Rein in Debt and Kick-Start Jobs, Growth and Prosperity: Hudak
15 August 2012
“The Liberals didn’t even hide the fact (the gas plant cancellation) was a vote-buying scheme…There is just so much wrong with this scenario we don’t know where to start. How could Mississauga residents allow their votes to be bought so easily and blatantly?”
- editorial, The Oakville Beaver, July 24, 2012
OAKVILLE – Ontario enjoys tremendous advantages – such as a skilled and educated workforce, innovative entrepreneurs and a prime location in the heart of the North American marketplace – but to turn these advantages into new jobs, we need a comprehensive and integrated pro-growth plan that reins in debt, which is set to triple by 2017, Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak said today.
Hudak made the comments during a For Jobs and Our Economy Town Hall event in Oakville. The unemployment rate for Oakville (including neighbouring municipalities) is 8.7 per cent – well above the provincial and national averages.
“This government’s managerial incompetence has taken a tough economic situation and made it worse,” Hudak. “Nine years of reckless overspending have left us in a deep hole, and they just keep digging, like Tuesday’s revelation that the Liberals doled out nearly $36 million in bonuses for bureaucrats. In fact, 98 per cent of managers received bonus merit pay averaging 3.6 per cent – this includes almost all eligible managers in the public service.
The consequence of that overspending and an alarming debt burden is that the things we care about – such as quality health care, excellence in education and reliable infrastructure – have been put at risk, Hudak said.
“High debt loads divert precious tax dollars away form these priorities and toward debt servicing costs, which are at $10 billion annually. And with interest rates having nowhere to go but up, that massive number will only keep climbing.
“Last Friday, Statistics Canada announced that Ontario had lost another 22,000 manufacturing jobs, for a total of 300,000 – while at the same time they’ve added 300,000 bureaucratic government jobs to our bloated public-sector payroll.”
It all puts Ontario at a tipping point, Hudak added, requiring urgent action and bold ideas to swiftly deal with the government’s overspending and kick-start private sector job growth by getting our economic fundamentals right: “I’m speaking of things like low business taxes, affordable energy, modernized labour laws, eliminating red tape and ending corporate welfare.”
Oakville residents especially are all too aware of this government’s managerial incompetence of handling tax dollars, Hudak added, pointing to the politically-motivated decision to scrap gas plants both here and in Mississauga. The bill for Mississauga alone was $190 million,” Hudak noted, and the cost of canceling Oakville could rise as high as $1 billion.
“No wonder Ontario won’t balance its books until three years later than all other provinces,” Hudak said. “Bad decisions like these also explain why our province has lagged Canada in job creation for 67-straight months, wage growth is virtually stagnant, and our deficit is three times the size of all other provinces – combined.”
The PC Party alone offers, bold, fresh, positive ideas for dealing urgently with these problems,” Hudak concluded. “We alone understand that urgent action is to take Ontario on a new path towards jobs, growth and prosperity.”