Former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty and his one-time finance minister, Dwight Duncan, must answer questions under oath from a group of horse breeders regarding a controversial 2012 decision to end a slot machine revenue-sharing program with the horse racing industry.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Michael Emery has ordered McGuinty, Duncan and 11 others — including their chiefs of staff, economist Don Drummond and former chair of the Ontario Racing Commission Rod Seiling — to be cross-examined by counsel for the rural plaintiffs who are suing the province and co-defendant Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. for $65 million.

The breeders allege that powerful individuals had secretly resolved to scrap the slots deal before it was raised at a key cabinet meeting on Feb. 8, 2012. The breeders claim they were blindsided by the decision because, for years, they had been encouraged by the government to keep producing racehorses.

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