Results | Jul 3, 2020

Standardbred Horse Breeders win lawsuit against Province of Ontario

Back to all news On June 29, the Superior Court of Justice released its decision in a long-running lawsuit by a group of 38 standardbred horse breeders who suffered significant losses as a result of the Ontario government’s March 2012 decision to abruptly cancel a 14-year old agreement to share revenue from slot machines at racetracks. The action was started in March 2014. In July 2019, three months after argument was concluded and while the decision was under reserve, the government enacted the new Crown Liability and Proceedings Act, 2019, which purported to retroactively dismiss the breeders’ claims. The Court found that the new statute retroactively extinguished the breeders’ tort claims but did not affect alternative claims in contract against Ontario and granted judgment in the breeders’ favour. The Court found that the Crown owed contractual obligations to the breeders which were terminable only on reasonable notice and that Ontario had breached its contractual obligations of good faith and honesty by the manner in which it cancelled revenue sharing. A damages trial will now be conducted. A copy of the Court’s decision can be found here: 2020 06 29 Seelster Farms et al. v. Her Majesty the Queen and OLG - Reasons for Judgment