TORONTO – “The fact is, Ontario is in a jam”, states Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak. “The money has run out. It’s time to talk to people like adults about our situation. We need policies that will encourage growth – not slow it down”.
“Better days are ahead for Ontario, but only if we get our fiscal house in order and our economic fundamentals back in line”, Hudak said today. Hudak made the comments during a For Jobs and Our Economy Town Hall in Toronto. Hudak is calling for a frank discussion on Ontario’s economic troubles. Toronto, Canada’s commerce capital, suffers from an 8.7 per cent jobless rate – well above the provincial average of 7.7 per cent.
“The number one thing we can do to create jobs is to get our fiscal house in order, Hudak continued: “That will tell businesses and manufacturers that Ontario can afford the things they need to invest, expand and create jobs, like lower taxes and good infrastructure”.
“Yet despite nearly 600,000 unemployed, the government took a bad economy and made it worse with even more taxes on job creating businesses in its spring budget”, added the PC leader. “Nine months since the last election and not a penny has been saved,” Hudak continued. “We need urgent action to rein in this government’s overspending. The more we delay, the more our debt piles up – putting at risk the sustainability of priorities Ontarians care most about, such as quality health care and excellence in education”.
“It’s all a weak response to a looming $30 billion deficit,” Hudak said. “Spending is up $1.8 billion, not down. The debt is up $23 billion, not down. There is nothing to trigger private sector job creation – just more taxes on business and entrepreneurs.”
Another measure of Ontario’s decline is that since 2003, we have lost 300,000 manufacturing jobs, while the public sector has gained the same number. “This is ‘a tale of two Ontarios’ – of public sector haves and private sector have-nots,” Hudak added.
Hudak said “His Ontario PC plan demands urgent action to stop the overspending and get our economic fundamentals right. This includes things like lower business taxes, affordable energy and, most recently, a bold revision of this province’s 1940s era labour laws that hamper our ability to compete, innovate and develop a modern economy as proposed in the Ontario PC Paths to Prosperity Flexible Labour Markets white paper. Other elements of the plan include:
• Controlling spending, reining in deficits and paying down debt;
• Creating 200,000 new skilled trades jobs by fixing the apprenticeship system, and
• Changing the attitude of government toward a pro-growth and pro-jobs approach to encourage business investment – instead of tying it up with restrictions and red tape”.
“That’s my plan. And today in Toronto, and across Ontario, I want to hear what the people who actually pay the bills and create the jobs think about it,” Hudak concluded.