Piruzza to lobby premier for Lakeshore horse track
Windsor-West Liberal MPP will ask Kathleen Wynne to consider sharing stranded funds with Lakeshore and Leamington
Supporters of the local horse racing industry may have a new ally.
Windsor-West Liberal MPP Teresa Piruzza will meet with Premier Kathleen Wynne this week.Piruzza will push to to put Leamington and Lakeshore on the fast track harness racing for funding.
The Lakeshore Racetrack Association is lobbying for some of the unclaimed funds that are the result of racetrack closures, like Windsor Raceway. The association wants to build a track in Lakeshore.
Paul Branton is one of the people spearheading the initiative.
"They're focusing on our situation. We just want to know our options and we need them to help us fast track things," Branton said of the Liberals.
Branton will meet with Piruzza on Tuesday to brief her on the details of their proposal.
"Part of my role as a member in this area is to continue to advocate for them as well to see what we can do," Piruzza said. "But we really do need the proposal and see the details brought forward so that it can be fully considered."
Locals in the horse racing industry are watching the developments closely.
A year ago, breeder and driver Mark Williams had about fourteen horses on his farm. Today, his stables only house half that number.
"It's been a terrible strain but more so it's the not knowing if there's anything at the end of the tunnel," Williams said.
A year ago that the government ended the slots for racing program, costing the industry millions.
The new government, has pledged funding to certain tracks in the province, and the Lakeshore Racetrack Association is lobbying to be a part of it.
Until the proposal is really considered, industry players, like Williams, continue to stay hopeful because the province's decision is one that determines their daily lives.
"I'm kind of playing it cool. We'll see," Williams said. "But, this is all I've ever done all my life. I've driven racehorses for 38 years. I've done nothing but horses."