The Liberal party in Ontario is presenting the budget, which calls for eliminating the $354 payment to horse racing in the province through eliminating the Slots at Tracks program, for a vote on April 24. If the budget goes down to defeat, it will be in effect a 'no confidence' vote and force new provincial elections by the end of May. Depending on how the election goes, the Liberal party may be forced from a leadership role in the government which means the Slots at Tracks program may be salvaged. Of course this means the New Democratic Party and the Progressive Conservatives must have their members vote to defeat the budget.
Of course, in an effort to save their leadership role, the Liberals are negotiating with the NDP on some demands the NDP has to secure their votes and save their government as the Progressive Conservatives have already indicated they would vote to topple the government. If the NDP agrees to form a coalition with the Liberal Party to get the budget passed, the decision to end the Slots at Tracks program may survive.
A recent poll paid for by the Canadian Union of Public Employees suggests the Progressive Conservatives would lead a new minority government with the NDP becoming the official opposition and the governing Liberal Party becoming the smallest party represented in the Provincial Parliament. Of course, polls paid for by special interest groups may have an inherent bias in the poll questions to get the results they want. UPDATE: An article in the National Post suggests while the Liberal Party is losing favor with the general public overall, based on an analysis with regards to localized support, the Liberals appear they would retain control despite a loss of seats in the provincial parliment as they would have the most seats of all parties.
The bottom line it means a suspenseful eight days until the formal budget vote. In the meanwhile, Ontario horsemen are holding their collective breaths.