Horse Racing Industry Transition
|Total Race Days||
Under the proposed new program, all purses will come from wagering, making the horse racing industry more customer-driven. (See Table 1.) As a result:
The minimum number of tracks required by the new model is six. The maximum number depends on the number of tracks interested in participating and the distribution of Standardbred B and C races.
Ontario racetracks are currently funded by a combination of revenue streams including one percentage point of the provincial pari-mutuel tax reduction (worth $9.8 million in 2011), 10 per cent of SARP revenue ($172.5 million in 2011) and 50 per of the net pari-mutuel handle ($65.3 million in 2011).
With SARP ending, and given the panel's recommendation to base purses on the pari-mutuel handle, racetrack operations will require additional funding. A key element of the model is to determine the size of the public investment needed.
The new Sustainable Horse Racing Model assumes that participating tracks will not derive profit or return on investment from racing operations. So the main factor to consider is cost.
The cost of maintaining tracks reflects both the fixed cost of the infrastructure and the variable cost of operating on race days. The panel's calculations assume an acceptable arrangement is concluded between the tracks that will continue to offer slots and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG). The panel believes that, in the interest of sound public policy, OLG should not subsidize racetracks but, equally, racetracks should not subsidize OLG.
The variable cost estimates used in the panel's model reflect input from a variety of track operators offering various levels of racing. These submissions vary greatly and must be further refined through open-book negotiations. In every case the variable cost estimates reflect a significantly lower revenue stream to track owners than provided by the current SARP-enhanced funding.
Based on the input received, the panel calculated an upper limit for total track costs under the Sustainable Horse Racing Model. The panel believes that a value for money audit of racetrack operations will reveal significant cost savings. Therefore this estimate may be subject to substantial downward adjustment.
Recommendations to government:
The breeding sector produces the essential resource for a domestic racing industry - horses - and creates employment and economic activity, particularly in rural Ontario. The new Sustainable Horse Racing Model includes supports to promote a healthy racehorse breeding sector in Ontario.
In Ontario, the Horse Improvement Program (HIP) has been established to promote the breeding of quality Ontario horses. Ontario competes with other North American jurisdictions that offer special awards and purses for locally bred and raised horses, similar to the Ontario Sires Stakes.
HIP is funded by a combination of a 2.4 per cent levy on the pari-mutuel handle, a share of slots revenues ($13.2 million in 2011) and a portion of the pari-mutuel tax reduction. The ORC administers the program.
The latest HIP report available (2009) indicates an overall program cost of $47.5 million. The distribution of funds is approximately 60 per cent to purses for stakes races restricted to Ontario-bred horses, 23 per cent to supplement regular purses for Ontario-bred horses, 14 per cent to breeder awards and the balance to administration and marketing. The panel believes the funds directed to HIP can be better targeted to provide the maximum economic return for the minimum public investment. The proposed model retains the HIP program at a reduced level of funding of $30 million per year.
The panel notes that the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the horse racing industry and the Ontario government concerning the pari-mutuel tax reduction is out of date and needs to be reviewed. The panel believes the tax reduction MOU should be refocused on support for the breeding of quality Ontario horses.
Recommendations to government:
Currently the horse racing industry is regulated by the ORC, which also provides management functions for the industry, such as the administration of HIP and the assignment of race dates.
The panel believes the ORC should return to a purely regulatory role and work to streamline its enforcement and adjudication activities. The ORC's budget should be set on an annual basis. Fees and fines generated by the ORC should be returned to the Ontario treasury.
To present and market a competitive, branded live racing product, a central racing secretariat is necessary. It should have the exclusive authority to assign race dates and conditions that conform to the pari-mutuel market and the available purse.
The panel has received a collective proposal from six Ontario racetracks (and indications of support from two others) that would provide the framework for a racing alliance. Under this proposal the track alliance would collectively set race dates and purses in a program designed to maximize the penetration of Ontario product in the horseplayer market, both local and global. The alliance would also take on responsibility for branding and marketing the Ontario product.
The panel is confident the racetracks have the retail marketing experience to operate a province-wide racing secretariat system if they work together. The panel therefore believes the government should proceed with encouraging an overall horse racing alliance of willing tracks. The alliance would conclude a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the government, with the following minimum conditions:
It is essential to avoid repeating the mistakes of SARP, which turned over funds to the industry with no strings attached. The panel believes that any new public funding for horse racing should be reviewed after three years. Monitoring should be ongoing to ensure the investment is meeting public-policy objectives and delivering no more funds than necessary to do so.
In developing its recommendations, the panel has worked closely with the OHRIA Task Force. Going forward, the role of OHRIA will change to reflect the needs of its members under the new Sustainable Horse Racing Model.
Recommendations to government:
With an effective racing alliance in place and the ORC performing the regulatory function, direct government oversight of the new Sustainable Horse Racing Model will still be needed. The panel believes that, in keeping with the objectives of transparency, accountability, customer focus and return of public investment, oversight should be provided through a ministry. The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) seems a logical choice for this role.
While the panel is impressed with the enthusiasm of the tracks that have offered to form an alliance, the successful negotiation of an MOU is not certain and the implementation of a new governance model will take time. Given that the new Sustainable Horse Racing Model must be operational within weeks of this report, the panel recommends a transition strategy that would divide the functions of the ORC into two distinct groups: administrative and regulatory. The administrative division will fulfil the roles described above for the track alliance until the alliance is prepared to assume those functions, within no more than three years. When the ORC has transferred the administrative functions, it will revert to a strictly regulatory role.
The ORC budget reached $11.4 million in 2010. With the re-scoping of ORC functions and the new role for OMAFRA, the panel suggests a $10 million annual allocation for regulation, administration and oversight.
To effectively oversee the new racing model and manage the transition, OMAFRA will need to acquire equine expertise. This capacity would enable the ministry to track equine industry economics and health herd issues.
Recommendations to government:
With accountability and transparency hallmarks of the new model, a robust set of metrics must be adopted to measure the industry's performance against objectives. All industry participants will be required to collect relevant data, which will be subject to external audit.
The panel believes that the metrics already adopted by the Quarter Horse Racing Industry Development Plan are a good template upon which to build industry-wide metrics.
Recommendation to industry:
The Interim Report noted a wide discrepancy among economists when measuring the economic impact and tax revenues generated by the industry. The panel believes that the Ministry of Finance should, after consultation, provide the industry with both a clear description of the economic data sets to be collected, and a clear explanation of the tax generation and multiplier effect criteria to be used. This information is essential to determine the rate of return the taxpayer will receive for the public investment in the industry. Annual reviews to reconcile assumptions made with actual results achieved will lead, over time, to better data and thus better informed public policy. The panel believes this will promote a new industry-government partnership based on transparency and accountability.
Recommendation to government:
The transition from SARP to the new Sustainable Horse Racing Model will bring a series of implementation challenges.
The end of SARP on March 31, 2013 will leave some purse monies stranded, specifically those collected in the months right before the termination date, when there is little or no racing. These stranded funds are estimated at $27 million and will be placed in various trust accounts. A decision will be required on how to dispose of these funds. (The track operators will have received a similar amount of SARP money. There is nothing that compels them to use these funds for racing after March 31, 2013.)
In addition to the stranded purse funds, several annualized funds predicated on revenue from SARP will face similar issues. These include monies for HIP, association funding and equine research.
These programs will need to be wound up and incorporated on a case-by-case basis into the new Sustainable Horse Racing Model, subject to the test of transparency, accountability, customer focus and taxpayer return. Where possible, an agreement should be reached prior to January 1, 2013, so that funds do not flow for three months into programs that are redundant or will be significantly altered.
Several financial tasks must be completed to implement the new Sustainable Horse Racing Model. Funding arrangements for the new model must be put in place. The existing MOU covering the use of funds from the pari-mutuel tax reduction needs revision and updating. A new MOU must be negotiated with a track alliance. Finally, the costs allocated to tracks for conducting race days must be refined and then confirmed by an external audit.
The ORC must submit a plan for 2013 Ontario racing for federal regulatory approval no later than December 1, 2012. This deadline will be challenging, given the time frame required to set up a track alliance and resolve the uncertainty about stranded purses. In this fluid environment, the industry will need guidance in developing its request for 2013 race dates to be offered within the framework of the overall purse and race dates available. It is important to present the 2013 race calendar to the ORC for approval as a coordinated, thoughtful package that reflects the new Sustainable Horse Racing Model and takes into account the use of stranded purses.
This is a complex transition agenda that will require intensive work for the next 36 months. The ORC has the statutory authority to perform the functions necessary to transition the industry. Leading the industry through the transition, however, is contrary to the ultimate goal of returning the ORC to a strictly regulatory role.
As noted, the panel proposes separating the ORC into two distinct divisions for the transition period. The regulatory division will be tasked with developing cost-effective regulatory approaches for a new, leaner racing industry. The administrative division will oversee the transition of the industry and serve as a provincial racing secretariat until an alternative industry-led administrative entity is established.
The transition period will require focus, cohesion and certainty. This leadership must come from the administrative division of the ORC. The panel strongly recommends the appointment of a senior equine industry leader to take charge of the development of the Sustainable Horse Racing Model. This individual should be invested with the authority to manage the transition.
The panel estimates that $6 million over three years will be required to implement the transition process along the lines described above.
Recommendations to government:
Overall, the panel calculated an amount of new public investment that will be required over three years to support the new Sustainable Horse Racing Model. The costs, revenue and required investments were shared by the panel with the government.
Recommendation to government:
To reduce and eventually end the need for direct public funding, and enjoy sustainable growth, the horse racing industry must increase its revenue. The panel is optimistic that this can be done over the medium and long term.
Preserving and then expanding the pari-mutuel pool is a principal objective for a right-sized horse racing industry. As noted, horseplayers are attracted to competitive races, full cards with full fields, and large wagering pools. The Sustainable Horse Racing Industry Model will provide these critical elements.
Moreover, as discussed above, the racetrack alliance will have responsibility for collaborative marketing and branding of the Ontario racing product in the global pari-mutuel wagering market. The panel's Interim Report found a lack of industry focus on the customer. A renewed customer focus is necessary and should be informed by research that helps the industry understand its customers better. The Sustainable Horse Racing Model sets aside $10 million for marketing Ontario racing, researching consumer behavior and enhancing the horseplayer experience.
Presenting the full slate of Ontario live racing as a single brand should add strength to Ontario's market presence and create uptake. At the same time, the racing secretariat responsible for coordinating racing opportunities will be able to avoid conflicting race times. Ontario tracks will not find themselves competing with each other for the wagering dollar. Innovations such as market-driven products to enhance wagering opportunities, horseplayer accounts for all Ontario product and reduced take-out for some racing (leaving more money in the hands of horseplayers) could also generate increased wagering.
During the transition period, the panel is confident that effective branding and marketing will help arrest the current decline in the pari-mutuel handle. Growth in this internationally competitive marketplace is difficult to project. Given the positive image of the Woodbine product, it is reasonable to expect that effectively presented and branded Ontario live racing will expand the pari-mutuel pool.
Further revenue opportunities could be created by allowing the horse racing industry to offer new gaming products. One could argue that giving revenue-generating opportunities to one industry and not to others is really a form of public subsidy. While this may be true, the panel notes that the products discussed below do not yet exist in Ontario and, therefore, are not currently producing revenue for the government. Moreover, it will take effort, resources and expertise to develop them, which the horse racing industry is willing to provide. Many jurisdictions around the world have introduced these kinds of products already, providing ample evidence of success.
A racing-specific lottery is a method of funding live horse racing that has succeeded elsewhere. Before proceeding, a rigorous business plan would be necessary to determine how much net new revenue such a lottery could be expected to yield in Ontario's crowded lottery marketplace.
A federal bill that has passed the House of Commons and is now before the Senate would allow single-event sports betting under a provincially regulated system. The bill is expected to be enacted soon. The horse racing industry is a good fit for operating a sports book, given its experience in managing large risk pools with short margins, plus its network of off-track betting facilities. Revenue from sports book is not in the current OLG business plan and a sports book is not essential for casino operators. It is a complementary wagering product offered in many racetracks around the world, since it appeals to the sophisticated bettor.
The horse racing industry projects that it could produce net revenues of approximately $50 million per year if given a monopoly on sports book under licence to the OLG or other government agency. This revenue could offset any direct public funding to horse racing.
A new pari-mutuel based gaming product, historical horse races, could also be offered at Ontario tracks and off-track locations. In this game, a horseplayer wagers on one of 60,000 past races through an electronic terminal. The actual race being replayed is never disclosed to the player, but statistical information - such as each trainer's win percentage - can be accessed prior to betting. Historical racing products have produced spectacular results at some U.S. tracks. The Ontario industry predicts net revenues of $50 million per year if this product were introduced here.
With the SARP experience in mind, it will be wise to monitor the results of any new gaming products on an ongoing basis in the event they prove much more successful than expected. In that case, the sharing of benefits between the government and the industry must be adjusted.
Recommendations to government:
The report will now turn to a series of transitional and in some cases longer-term challenges identified in the Interim Report. These issues include:
The Interim Report indicated that up to 13,000 horses would have no economically viable use if the racing industry collapsed. The panel believes adopting the new Sustainable Horse Racing Model will largely resolve this issue.
Ontario breeding has already been drastically cut back, which will affect the size of the horse herd in future years, and some racehorses have been moved to other jurisdictions. While the new model reduces the number of race days by half, the mandate for full fields will require more horses per race day than at present. Maintaining three divisions of standardbred racing should provide racing opportunities for every standardbred racehorse in Ontario. As the panel has pointed out, the horse racing industry runs on hope. The new model will keep hope alive.
While the new Sustainable Horse Racing Model will mitigate risks, the panel is aware of the stress on the overall Ontario horse herd from the recent spike in feed costs. The Office of the Chief Veterinarian of Ontario within OMAFRA is responsible for responding to risks in the livestock sector, which includes horses.
Research on equine performance and breeding has been partially funded by public funds channeled through the racing industry. The panel recommends discontinuing this public funding in favor of direct investment, where appropriate, through OMAFRA, with a focus on overall horse herd welfare.
The panel has underlined the need for racehorse lifetime use plans in Ontario. Such plans exist in the United Kingdom and elsewhere. The panel believes the moral obligation to provide a reasonable lifetime plan for the use and care of a horse rests with the breeder and owner. However, given the absence of meaningful second career plans for thousands of racehorses bred in Ontario, the panel urges the government to take action on this longstanding issue. The panel urges OMAFRA to provide seed funding to Equine Guelph to lead foundational work on life cycle planning for race horses, specifically regarding secondary uses following their racing careers.
Another equine welfare issue is the use of therapeutic drugs in racehorses, which has been banned in some overseas jurisdictions. While the efficacy of these medications has long been debated, there is little question that these drugs can have harmful long-term effects that emerge during the post-racing years. For example, the use of anti-inflammatory and pain medications, essentially to take the place of rest, can eventually result in joint problems.
The panel believes that the government should direct the ORC to develop a therapeutic drug policy that would make Ontario a leader in protecting the health and longevity of racehorses. The panel is convinced that taking a leadership position against practices and medications that can have a negative effect on the secondary careers of racehorses would be beneficial to the industry. It would enhance the Ontario racing brand. Further study is required and this could be another topic for Equine Guelph to explore, with government and industry support.
The panel estimates that an annual budget of $300,000 will be required to address the equine welfare issues discussed above.
Recommendations to government:
Just as the Sustainable Horse Racing Model will preserve horses, it will also preserve jobs. The requirement for full racing fields will help sustain employment at the track level, while the continued funding of Ontario breeding programs will help support employment on the farm.
However, as the industry makes the transition to a sustainable model, some workers will be displaced. The Ontario government's response to job loss is delivered through the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU). After consultation with MTCU, the panel is satisfied that the current employment and retraining programs have the flexibility to meet the needs of the horse racing industry.
At the panel's request, MCTU has compiled information about its programs and services that may support the transition of horse racing workers. This overview appears in Appendix B.
As Ontario's horse racing industry undergoes transformation, many equine-based businesses will need financial and advisory assistance. The panel has consulted with OMAFRA, which is responsible for farm business programs, and learned that an abundance of resources is available.
Also at the panel's request, OMAFRA has supplied information about programs and services that can aid with farm business transition. This summary is presented in Appendix C.
While these employment and business programs have much to offer, the panel is concerned that people in the horse racing industry may have trouble accessing them.
It appears that horse producers are not making use of farm business programs to the same extent as other agricultural producers. The panel urges OMAFRA to work with industry associations to raise awareness of these programs in the equine sector.
In general, the panel observes that there are many different programs, with different contact points. So many, in fact, that people seeking help, who are already under stress, may feel overwhelmed. The panel proposes developing a one-window help line, possibly in co-operation with Equine Guelph, to respond to all horse racing-related issues - from caring for horses at risk, to getting a farm financial assessment, to retraining for a second career. Knowledgeable counsellors would staff the line and direct callers to the appropriate programs or services.
Recommendations to government:
As the panel observed in the Interim Report, Ontario's horse racing industry is worth saving. It generates jobs, economic spinoffs and tax revenues. It is a valuable social and cultural asset, with deep roots in Ontario's heritage, and maintains strong links between rural and urban communities. Moreover, it has the potential to become a pivotal component of Ontario's provincial gaming strategy, since it offers a modern infrastructure of facilities and systems with an established customer base.
In this report the panel is proposing a new Sustainable Horse Racing Model - a three-year plan that will require new public investment.
The new model will:
The panel believes that this plan, if implemented, will provide a workable blueprint for a new partnership between the horse racing industry and the government. We are confident that the new model we have proposed will place the horse racing industry on a growth path while advancing the best interests of the people of Ontario.
Over the course of our deliberations we have been greatly assisted by industry experts, stakeholder groups and individuals from within Ontario as well as by global equine industry leaders. We thank them for their knowledge, experience and particularly their passion for horses, which they generously shared with us.
We would also like to thank our Minister, the Honourable Ted McMeekin, for the confidence he has placed in us and for his innovation in creating a tri-partisan panel. He can rightfully be proud of the many dedicated OMAFRA staff who have provided us with stellar support.
Our final recommendation is to underline the urgency in beginning the transformation of the Ontario horse racing industry. While the industry has been patient with the panel during the development of this report, we are aware of the need to implement the new Sustainable Horse Racing Model immediately. The racing sector is literally crumbling as we write.
To ensure that the government will be able to respond immediately, we have shared our observations, deliberations and conclusions as they evolved with the appropriate ministries and agencies. We have ensured that the government understands our recommendations and is positioned to act on them.
A sustainable horse racing industry is possible, but only if the government takes appropriate action now.
Steve Suttie, Acting Executive Director
Rande Sawchuk, Director, Policy and Planning
Richard Sequin, Regional Director
Glenn Sikura, President
Peter Berringer, 1st Vice President
Frank Di Giulio, 2nd Vice President
Yvonne Schwabe, Sales Chair
Dr. Greg Douglas, Chief Veterinarian for Ontario and Director
Dr. David Alves, Manager
Ling Mark, Director
Heather Cassidy, Manager
Dr. Ted Clarke, General Manager, Grand River
Rod Baker, President and CEO
Bruce Barbour, Executive Director - Racing Operations
Jim McGrogan, Vice President - Business Development
Tracey Dallaire, (A) Director
Bradley Shaw, (A) Manager - Business Risk Management
John Cumming, Policy Advisor
Barry Goodwin, Assistant Deputy Minister
Elizabeth Yeigh, Director
Tanya Watkins, Manager
Meranda Shewan, Employment Programs Consultant - Delivery Support Employment Services
Sue Leslie, President & Chair
Rod Seiling, Chair
John Blakney, Executive Director & CEO
Steve Lehman, CAO
Wendy Hoogeveen, Director - Industry Development & Support
Ryan Dupuis, Regulatory Analyst
Bob Broadstock, President
Nick Coukos, Vice President - Corporate Affairs, Ajax Downs
Anna Meyers - Emerald Ridge Farms and
President, Standardbred Breeders
Jim Bullock - Glengate Farms
Ann Straatman - Seelster Farms
John Gallinger, President and CEO
Tate Abols, Onex
Tim Duncanson, Onex
Craig Nugent, Managing Director - Fixed Odds
Paul Cross, General Manager - International Business Development
Doug Freeman, Executive General Manager - Strategy and Business Development
Peter Curtis, Partner, Pathway Group
Hugh Mitchell, Chief Operating Officer
Jim Lawson, Chair
Nick Eaves, President and CEO
Steve Mitchell, Executive Vice-President & Chief Financial Officer
Jamie Martin, Executive Vice-President, Racing
Sean Pinsonneault, Executive Vice-President & Chief Operating Officer
Andrew Macdonald, Vice-President, Strategic Initiatives
Programs delivered through the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) in response to job loss consider both individual workers and the communities where they live.
The Employment Ontario (EO) network of services and service providers offers a suite of employment programs that are delivered locally across Ontario. The action taken as always client-centred and is based on as assessment of client needs.
EO programs for affected communities include:
The Rapid Re-employment and Training Service (RRTS) provides an immediate and appropriate response when large-scale layoffs or closures occur - that is, when at least 50 employees are laid off. (The program it is not always invoked for layoffs of this size.)
Where the program is utilized, the ministry responds within one hour of learning of a downsizing or closure. As part of the initial response, MTCU staff members conduct a needs assessment to determine the supports required by the affected individuals and the community. Staff members consider the needs of the individual workers and their ability to access available resources, and then assess the capacity of local service providers to meet these needs.
Based on this initial assessment, a tailored response is set in motion. Three levels of response are available:
Through the Action Centre, MTCU staff members meet with affected workers to make them aware of available EO services. A needs assessment is then conducted, and within 15 days, an individual action plan is developed for each worker. The individual action plan identifies worker goals and the specific EO services available to help meet them.
Employment Service and Second Career are the two EO programs that are most likely to be useful to clients adjusting to race track closure or farm downsizing.
Employment Service (ES) provides access to a full
range of employment services in one location, so people can find
and keep a job, apply for training and plan a career.
The Employment Service network consists of 170 service providers with 324 sites across Ontario. Each funded service delivery site is required to provide the full range of ES components. In addition, a number of ES sites provide visiting and specialized services in their communities as needed. This brings the total number of ES points of service to over 400.
Some ES services are open to all, with no eligibility criteria. These are:
Other services are open to individuals who are unemployed (that is, working less than 20 hours per week), out of school and legally entitled to work in Canada. These include:
Second Career supports unemployed, laid-off workers who require skills training to help them find employment in high-demand occupations in Ontario. Individuals who are interested in Second Career begin the process with an employment needs assessment interview with an ES service provider who will work with the client to create a service plan.
Skills training that can be approved under Second Career must be vocational in nature. The courses can be both short-term (six months or less) and long-term (up to 24 months) in duration. Longer course duration may be approved if accommodation is needed for persons with disabilities.
The maximum for individual support is $28,000. This can be used to offset costs such as tuition, books and living expenses. The $28,000 cap does not include costs for disability accommodation, dependant care, living away from home, and all costs related to academic upgrading, which can be in excess of the $28,000 allotted.
Second Career Eligibility and Suitability
Eligible individuals are those who:
Suitability is determined through an assessment based on criteria to gauge those in most financial need and most in need of training.
Other programs for individual clients include the Ontario Job Creation Partnership (OJCP) and literacy or apprenticeship programs.
Here are some hypothetical examples of how EO programs might respond to the needs of displaced workers in the horse racing industry.
Worker A: A track employee with transferable skills and education.
Upon notice of layoff, worker A visits her local ES provider and makes use of the labour market information to write a resume and apply for jobs. After several weeks without success, she meets with an ES counsellor. Together, the worker and counsellor inventory the client's existing skills and knowledge. The client would like to work in a job where many of the skills she already has would be extremely helpful. The client only needs relevant work experience to set off on the new career path with confidence. The ES provider works with the client to improve her resume so she can seek an appropriate work experience placement. Eventually the "right" employer is found and able to provide the desired on-the-job training with the help of a hiring incentive arranged through ES.
Worker B: A backstretch employee with little education or transferable skills.
Worker B also visits his local ES provider and makes use of the labour market information, computers, internet access and other job search supports available there. He is soon frustrated because the job he wants requires a college diploma.
Worker B also speaks with an ES counsellor. Together they develop a service plan which identifies the need for additional training. The client researches available training, training providers and labour market demand for the desired occupation. He finds a course that is suitable, but there is an entry requirement for Grade 12 math and he has only completed Grade 10. The college has a short preparatory course to get the math pre-requisite. The ES provider completes the necessary financial and suitability assessments. The client is found to be suitable and a recommendation is made to MTCU. MTCU approves Second Career support. The client completes the necessary math and later, skill training. After completing the course, he may return to the ES provider for assistance with job search.
Worker C: A self-employed individual.
Worker C is sure that since she was self-employed, she is not eligible for any EO supports. A friend tells her about the computers at the ES provider that anyone can use. On her third or fourth visit, she hears that she may be eligible for job search or job training services. She may also be eligible for Second Career since, even though self-employed for the past two years, she had been laid off from a manufacturing job in 2008. She decides to speak with a counsellor since she has always wanted to pursue an apprenticeship but was unsure of the steps involved. The counsellor works with her to develop a service plan. The client visits the MTCU office and completes other research to find out more about apprenticeship.
Worker C, who completed high school in 1995, already has the educational requirement for entry into her chosen trade. With the help of an improved resume and job search skills, Worker C is able to find an employer who is willing to bring her into the business as a first year apprentice. The employer who hires her is eligible for an Apprenticeship Employer Signing Bonus of $2,000.
The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) offers a number of programs that could be of assistance to horse breeders and other horse owners during this period of transition.
A cluster of Business Risk Management programs offer protection against different types of financial losses. The most relevant for the equine sector are:
Agricorp administers AgriStability on behalf of OMAFRA, while Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada administers AgriInvest.
OMAFRA funds business development programs that provide expertise and training that could help equine businesses navigate through the transition. These programs are administered by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association on behalf of the ministry. They incorporate self-assessment and goal-setting with a range of cost-shared advisory services and skills development opportunities to help reach farm business objectives.
The programs are the following:
1 Stone Rd. West
Box 3660 Stn. Central
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
P.O. Box 3200 Station Main
Toll Free Number: 1-866-367-8506
Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association
1 Stone Rd. W. Guelph, ON N1G 4Y2
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