuesday, visiting with horsemen and patrons and holding a press conference focusing on the future of the border oval.

Fort Erie, which was concluding its 2013 racing season, did not receive any funding from the Liberal government in a report released Friday by the Ontario Racing Industry Transition Panel, which was commissioned last year by the province’s premier, Kathleen Wynne.

“I’ve been very impressed by the sense of commitment, the sense of history, and the sense of desire for a future that everyone I’ve talked to has when they share with me their thoughts about where this track has been and where it could go if things were different in the province of Ontario,” Horwath said.

The leader of the opposition went on to talk about how disappointed her party was with the Liberal government’s canceling of the slots-at-racetracks program – which was discontinued throughout the province but had been cut short at Fort Erie at the end of April 2012 – and the recent panel report.

“What we are going to do is what we’ve done all along, which is work really hard to try to change things from the way they look now, in terms of the Liberal decisions,” Horwath said.

“We know that there’s a report coming from the auditor general, but we’re not waiting at all. We’ll be up on our feet in the legislature once again, with the New Democrats addressing this shameful report in terms of what the government has come up with in terms of the industry.”