QUEEN’S PARK – Monte McNaughton states, “More grim numbers from StatsCan on job losses in Ontario make an urgent case for a pro-growth plan to reduce the size and cost of government on one hand, and kick-start the private sector economy on the other”. The PC Economic Development Critic comments follow the release of employment numbers for February, which show that Ontario lost another 5,400 full-time jobs, while the rest of Canada added 14,500 full-time jobs.
“Ontario’s unemployment rate has now been above the national average for 62 months in a row. Since October’s election, the province has lost 62,500 full-time jobs. With Ontarians staring at a $30 billion deficit, and with 600,000 people out of work, we now know the results of Dalton McGuinty’s one-off spending binges and approach to governing that never sees the big picture,” McNaughton said. “But Ontario businesses can thrive and create jobs again if the taxes they pay, the regulations they must comply with and the energy costs they bear are brought back into line”, McNaughton added.
“That’s why we’ve focused this week on a plan for a market-driven energy policy. Tim Hudak’s Affordable Energy and Restoration of Local Decision Making Act will scrap the Liberals’ unsustainable wind and solar subsidies – and give residents a voice in how these projects are managed locally from now on.”
“Dalton McGuinty is clinging to huge, European-style subsidies to renewable energy developers – which even the Europeans are abandoning”, McNaughton noted. “And he’s bringing this subsidized power online just when we already have surplus electricity. So we have to pay Quebec and New York to take the extra power off our hands. That doesn’t make economic sense. It’s driving up costs for businesses just when they need to be creating jobs.”
McNaughton said that reversing Ontario’s deepening jobs crisis shows that the province must treat energy policy as economic policy, because of electricity’s role as a major cost driver for job creators. “That effort starts with the principles of affordability, market competition and a stable regulatory environment,” continued McNaughton. “If Dalton McGuinty won’t embrace these principles, we will.”