CBC News reported May 13 that Ontario Premier Doug Ford will outline on May 14 Stage 1 of a re-opening of some businesses and services, a date not yet determined. Premier Ford speaks to the public at 1 p.m. each day about the COVID-19 pandemic and has health experts update the public on the current situation.
Horse racing without spectators is expected to be included in the businesses/industries that may re-open during Stage 1. according to documents obtained by CBC.
A draft news release obtained by CBC News shows Premier Doug Ford is ready to announce on Thursday plans to allow the reopening of retail stores that are not in malls, as well as seasonal businesses, pet services, household cleaning and maintenance, and in-person health and counselling services.
Some details: Opening off-leash dog parks, outdoor sports facilities, rod and gun clubs, and “individual indoor and outdoor sport competitions without spectators,” such as water sports, tennis, track and field and horse racing.
Read more about today’s possible announcement here.
Woodbine Entertainment’s CEO Jim Lawson, who has been making the rounds talking about the horse racing industry and the thousands of people it employs on a litany of radio stations, had a two-hour update and answered questions with horsepeople about horse racing returning. Woodbine operates Woodbine and Woodbine Mohawk racetracks, but other tracks in Ontario such as Fort Erie and Ajax Downs will be able to open.
He noted a June 6 or June 13 re-opening of Woodbine Thoroughbreds as the possible starting dates as long as the province and health experts give the green light. Numbers of new COVID-19 cases each day in Ontario have landed in the 300-400 range in the last week and those numbers must be maintained or decrease.