Hudak, Weiler: Better Days Ahead But We Must Stop Overspending
26 July 2012
“Our voters need to think of the whole province. And so the issue for Kitchener-Waterloo voters will be the record of the McGuinty Liberals… It means looking at health care and education, Ornge and the gas plants, energy prices and spending cuts.”
- Luisa D’Amato, The Waterloo Region Record, July 20, 2012
KITCHENER – Better days lie ahead for Ontario – but only with a government that takes urgent action to stop nine years of overspending at Queen’s Park, PC Leader Tim Hudak said today.
Hudak’s comments followed a tour of Kitchener’s Communitech Hub with Ontario PC by-election candidate Tracey Weiler, as part of the PC Leader’s For Jobs and Our Economy Tour. Communitech is a not-for-profit “incubator” of 800 participating tech start-ups in the Kitchener-Waterloo region. It helps early-stage technology companies become growing businesses through mentorship, networking opportunities and access to investment dollars.
“I was inspired by the optimism and innovative ideas I learned about today,” Hudak began. “These are the kind of people who will make Ontario number one again in economic growth and job creation. But I worry that the current government is not aware of the signal Ontario’s chronic overspending and mounting debt send to entrepreneurs and investors.”
Hudak stressed that continued overspending, a looming $30 billion deficit and a the resulting credit downgrade all act as a drag on economic growth, by signalling Ontario won’t be able to afford to invest in new highways or lower taxes: “At just the time we need to be making Ontario more competitive, the government is doubling down on anti-growth energy, fiscal and regulatory policies. They do not grasp the urgency of the situation.”
Weiler added, “The number one thing we can do is get our fiscal house in order. As it stands, the debt has doubled under this government and will triple by 2017, and Ontario will balance its budget three years later than all other provinces. This demands an integrated, pro-growth plan focused on balancing the budget and getting the economic fundamentals right.”
Ontario can and will do better, Weiler said, but right now it is headed in the wrong direction, with historically high debt and the loss of 300,000 manufacturing jobs – while adding 300,000 bureaucratic government jobs. “We are at a tipping point. The overspending has to stop.”
Yet, Hudak said, we can’t just cut our way to prosperity: “We need to grow our economy as well to create jobs, and affordable energy and modernized labour laws are key factors.” Both are subjects of two widely praised and debated Ontario PC Paths to Prosperity discussion papers on ideas for boosting our competitiveness and creating jobs.
“That’s our plan. And today in Kitchener, and across Ontario, I want to hear what the people who pay the actually bills and create the jobs think about it – because the path to a more prosperous Ontario starts right here in Kitchener-Waterloo.”