PC Leader Tim Hudak
NORTH BAY - Better days are ahead for Northeastern Ontario, but only if we get our fiscal house in order and our economic fundamentals back in line, PC Leader Tim Hudak said Tuesday.
Hudak made the comments during a For Jobs and Our Economy Town Hall, calling for frank discussion about the government’s made in Ontario jobs and debt crisis which has hit Northeastern communities especially hard.
Currently 20,000 men and women are unemployed in Northeastern Ontario.
“Ontario is in a jam and the government keeps digging the fiscal hole deeper with no plan to get us out,” Hudak said. “The government rammed through a ham-fisted fire sale of Ontario Northland – with no consultation in the North – basically announcing everything was going to be sold off without any plan in place in terms of who could possibly provide those services."
Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli said the number one thing we can do for Northern job creation is get our fiscal house in order: “To me, Northern resources such as Ring of Fire should be part of the solution, but we need lower taxes, affordable energy, and a Northern prospective on decision-making."
Hudak, a former Northern Development and Mines Minister, also repeated his commitment to repealing the Far North Act and opening up new frontiers for job creating mining and forestry investments. He further discussed bold ideas put forward by the PCs like their Paths to Prosperity white papers on affordable energy and modernizing outdated labour laws for jobs and growth. Others include:
· Freeze on new government spending, a mandatory, across-the-board government employee pay freeze for two years and reforming the broken arbitration system which is responsible for costly government union contract settlements;
· Reduce the cost of doing business by lowering taxes and treating energy as a cornerstone of economic growth;
· Change the attitude of government to welcome job creators, not smother them with regulations and red tape; and
· Create 200,000 skilled-trade jobs by allowing employers to take on additional apprentices. This means more electricians, ironworkers and carpenters.
Hudak concluded “that these are just some of my ideas to create jobs, kick-start growth and rebuild a more prosperous economic future. And today in North Bay, and across Ontario, I want to hear what the people who actually pay the bills and create the jobs think about these ideas.”