Get the Fundamentals Right for a Competitive Ontario: Hudak
17 July 2012
KENILWORTH – Ontario can once again be a place where budgets are balanced, jobs are created and economic prosperity ensues, but only if we get the fundamentals right – and central to this is the modernization of the province’s outdated labour laws, Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak said today.
Hudak made the comments while touring Quality Homes, which specializes in building custom homes and cottages. Hudak noted that Ontario’s once-thriving manufacturing sector has been devastated under the current government’s approach: The province has lost 300,000 manufacturing jobs while adding 300,000 bureaucratic government jobs. Nearly a year ago one of Perth-Wellington’s oldest manufacturers – Honeywell’s FRAM, which made automotive filters – announced it would close its doors for the last time. More than 300 people lost their jobs.
“Ontario is at a turning point, and urgent action is needed to turn our economy around and rein in overspending,” Hudak said. “We need an integrated and comprehensive plan that gets the economic fundamentals right and will lead to job creation.
“Our PC ideas include affordable energy, lower taxes, changing the attitude in government by welcoming job creators – not deterring them with regulations and red tape – and a bold revision of this province’s 1940s-era labour laws that hamper our ability to compete, as proposed in our Paths to Prosperity: Flexible Labour Markets white paper,” Hudak added.
The policy paper proposes action in four key areas: giving the individual worker a choice on becoming or remaining a union member; making union leaders more accountable to unionized employees; modernizing tendering rules to open up more government work to private sector competition; and reforming Ontario’s workplace agencies for a more flexible workforce and job creation.
Stan Newman, Quality Homes Chairman and CEO, said: “Companies like Quality Homes thrive when Ontario’s economy is roaring at maximum capacity, men and women have good-paying jobs to go to and there are new markets and customers for us to sell to. This is why it is so important that government creates the right environment for businesses like ours to reach their maximum potential.”
Other ideas put forward by the Ontario PCs to create jobs and kick-start growth include:
- Reining in spending with a mandatory public sector wage freeze and allowing businesses and private sector unions to compete for government contracts;
- Reducing the cost of doing business by lowering taxes and treating affordable energy as a cornerstone of economic growth; and
- Creating 200,000 jobs in the skilled trades by allowing employers to take on more apprentices. This means more electricians, ironworkers and carpenters.
Perth-Wellington MPP Randy Pettapiece added that each day, Tim Hudak is working toward building a more prosperous Ontario: “By focusing on private-sector job creation and reining in overspending, we will make it easier for companies like Quality Homes to succeed and create the jobs we need in Perth-Wellington.”
Hudak added that Ontario also has unrivalled competitive advantages like a skilled workforce, close proximity to international markets and proud family farms and a renowned agricultural sector – a staple of communities throughout Perth-Wellington.
“More and more, Ontarians know that these are the necessary steps we must take to unleash our province’s true economic potential, leverage our competitive advantages and, most importantly, create private-sector jobs,” Hudak concluded.