Last night Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak held a townhall meeting in the Niagara-on-the-Lake Community Centre with local PC candidate (and former two-time MPP) Bart Maves.
This riding is formally called Niagara Falls and includes not only the City of Niagara Falls but the geographic area from Niagara-on-the-Lake straight through to Fort Erie.
Traditionally a bellwether riding, how it goes, the province usually goes. Federally, for example, it is held by Conservative MP Rob Nicholson, who is also the Minister of National Defence.
And, with local Liberal MPP Kim Craitor, a well liked man, regardless of his party affiliation, retiring not long ago, it means that come what may, there will be a by-election here very soon.
Hopefully, Maves can be re-elected because Niagara needs help. As Hudak reminded us last night, fully 40% of the local manufacturing sector has left the area over the past decade leaving thousands unemployed regionally to add to the more than one million unemployed provincially.
Doubt the problem in Niagara had anything to do with Liberal policies? Well, checkout the Town of Fort Erie. It has suffered needlessly under the Liberals.
So what exactly would the Hudak-led PCs do to stop the bleeding and return Ontario (and Niagara) to prosperity?
Well, for one thing, they would put a plan in motion to balance its books, reduce taxes so Ontarians had more money to spend, and create an investment climate that is business friendly.
As I mentioned above regarding how Fort Erie has suffered under the Liberals, here is an open letter from PC Leader Hudak to Premier Wynn about what should be done for the provincial horse racing sector — proving beyond any shadow of a doubt, an Ontario PC government would not only be about cuts, it would be about RESTORING prosperity.
The PCs would also reform the education system to make sure student excellence is rewarded and that the funding formula is fair to rural communities that are located far from their urban school boards.
The reality is the Province of Ontario is experiencing a reduction of some 250,000 fewer children, yet education costs under the Liberals have gone up $8 billion dollars from a decade ago. That kind of increase simply doesn’t make economic sense and, in the long run, is unsustainable.
In the final analysis, the crux of the matter is that Ontarians need to get ready to get rid of the spend thrift, promise-breaking provincial Liberals by replacing them with the responsible and pragmatic Hudak-led PCs.
Update 5pm November 14th, 2013: I just heard that Heinz is going to shut down soon in Leamington putting up to 800 people out of work. Energy costs? Corporate taxes? Red Tape? What did the Liberal Government do that would cause this to happen? This company has been in that community for over a hundred years. Just think of the domino affect on the tomato farmers, the pickers, the farm equipment and seed suppliers and many other secondary industries! My thoughts go out to all those adversely affected.