Hudak would 'destroy' Ontario's social fabric: Wynne
Premier Kathleen Wynne visits the training centre of the Carpenters' District Council of Ontario on May 12, 2014. Wynne criticized PC Leader Tim Hudak's election promise to reduce the public sector payroll by 10%. (ANTONELLA ARTUSO, Toronto Sun)
Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak’s promise to cut the public payroll by 100,000 positions would “destroy the social fabric” of Ontario, insists Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne.
“He wants to fire many of the people who hire our skilled trades people for home renovations. He wants to cancel the infrastructure projects that are supporting 100,000 jobs a year,” Wynne said Monday. “And his approach would sacrifice our fragile economic recovery and would plunge us back towards recession. That may be his approach but it is not mine.”
Wynne made the comments while visiting a training centre operated by the Carpenters’ District Council of Ontario, of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, in Vaughan, just north of Toronto.
Hudak has vowed to reduce the number of public sector positions to 2009 levels, while protecting frontline services, as part of his commitment to balance the provincial books by 2016.
According to a budget tabled by the Wynne government on May 1, Ontario is on track to spend $12.5 billion more than it takes in this year, and the net debt will grow to $289 billion or more than $21,000 for every person in the province.
Hudak said his parents and sister worked as educators, but he still believes it’s important to decrease the overall number of people employed in the public sector — including teachers — to balance the books and boost the economy.
The PCs also plan to decrease the number of hydro sector employees, whose wages are usually covered through electricity bills.
“I’m giving them the hard talk and the plain truth,” Hudak said, of his message to voters.
His “Million Jobs Plan” would create 10 private sector jobs for every one job lost in the public sector, he predicted.
Wynne called Hudak’s “pink slip pledge” reckless.
“The choice in this election is very clear. We have a plan to cut ribbons at construction sites. Tim Hudak’s plan is to cut jobs at construction sites,” she said.
Statistics Canada reports that the number of people employed in the public sector in Ontario at all levels of government has jumped by 30.2% since 1990 while the number of private sector jobs grew by 26.5% over that same time period.