Made-in-Ontario Jobs and Debt Crisis Requires Urgent Action
01 October 2012
QUEENS PARK: Ontario can be a national leader in job creation but only if we take immediate action to undo the damage of the last nine years, by reducing the size and cost of government and kick starting economic growth, PC Leader Tim Hudak said today.
“There remains no recognition by this government that it deliberately embarked on a program designed to ramp up spending, especially in the areas of wages and public sector head count,” Hudak said. “I believe leaders should be judged by the results they achieve and this government’s result is a made in Ontario jobs and debt crisis.”
Hudak said he had hoped to see a bolder path forward and was disappointed with the proposed Protecting Public Services Act as it fails to deal with the scope and the urgency of the problem Ontario is faced with. Specifically:
- The proposal provides a framework with the goal of a wage freeze but the proposal itself does not actually do this.
- Any halt on salaries will not apply until future contract negotiations meaning salaries would be frozen at a level higher than today.
- Arbitration measures once again fail to consider the taxpayer’s ability to pay, local economic criteria, or set a tight timeline for decisions.
- While capping salaries for public sector CEOs and freezing the pay of some managers, it grandfathers existing compensation agreements including for the 98% of the civil service who got bonuses.
“This won’t get the job done. As it is, it simply amounts to extending a lease on more overspending,” Hudak added. “We’re willing to work to pass legislation that freezes compensation and reforms arbitration, but this does neither.”
Hudak has been consistent since he met with the Premier last November about what is required and his willingness to help if the government is prepared to get serious about the problem. The Ontario PCs have encouraged the government to adopt an integrated and comprehensive plan to rein in the size and cost of government –starting with an immediate across the board wage freeze that would create the breathing room needed to drive structural change throughout government – and to grow the economy.
“We have an opportunity to put Ontario back on a path to prosperity. I encourage the Premier not to miss this opportunity.”