Tuesday, October 6th1.8°C

Hudak defends companies taking public money while pledging end to subsidies

COBOURG, Ont. - Companies have had little choice other than to take government grants given high taxes and energy costs, Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak said Wednesday.

Speaking at a plastics manufacturing plant that has benefited from millions in public money, Hudak defended his host while touting his own plan to end such subsidies.

"If your taxes were going through the roof and your energy bill was skyrocketing, I don't blame any business leader for trying to get some of that money back," Hudak said.

"A better approach is not to take all that money out of this plant to begin with."

Hudak's aides would not allow the media to speak to Peter Garvey, owner of Horizon Plastics, whom they quoted as being supportive of the Conservative plan. They later said it was at Garvey's request.

The Tory leader argues lower taxes and power rates would be of more use than government handouts, part of his campaign platform for the June 12 election to end "corporate welfare."

He blamed the Liberal government under both Premier Kathleen Wynne and her predecessor Dalton McGuinty for steep job losses in the province's manufacturing sector, and for throwing money at the problem rather than fixing it.

"I understand why companies are going to ask for handouts because the Liberal government is in the handout business," Hudak said.

"The problem is it tends to reward the well connected, those that hire the fancy Liberal lobbyist, and others get stuck paying the bills."

He also accused Wynne of failing to understand how the "real economy" works.

Hudak is pledging to create about half-a-million new jobs over eight years if elected by cutting corporate taxes — they would be the lowest in North America — and electricity costs, among other measures.

He's also promising to slash 100,000 public sector jobs, but has not specified which jobs would go out the door.

At a time that 300,000 manufacturing jobs were being cut, the "McGuinty-Wynne" Liberals were adding as many workers to the public-sector payroll, he said.

Speaking in Windsor, Ont., Wynne warned against measures that would damage economic growth.

Firing 100,000 people would "create a negative ripple effect in the private sector," Wynne said.

"We are on track of getting rid of the budget deficit by 2017, and we will do that by making sure that this economy grows — not that this economy stops."

Hudak argued lower tax and hydro costs would mean factories can invest in new machinery and people.

The Tories are also promising to cut red tape and expand the number of skilled-trade apprentice positions.

Horizon Plastics attempted to roll back wages for their employees at their Cambridge plant after opening a "satellite" operation in Mexico's tax-free zone, the Liberals pointed out in a statement.

The company locked out the employees in January 2014. The lockout ended Jan. 28, when employees faced the prospect of their jobs being exported to Mexico.

Hudak later stopped by at a stereo-equipment manufacturer in Peterborough, Ont., before heading to Ottawa to spend the night.

The Canadian Press

Read more Business News

Recent Trending

Today's Market
S&P TSX13552.20+212.46
S&P CDNX529.91+4.35
S&P 5001987.05+35.69
CDN Dollar0.7634-0.001
Natural Gas2.475+0.025

Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.215+0.000
QHR Technologies Inc1.22+0.03
Metalex Ventures0.06+0.00
Russel Metals22.51+1.03
Copper Mountain Mining0.50+0.08
Colorado Resources0.07-0.01
ReliaBrand Inc0.004-0.000
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.02+0.00
Mission Ready Services0.095+0.005
Decisive Dividend Corp3.49+0.00
Diamcor Mining0.90+0.02


2067250#1 - 4100 Gallaghers Parkland Dr.
2 bedrooms 3 baths
more details
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading

Perfect (reno'd) home

Photo: Thinkstock.comHow many times have you found a home in the perfect location, but it needs too much work as per the home inspection? There is a great program available through most lenders that w...

Living beyond 100

Photo: ContributedThere was a time most careers involved an apprenticeship of one sort another. Some official, others involving years of servitude, and others time simply spent watching and emulating ...

5 Claim misconceptions

Photo: Thinkstock.comIf you have been hurt in an accident or as a result of medical negligence you will likely look to your friends and family for some advice on how to deal with the situation. These ...




Member of BC Press Council