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Jockey club will get day in court on April 26

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The Manitoba Jockey Club has been granted a judicial review in Court of Queen’s Bench, set to begin April 26.

The club believes the provincial government is working with Red River Exhibition Inc. to bankrupt the horse-racing track operator and turn Assiniboia Downs and its land over to the Ex.

The jockey club, a non-profit group that owns and operates the track, is going to court to fight for its survival.

In documents filed, the jockey club alleges the provincial government has decided to use a variety of illegal and improper means to cut funding to the track by more than 50 per cent in an effort to force the club to turn it over to the Ex.

The provincial government is rejecting the allegations being made by the Manitoba Jockey Club against finance minister Stan Struthers.

In a statement released today, a provincial spokeswoman says "the accusations being made by the Manitoba Jockey Club (MJC) are false and without merit.

"They are being made as part of a campaign to hang on to $9.5 million dollars in public subsidies. We understand that the MJC is disappointed with the government’s intentions, but we have a duty to spend public funds responsibly."

The spokeswoman said the province’s budget will still be coming out on April 16.

In a statement earlier today, the MJC accuses Struthers of being able to "manipulate the provincial budget for the purpose of bankrupting the Manitoba Jockey Club by the end of March if the MJC didn’t agree to the plan of (Garth) Rogerson (CEO of the Red River Exhibition Association) and Struthers."

The MJC was granted an expedited judicial review of the matter by the Court of Queen’s Bench on Tuesday to be held on April 26.

As well, the MJC has filed a formal complaint with the Attorney General of Canada and the RCMP to investigate its allegations against Struthers and Rogerson, as well as Angela Mathieson, former secretary to the Community and Economic Development Committee of Cabinet, and David Miles, chairman of the Manitoba Horse Racing Commission.

History

Updated on Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at 12:35 PM CDT: updates with reaction from province

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