Tim Hudak: For A Better Future, Stop Digging
27 August 2012
“Hudak… said he hopes to pull McGuinty further along to similar legislation for all public sector workers”
- The Toronto Star, August 25, 2012
QUEEN’S PARK – The first step toward a more sustainable path for the things that Ontarians value most, like classroom education and front-line health care, begins with a commitment from this government that it will freeze spending, PC Leader Tim Hudak said today.
Hudak’s comments came prior to the resumption of the Ontario Legislature Monday, to debate the government’s frantic 11th hour bid to forestall classroom chaos of its own making at the start of the school year.
“We are here only because of a dawning recognition by this government that they can’t throw money at its union friends to buy ‘labour peace’ anymore – because it’s run out of money to throw,” Hudak said, referring to nine years of reckless overspending, after handing the keys to critical public programs over to union bosses.
“It all makes the case for urgent action, and an integrated, comprehensive plan to fundamentally restructure the way government spends your money, Instead of this government’s manic improvising, let’s Freeze, Fix, and Reduce.”
Step One, Hudak explained, requires an across-the-board, mandatory wage freeze for the entire Broader Public Sector (BPS) – for everyone, including MPPs, heath care workers and others – which the Ontario PCs have been advocating since last year. “This goes beyond this government’s ad-hoc, one-off approach. After all, there are still thousands of public sector collective agreements to go – and we’re running out of time.”
With one “partial freeze” agreement down and 3,999 to go across the BPS, anything other than an across-the-board wage freeze – such as the teachers’ deal, which doesn’t actually freeze wages –amounts to little more than putting a band aid on a broken leg, Hudak stressed: “We need to heal the bone – with bold structural change to the chief cost drivers in government today.”
A mandatory Ontario PC wage freeze across the entire BPS, Hudak added, would buy time for the government to fix the underlying, structural problems that confront our province’s economy while saving $2 billion annually.
“We then need to look beneath these huge bills to taxpayers to see what’s running up the credit card,” Hudak concluded. “So the next phase of our plan – Fix – takes a hard look at how Queen’s Park spends your money – and what we get in return.”