Premier Full of Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing: Hudak
04 September 2012
“Having driven the economy into the ground, McGuinty is now making a virtue of digging us out… Do you hear anyone talking about Ornge? That $190 million gas plant? Nope, neither do I.”
- Christina Blizzard, The Toronto Sun, August 27, 2012
QUEEN’S PARK – Ontario will emerge on the other side of its jobs and fiscal crisis stronger than before – but only if its government stops playing charades in a phony session of the Legislature and adopts a PC bill to freeze wages across the board, which is on the shelf and ready to go, PC Leader Tim Hudak said today.
“It’s a case of cause and effect,” Hudak said. “The cause of our crisis is nine years of this government’s reckless overspending. The effect: We’ve run out of money, which puts everything we value at risk. And our huge debt is discouraging investment that could create jobs.
“So we’re going to fight to do the job for this government. We have a mandatory wage freeze bill for the entire public sector on the shelf and ready to go. If the Premier is truly committed to an across-the-board wage freeze including an end to performance bonuses, we call on him to include it in a substantive Fall Economic Statement.”
The government wants to distract Ontarians from the urgency of our situation, Hudak said: “It called an ‘emergency session’ of the Legislature to ‘change the channel’ from its record of overspending and debt, scandal and mismanagement. They got one partial wage freeze for one group of government employees – with 3,999 still to go. We are out of time.”
The Premier wants Ontarians to forget the huge raises he gave the public sector unions over nine years, and believe what he is saying now, Hudak added. “And he wants public sector workers to forget what he is saying now, and remember the raises he gave them over nine years. With a wink and a nod he’s telling them, ‘Hang tight – there will be more to come.’ This is a charade.”
For example, it’s simply not good enough to muse about “taking a look” at ending unsustainable public sector benefits that the private sector got rid of years ago – like being able to store up sick days and cash them in for money on retirement. “Sick days are for being sick,” Hudak said.
This is why the Ontario PC Caucus will fight hard this session for its Freeze, Fix, Reduce package of integrated ideas for reducing the size and cost of government, Hudak pledged. “We need to freeze public sector salaries across the board, as well as halt any scheduled spending increases.”
That would buy us time to get down into the way government operates and spends to make it sustainable, toward a Fall Economic Statement that actually commits to reduced spending, Hudak said.
“That is the plan we will fight for as this lame-duck session limps on.”