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Horse breeders witness list includes Kathleen Wynne, Dalton McGuinty

If civil actions had bookies, these horse folks might be 100-to-1 longshots.Three years ago, a group of Ontario racehorse breeders took Kathleen Wynne’s government to court over claims the province made a “bad faith” decision in 2012 to abruptly end a lucrative revenue-sharing agreement with the horse racing industry. The standardbred breeders allege cancellation of the Slots at Racetracks Program damaged their livelihoods.But the rural plaintiffs — who in 2015 notched a legal victory in obtaining government documents tied to the agreement cancellation, as court-ordered disclosure — continue to battle the government.On Monday, the sides are back in a Guelph courthouse. Ontario Superior Court Justice Michael Emery will hear motions from the province and co-defendant Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. to quash summonses for 13 witnesses — including Wynne, her predecessor Dalton McGuinty, former finance minister Dwight Duncan and economist Don Drummond.“The evidence shows that these are the folks who are the only ones who can bring any level of transparency to the decision that was made and imposed in 2012,” said Toronto lawyer Jonathan Lisus, who represents the breeders seeking $65 million in damages.Article Continued Below“They were directly and personally involved in the decision, its implementation and the response to the harm that was caused.”The province and the OLG deny all allegations of wrongdoing in their statements of defence. Earlier this year, both filed motions to have the case summarily dismissed, a matter scheduled for a November hearing.Emilie Smith, a spokesperson for the Ministry of the Attorney General, said in a written statement that “Ontario has brought a summary judgment motion” to proceed in Superior Court “to have the action dismissed on the basis that it does not raise a genuine issue for trial.”

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