Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Downs scrambling to deal with $5-million budget cut

  • Print

TUESDAY'S provincial budget did exactly what Manitoba Finance Minister Stan Struthers promised it would do -- slash $5 million from the budget of Assiniboia Downs.

But exactly how and when the province intends to slash those funds remains very much an open question.

Assiniboia Downs CEO Darren Dunn declined to comment Wednesday, but sources indicated that the track's management has not been given any further details on how or when the cuts to their budget will be made.

The track derived about $6.5 millon of its budget in 2012 from its enhanced cut of the 140 VLTs it operated for the province at its Portage Avenue facility. It received another $2.3 million from the province in the form of a rebate of the pari-mutuel levy that the province levies on every horse racing wager in Manitoba.

It wasn't immediately clear in Tuesday's budget how the province intends to strip out $5 million from those funds and Struthers' budget statement, which included only a very brief reference near the end to the Downs cuts, did not clear up his plans.

"This year," Struthers said in his statement, "we will reduce public subsidies to horse racing and direct resources to priority services through legislated changes to the Pari-Mutuel Levy Act and the Manitoba Jockey Club VLT Siteholder Agreement."

Whatever form the cuts take, the MJC is going ahead both with its lawsuit against the province -- set down for a hearing on April 26 -- and with their live racing season, which is set to begin on May 5.

In order for live racing to occur, the province will need to have in place a Manitoba Horse Racing Commission and racing stewards. Stonewall lawyer Tom Goodman is the new MHRC chairman and the new vice-chairman is Brian Billeck, a former president of the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association.

It wasn't immediately clear this week if the MHRC has hired stewards for the upcoming live meet and executive director Larry Huber could not be reached for comment Wednesday afternoon.

paul.wiecek@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 18, 2013 D6

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Eddie the fat cat has dropped two pounds on diet

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS  070527 The 21st Annual Teddy Bears' Picnic at Assiniboine Park. The Orlan Ukrainian Dancers perform on stage.
  • A goose heads for shade in the sunshine Friday afternoon at Woodsworth Park in Winnipeg - Day 26– June 22, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who do you think will win NHL's Calder Trophy for rookie of the year?

View Results

Ads by Google