Given the value of the Canadian dollar, the current Ontario deficit, and what has been projected going forward, foreign investment in the provincial economy is something that should be held sacred. Winbak Farm owner Joe Thomson, who is possibly the world's largest equine breeder in terms of volume, wants to know why the Ontario Liberal Party does not want his massive investment.
“I don’t know how it is (in Ontario), but we have governors here that go overseas to try to stimulate business. Why would they blow up the ones they have? The first rule of running your own business is try to maintain the status quo. Try to save your existing customers and then go find new customers. But, don’t go find new customers at the expense of your old customers.”
Thomson's comments have come via a piece by Dave Briggs in his Guelph Mercury column.
The piece explains that Thomson, the founder and president of Pacer Financial, an independent financial wholesaling firm, has studs standing in multiple U.S. racing jurisdictions. In Ontario, which boasts the world's best sires stakes program, Winbak stands 11 multi-million-dollar stallions and produces nearly 200 Ontario-bred foals a year.
As Briggs explains, given the fact that Ontario has such an economic workhorse and lucrative venture with the slots-at-racetracks program, Thomson can't believe that the provincial government is going through with its intentions to kill the program and figuratively cut Ontario's own nose off to spite its face.
“Good Lord, when Ontario’s No. 1 and the politicians don’t understand that what they created has been very successful, that’s sad,” Thomson was quoted as saying.
“What really should concern us all is when you elect government officials and the program works as it was designed — to bring in and stimulate farm operations, horse operations. When you have racehorses that are making money and people are making money, all that trickles down to other breeds, other farm animals, other everything. Then, for them to have it doing so well and then suddenly change everything to kill it, it makes me wonder where they come from."
The report also cites Thomson as comparing the Ontario Liberals' recent handling of the slots-at-racetrack program to that of Bernie Madoff.
“We’ve got a terrific investment involved and the (Ontario) government did something very much like Bernie Madoff. They put the framework in place and then they pulled the rug out from under you and changed the deal midstream without giving people a chance to get their investments back.”
(With files from the Guelph Mercury)