McNaughton signs on at Woodbine

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Monte McNaughton speaks to supporters on election night June 2, 2022 in Mt. Brydges

Monte McNaughton says he wants to grow horse racing in Ontario to create jobs and benefit rural communities.

The former Labour Minister and MPP for Lambton-Kent-Middlesex has been named the executive vice president of industry relations and people experience at Woodbine Entertainment, the company announced Tuesday.

McNaughton stepped down from his position as Labour Minister, after 15 years in provincial politics, just before the Ontario Legislature resumed sitting in September.

Woodbine operates two horse racing tracks, one in Toronto and one in Milton, and owns an off-track betting teletheatre network and remote wagering apps. The company has 1,700 employees

Woodbine CEO Michael Copeland said the former MPP’s “expertise and leadership will guide us toward realizing our ambitious goals” including growing the horse racing industry.

Another Woodbine goal is one of the largest property development projects in Canada. The nearly 400-acre project in North Etobicoke will include a privately-funded mass-transit train station and 29,000 homes. McNaughton seems to be focused on the entertainment side of the business.

“As an eight-year-old boy I stood in the winner’s circle with family friends who raced horses,” McNaughton was quoted as saying in a news release. “The sport has captivated me ever since.

“Together, we will focus on growing horse racing and revenues associated with it, to create jobs and ultimately benefit our communities and families.”