Hudak: Time for Straight Talk on Jobs and Our Economy
21 June 2012
NIAGARA FALLS – Better days are ahead for Ontario, but only if we get our fiscal house in order and our economic fundamentals back in line, PC Leader Tim Hudak said today.
Hudak made the comments during a For Jobs and Our Economy Town Hall in Niagara Falls – while calling for frank discussion on Ontario’s troubles. The region suffers from a 9.9 per cent jobless rate – above the provincial average of 7.8 per cent and among the highest in Canada.
The area has also been hard-hit with the recent Fort Erie racetrack closure and plant shutdowns, including the 2008 John Deere closure in Welland that cost 800 jobs, among others. “The fact is, all of Ontario is in a jam,” Hudak said. “The money has run out. It’s time for straight talk about our situation. We need policies that encourage growth – not slow it down.”
The Number One thing we can do to create jobs is to get our fiscal house in order, Hudak continued: “That will tell businesses and manufacturers that Ontario can afford the things they need to invest, expand and create jobs, like lower taxes and good infrastructure.”
Yet despite nearly 600,000 unemployed, the government took a bad economy and made it worse with even more taxes on job-creating businesses in its budget, following a week of unseemly political wrangling between the Liberals and NDP that further stalled action on our economy as businesses, investors, and credit rating agencies watched from the sidelines.
“Eight months since the last election and not a penny saved,” Hudak noted. “We need action to rein in this government’s overspending. The more we delay, the more our debt piles up – putting at risk the priorities we care most about, such as quality health care and excellence in education.”
It’s all a weak response to a looming $30 billion deficit, Hudak said. “Spending is up $1.8 billion, not down. The debt is up $23 billion, not down. There is nothing to trigger private sector job creation – just more taxes on business and entrepreneurs.”
Another measure of Ontario’s decline is that since 2003, we have lost 300,000 manufacturing jobs, while the public sector has gained the same number. “This is ‘a tale of two Ontarios’ – of public sector haves and private sector have-nots,” Hudak added.
Hudak said his Ontario PC plan demands urgent action to stop the overspending and get our economic fundamentals right – things like lower business taxes, affordable energy and more flexible and responsive regulation. Other elements of the plan include:
- Controlling spending, reining in deficits and paying down debt
- Creating 200,000 new skilled trades jobs by fixing the apprenticeship system, and
- Changing the attitude of government toward a pro-growth and pro-jobs approach to encourage business investment – instead of tying it up with restrictions and red tape.
“That’s my plan. And today in Niagara Falls, and across Ontario, I want to hear what the people who actually pay the bills and create the jobs think about it.”