Departing Ontario labour minister gets new private-sector job in horse racing

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By: Jack Moulton

Monte McNaughton, the longtime southwestern Ontario MPP who served as the Ford government’s labour minister, has announced the private-sector job that lured him to unexpectedly exit politics — at a Toronto-area horse racing venue.

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McNaughton will be executive vice-president of industry relations and people experience at the Woodbine Mohawk Park racetrack in Milton, west of Toronto.

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The former MPP for Lambton-Kent-Middlesex announced earlier this month he would be resigning from his cabinet post and from politics entirely for an opportunity in the private sector, though he hadn’t made public any details. He had been MPP since 2011.

In a statement to X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, McNaughton said he’s excited for the move and has been fascinated by horse racing since he was a child.

“As an eight-year-old boy I stood in the winner’s circle with family friends who raced horses. The sport has captivated me ever since,” he said, adding he was “excited about joining the amazing team at @WoodbineTB.”

“We have an opportunity to expand our business in a way that benefits Ontario’s horse racing industry and the families depending on it,” said Michael Copeland, CEO of Woodbine Entertainment. “I believe Monte’s expertise and leadership will guide us toward realizing our ambitious goals.”

McNaughton’s appointment is effective immediately, according to Woodbine.

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The Newbury native had been a high-ranking cabinet minister and one-time leadership candidate for the Progressive Conservatives. He was a potential future leader and his exit came as a surprise to observers.

“The opposition parties will be energized,” Peter Woolstencroft, a retired political science professor at the University of Waterloo, said at the time McNaughton announced his exit.

There will be some weakening of morale in the Conservative ranks because here is one of their good ones, a notable success as a cabinet minister. It’s a blow to Doug Ford.”

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Originally posted 2023-10-18 17:16:36.