Premier Kathleen Wynne says her government will spend up to 400 million dollars over the next five years to help the struggling industry.
A panel appointed by the Liberals after they cancelled the slots at racetracks program made the recommendation in a report released on Friday.
The funding would cover purses and the costs of live racing.
The panel also calls for a Standardbred racing alliance to operate a "world class racing circuit'' with eight tracks -- Hanover, Clinton, Grand River, Western Fair, Flamboro, Georgian, Mohawk and Woodbine.
However, it says it doesn't support a full race calendar at Fort Erie's track but endorses the current 30-day calendar at Ajax Downs.
Reaction to report is mostly positive from the Harness Racing industry.
General Manager at Hanover Raceway Gord Dougan is glad his track is part of that eight-track alliance.
He also points out the funding would be 80 million dollars a year, starting next April, compared to the 60 million that race tracks received this past year.
One negative is the amount of race days.
Dougan says it appears they will have only 15 dates for racing compared with 20 last year, and 32 days in 2012.
Hanover Mayor Kathi Maskell is also reacting positively to the report, stating “the recommendations of the Transition Panel and inclusion of Hanover Raceway in the racing alliance is fantastic news for the industry, the regional economy and livelihood of hundreds of people in this area alone, and certainly for the Town of Hanover”.
The Progressive Conservatives say the damage has already been done in rural Ontario, where farms have gone bankrupt and people have lost their jobs.
To view details of the plan click link below.
(reprinted with permission from www.bayshorebroadcasting.ca)