Feb 282021

Horse Racing Alberta Governance

APC Reference Number: AB-2021-00221 closed for submissions on March 05, 2021 at 14:01:00 Alberta Time.

Phil will monitor and advise of updates as he hears them.

APC Reference Number: AB-2021-00221 deadline for submissions has been extended to March 05, 2021 at 14:01:00 Alberta Time.

Phil’s gonna reprise a few of his favourites.

A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.

Bruce Lee

Is Is Time For A Requiem For Horse Racing


Future of Horse Racing in Alberta

Final Manitoba Horse Racing Report – 2018

The Brandon Sun – Kemp – Province responds to horse racing recommendations

Drummond Report

Drummond Report Gaming Excerpt

Grantland – Looking Back Hunter S Thompson – MacCambrige – Classic Kentucky Derby

Remember this, folks – I am a Hillbilly, and I don’t always Bet the same way I talk. Good advice is one thing, but smart gambling is quite another.

Hunter S. Thompson


God Only Knows

Phil has a question:

Can you eat only 1 salted peanut.

Now you may ask yourself what these have to do with the current state of horse racing in Alberta. If you have to ask yourself you don’t understand horse racing and you understand governments less.


It were not best that we should all think alike; it is difference of opinion that makes horse races.

Mark Twain

Phil has a question:

Will the successful proponent buy Phil a pizza and a couple of beer for laying out the basis of their proposal.

Section 2 of the Treasury Board and Finance Request for Proposals

AB-2021-00221 February 11, 2021

reproduced w/o permission by Phil outlines what the current ministry is seeking in the RFP.

a) Project Background-
The purpose of this project is to guide the horse racing industry in the development of a new governance model that is independent from the Government of Alberta and to support an orderly transition to the new model. Currently, the horse racing industry is governed by Horse Racing Alberta (HRA), a corporation established under the Horse Racing Alberta Act (the “Act”). The Act also establishes an Appeals Tribunal to hear appeals of the decisions of racing officials. Under the new model, industry will become responsible for its own governance and appeals process as well as its conduct and operations through the establishment of a new industry association, compliance with agreed upon bylaws, a funding agreement with the Government of Alberta, and compliance with existing provincial legislation.
b) Project Objectives-
The vendor shall exercise their expertise in governance and stakeholder engagement to prepare a strategy for bringing key government and industry partners to the table to develop and implement a governance plan for Alberta’s horse racing industry and an appeals process to hear appeals of the decisions of racing officials.
The project requires that the Proponent will

1) develop a comprehensive plan for engagement on and implementation of a new governance model and appeals process,

2) conduct the engagement,

3) submit a final report and

4) implement the establishment of the new model. HRA will remain in place until the vendor has completed implementation of the new governance model and recruitment of the board members of a new industry association.
The work will focus on governance and the appeals process. Although this may necessitate some recommendations related to the day to day operations of the new industry association itself, it will be up to the new board of the association, as an independent entity, to determine its day to day operations. HRA currently operates under the established “Rules Governing Racing.”
As this project will result in an independent and sustainably operating industry sector, the vendor will be required to work closely with a Review Committee in addition to the Contract Manager.
At the end of the consultation, the vendor shall prepare a report, which will include:
1. Establishment of a new industry association, independent of government, including mandate, bylaws, board membership requirements, and any additional governance considerations required, and including draft constating and organizational documents required to incorporate the new industry association;
2. Establishment of a new appeals function, including mandate and scope of an appeals function, structure, membership requirements, and any additional governance considerations;
3. Principles and guidelines for sustainable industry governance and financial management; and
4. Recommendations regarding the issues and risks to consider and the steps required to smoothly transition the functions of HRA to the new industry association, and the functions of the Appeals Tribunal to a new appeals entity.
In the final stage, in collaboration with the Review Committee, the vendor will facilitate the incorporation of the new industry association, and the advertising, interviewing and hiring of the board members of the new industry association as well as any appeals personnel that are required.
As the main objective of this project is to establish a sustainable and independent industry association and appeals process, the vendor will consider the following questions throughout its work:
– What are the long-term implications of this model?
– What inherent mechanisms are proposed to resolve disagreements of diverse business interests?
– What are the principles of good governance and good management?
– How can the new structure maintain and reinforce these principles on an ongoing basis?
– What is the expertise required on a board of directors to maintain financial sustainability, industry integrity, legal soundness, proactive risk management and good governance?
– What models contribute to the efficient, fair and reasonable approach for an appeals process?
– Which appeals process is most likely to enhance the entertainment value and long-term sustainability of the sector?
– How can a governance model best support the survival of a traditional industry in a changing demographic in Alberta?
– What issues, considerations and risks are there in respect of transitioning the functions of: (i) HRA to the new industry association, and (ii) the Appeals Tribunal to a new appeals entity?
c) Project Structure/Business Model-
The Executive Sponsor for this project is the Assistant Deputy Minister of the Financial Sector Regulation and Policy Division at Alberta Treasury Board and Finance.
The Project Director is the Executive Director of the Project Management Office within the Financial Sector Regulation and Policy Division at Alberta Treasury Board and Finance.
The Contract Manager is a Pension Policy Advisor within the Financial Sector Regulation and Policy Division at Alberta Treasury Board and Finance.
The Purchasing Officer is a Contract and Procurement Coordinator within the Financial Services Division at Alberta Treasury Board and Finance.
The Purchasing Officer will be the primary contact for potential Proponents until the Contract has been awarded. Thereafter the Contract Manager will be the primary contact for the Contractor.
The Review Committee will provide input on the stakeholder list and stakeholder engagement process and will review the plan and the final report. The Review Committee will also support the recruitment of board members and appeals personnel.
The Contractor will provide biweekly updates to Alberta Treasury Board and Finance, and additional information as needed.
d) Key Stakeholders –
The vendor will advise and consult the Review Committee regarding the finalized stakeholder list and the methodologies for reaching stakeholders. A list of stakeholders will be provided to the successful vendor.
e) Related Project Documents –
The Department will provide an initial jurisdictional scan on governance and appeals committees to provide context. Further work by the Vendor may be necessary to develop final report and implement governance structure and new board/ committee.
f) Miscellaneous – Any other details that would assist the Proponents in the development of their Proposals.
Cross ministry, collaboration and coordination skills are also critical. The Vendor will help facilitate this collaboration.

Become a student of change. It is the only thing that will remain constant.

Anthony D’Angelo

You don’t have to read far to understand that the present UCP government sees a need to change the manner in which horse racing is operated within the province of Alberta.

Phil will reiterate his suggestion that we don’t need to waste any scarce resources on bureaucrats and pseudo bureaucrats occupying positions that benefit only their own pocket books and  top up their pensions.  Subsume Horse Racing Alberta into AGLC, leave the marketing to the tracks requiring them to spend a specified % on marketing and eliminate the positions that went to cronies.

Obviously the successful bidder on the RFP will have to consult with the various industry stakeholders. It’s up to the horse racing industry participants to ensure that their representatives carry their message to the government through the successful bidder.

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.

 Dr. Seuss

Burning Down The House

I’ll Love You Until The End Of The World

Phil M Stockmen

  2 Responses to “What Does The Horse Racing Alberta Governance RFP Mean For Alberta Horse Racing”

  1. UCP transparency shows it’s true colours.

    The timing and short deadlines for the Horse Racing Alberta Governance RFP make one wonder if the cronies had a different starting gate.

    Is the rumoured front runner a Tenile / Toma / Bouma style Tory supporter consultant???????

    It is a disgrace that the architect of the 2018 Manitoba horse racing sustainability review that had positive results may not be applying as the time frame is too tight for a proper proposal. Bluslate Inc wasn’t even contacted by government reps showing just how little effort was used to find fresh alternative ideas that have increased revenue stream.

    Sorry Alberta horsemen the Titanic has more than structural, rudder and engine failure. It has taken multiple major torpedo hits that water / feed / manure tubs won’t fix!!! It is has gone from long-term vet to code BLUE as the Kenney government gets a perfect solution by finding a consultant to be the executioner!!RIP!

  2. Toss the HRA abacus out, Mucka has the hard $$$ savings!!

    Last fall, the following suggestion was given to minister TOEWS. If you can the Coach / CEO save $200k, can the Stats guy / CFO $160k, can the Waterboy / chairman $60k you would save 420k??

    Century gave a interest free loan of $300k to HRA for 2021 for marketing initiatives. Can the undertaker save $60k they save 360k they can now payback derived land rent!!

    Other potential cost savings $280k racetrack managers and $780k non racetrack managers, so a slim down HRA goverance model could be beneficial to government!

    Rumour of pineapple? dry cleaning the tattered saddle cloths for free, just like the present state of industry should not be implemented , so we can send your hard earned sweat equity to the minister in Grand Prairie.

    PS: Unlike the rose colored HRA assumptions, please refer page 28, in 2019 HRA annual report.

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