Open Letter to Sask. Party government in regards to thoroughbred horse racing at Marquis Downs

In response to the disappointing news that thoroughbred horse racing has come to an end at Saskatoon’s Marquis Downs, the Official Opposition has sent the attached letter calling on the government to act now to protect jobs in Saskatchewan.

The text reads:

Dear Ministers Ross and Harrison:

We write to you today regarding the disappointing news that thoroughbred horse racing has come to an end at Saskatoon’s Marquis Downs. This is the only thoroughbred racetrack in Saskatchewan, and advocates have shared that it is also the only one in Canada that did not receive any provincial funding.

Horse racing has a century-long history in Saskatchewan. Not only is it important as part of our cultural heritage, but it also has significant economic benefits. Gone with this sector are good jobs, significant investment, and Saskatchewan families. The Saskatchewan Horse Benevolent & Protective Association estimates between five-hundred and one-thousand jobs in the agricultural sector will be impacted, including trainers, feed suppliers, veterinarians, and breeders.

For nearly a decade, the Sask. Party government has failed to provide meaningful support to this industry. Horse racing in Alberta and Manitoba received targeted funding and generate increasing profits. Unfortunately, this important agricultural and sporting sector will see these professionals and their families leave for better pastures east and west.

Modest provincial funding for the sport of horse racing would have protected this industry and allowed it to succeed into the future. If your government acts now, these jobs could still stand a chance and their families could remain in Saskatchewan.

 

The letter is signed by Matt Love, Official Opposition Critic for Parks, Culture and Sport and Aleana Young, Official Opposition Critic for Economy and Jobs