Wednesday, April 16th8.8°C
21427
20358

Hudak urges Liberal government to reject Chrysler's 'ransom' demand

TORONTO - Ontario's Liberal government should refuse to give Chrysler hundreds of millions of dollars in "ransom" money and end its $3 billion a year "corporate welfare" program, Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak said Monday.

Chrysler still owes the province $800 million from the bailout it received during the recession in 2009, and should not try to blackmail the federal and Ontario governments for a reported $700 million, part of a $3.6-billion investment in its plants in Windsor and Brampton, said Hudak.

"Should we pay a nine figure ransom to Chrysler? Of course not," he said. "We should use the money to lower taxes for all, so all companies can create jobs, instead of giving handouts to the very few."

Asked why he was using such harsh language about a large auto company that employs thousands of Ontario workers, Hudak insisted he wasn't attacking Chrysler.

"I don't blame the corporations for chasing the handouts," he said. "I blame the Liberal government for being in the handout business."

Governments should not pick winners and losers, and cutting taxes instead of giving some companies money would make it a level playing field for all, added Hudak.

"Once you say 'Yes' all the time, where do you ever stop," he asked. "There is no proven economic rationale that says you can subsidize your way to prosperity."

Premier Kathleen Wynne called Hudak "irresponsible" and accused the Conservative leader of abandoning Ontario's automotive manufacturing sector.

"Tim Hudak's vision of Ontario apparently doesn't include the auto sector," she said. "I think it's naive to suggest that any Ontario government wouldn't have to work with the auto sector to help them to make the investments that would make them globally competitive."

Wynne said Ontario knows Chrysler is talking with other governments that will also offer the automaker incentives to locate in their state or country.

"The reality is that part of that environment is competing with other jurisdictions that are working in partnership with business to invest in the future," she said.

"I don't understand why any leader of any party in this province would think that it was a good idea to walk away from the auto sector, to make a decision that would literally put at risk hundreds of thousands of jobs."

The Liberals like corporate welfare because it allows them to stage photo-opportunities as they hand out big cheques or open new plants, said Hudak.

"I know that Kathleen Wynne can cut a very pretty red ribbon _ and no doubt it's going to be a red ribbon because this is all about politics, but it's not good economic policy," he said.

Honda set up a new manufacturing plant in Alliston in 1998 without any government money because Ontario had lower taxes and electricity costs, but things are so bad under the Liberals now they have to pay companies to move here, added Hudak.

"The only way for business to open up in Ontario is you have to bribe them with hundreds of millions in taxpayer subsidies," he said. "I think you should start saying 'No' to the corporate extortion that you've got yourself into."

The Conservatives also complained that most of the $3 billion a year the province gives to corporations goes to large, foreign companies such as Samsung, which Hudak noted is a direct competitor to Waterloo, Ont., based BlackBerry.

"It seems like it's never the small and medium-sized companies, and it seems like it's never Canadian companies," he said.

The federal Conservative government set aside an additional $500 million in the recent budget for its Automotive Innovation Fund, but did not release details. The fund was launched in 2008 with a commitment of $250 million over five years and renewed last year for another five years.

Follow @CPNewsboy on Twitter

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

17772


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX14412.82+108.90
S&P CDNX992.100.00
DJIA16373.37110.81
Nasdaq4066.25+32.088
S&P 5001855.05+12.07
CDN Dollar0.9067-0.0042
Gold1301.10+1.10
Oil103.85+0.10
Lumber324.80+0.60
Natural Gas4.545-0.022

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.110.00
Knighthawk0.01-0.005
QHR Technologies Inc1.30+0.03
Cantex0.045-0.005
Anavex Life Sciences0.36-0.02
Metalex Ventures0.08+0.005
Russel Metals30.53+0.26
Copper Mountain Mining2.43+0.11
Colorado Resources0.2650.00
ReliaBrand Inc0.12-0.01
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.025-0.005
Mission Ready Services0.23-0.02

 
19691


20880

FEATURED Property
1806381894 Mt Bulman Place
5 bedrooms 3 baths
$459,500
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Valuation fears grip markets

The Big Picture Valuation fears grip markets Growing concerns about the level of stock market valuations sparked a risk-off trade in global markets this week. Investors are worried that many companies...


Quick and nimble

Photo: ContributedFor many businesses this has been a tremendously difficult time since the 2008 crisis. Business fell off. Sales techniques that always worked, well… stopped working. Customers...


Keeping a clear focus on the future

Many times when we are gripped by fear it can be one of two mental challenges that we can learn to overcome. Photo: ContributedThe Fear is completely imaginary. In this situation there may be no fact...

_



21604

21604


Member of BC Press Council


21188