Update Thursday, April 19th: Here are a few very important reasons the Ontario PC will be voting against the McGuinty Liberal Budget 2012, received via e-mail this morning:
(1) The McGuinty Budget does nothing to take us off the path toward a looming $30 billion deficit and $411 billion debt;
(2) The McGuinty Budget contains no jobs plan;
(3) The McGuinty Budget does not reduce spending, only slows its growth and calls that a “cut”; and
(4) The McGuinty Budget contains no detail for achieving a balanced budget by 2017-18.
Plus, here is the full extent of Tim Hudak’s complaints about Budget 2012 as stated in his own words in the Ontario Legislature on March 28th, 2012 (contrary to many in the media who are constantly harping that Hudak has said nothing about Budget 2012).
Original article starts here: Doesn’t anyone at the Toronto Sun pay any attention whatsoever to what is going on in the here and now regarding PC Leader Tim Hudak and the Ontario PC Party?
I mean, not long ago, I wrote an e-mail to Lorrie Goldstein about one of his columns in which he quoted something Hudak had said during last fall’s Ontario election campaign.
I was annoyed because I had just interviewed Hudak and, in my interview, he explained that he had learned from his mistakes in the 2011 election and was now being clear that he comes out of the Mike Harris conservative, low tax, balanced budgets, job creation tradition.
He was also very clear that if the government fell as a result of the Liberals’ spring budget and his party was elected with a majority government, he would:
- Put an immediate freeze on public sector wages and growth,
- Shut down the Feed-In-Tariff boondoggle; and
- Put an immediate moratorium on full-day kindergarten and wind energy projects.
And, given the gentleman Goldstein is, he replied to me that he was glad that Hudak had come out stronger than he did when he was interviewed by the Sun Editorial Board before the October 2011 election — when Hudak was apparently iffy on the public sector wage freeze.
Well, people change. Hudak is definitely not iffy now. So, did Goldstein not share with anyone about my interview? If not, it just shows that, while Sun journalists are willing to assume Dalton McGuinty or NDP Leader Andrea Horwath can change, for some reason, Hudak cannot.
For example, here are the final few paragraphs of today’s editorial (with my comments immediately below):
“(1) As for Conservative Leader Tim Hudak, he needs to do more than keep repeating the mantra that he won’t support the Liberal budget because it doesn’t address job creation or government spending.”
Tim Hudak met with Premier McGuinty last November, asking that there be an immediate wage freeze. So, what does the McGuinty Government do? They release their budget saying they are going to “negotiate” wage concessions –which will turn out to be meaningless. We are talking a billion dollars here. Then, just this week Hudak released a statement about how, without major changes to the budget, the current deficit will balloon to $30 billion dollars by 2017 — exactly what Don Drummond said.
And, if the interest rates go up, that will mean millions of additional dollars will have to come out of existing programs like health care and education. So, excuse me, Toronto Sun? How on earth can the PC Party support a budget that won’t get Ontario out of the current fiscal quagmire? I mean, how is that a mantra? How is it that Hudak’s latest ideas do not address government spending and job creation? What complete and utter journalist incompetence — because Hudak and the party do deal with those issues!
“(2) In the last election, the Tory platform was virtually indistinguishable from the Liberal one in its support of all-day kindergarten and its absurd mimicking of the Liberals’ promise it would be relatively easy to balance the budget by 2017-18.”
That was then and this is now. Why is the Toronto Sun still in the middle of the 2011 election campaign? People and plans change as I said in point #1. In fact, at the very start of my recent interview with Hudak, he admitted that the fiscal situation is so bad, that it would be impossible for any political party to eliminate the current Ontario deficit before 2017. Would the Sun Editorial Board rather he had lied to Ontarians like Dalton McGuinty has done on several occasions (like promising not to raise taxes and then doing just that)?
The other problem is that the current Liberal budget does not deal with the deficit at all. Which means, that if the Liberals pass this budget and the Sun agrees with it, they are part of the problem, because the current deficit is going to double by 2017, not be balanced by that date. Remember, that is not Hudak or me who is making that claim. That was Don Drummond’s conclusion (see link above under point # 1). So, clearly, when all the Sun does is complain about what Hudak did or said six months ago, the McGuinty government is getting a pass and for the life of me, I can’t figure out why.
“(3) What the Conservatives should be doing is developing and sharing a credible plan with voters about how they’ll balance the budget when the real election comes.”
Actually the plan the Ontario PCs gave during the last election WAS a credible plan. The problem was they said they could balance the budget by 2017 and that was not fast enough for the Toronto Sun. Well, it was the truth. And, it is a truth they continue to declare. Where the problem comes in, is that the Liberals are the ones without a real plan.
However, speaking of a plan, did the Sun Editorial Board even look at the Ontario PC website? I mean, since we are not in an election campaign at the moment, there is no formal platform but, and this is a big but, the PCs have made it very clear what their seven priorities are — priorities the Sun Editorial Board SHOULD have included in their editorial.
- An immediate reduction of government spending by over 10%, outside of health and education.
- A mandatory wage freeze for the public sector that would save $2 billion instead of failed Liberal promises of a wage freeze.
- Competition for government contracts and private delivery of government services.
- Ending the $2.5 billion in corporate welfare.
- A real plan to fix our broken arbitration system – including ensuring arbitrators take into account the ability to pay.
- A top-to-bottom program review of government spending to ensure every dollar is being spent wisely.
- A review of all 630 government agencies, boards and commissions.
So, please, could the Toronto Sun editorial board please do up-to-date research when they write about the current Ontario situation? Could they also stop assuming an election would be bad for Ontario? It would NOT be bad for Ontario because we desperately need the PCs in charge if ever the province is going to get out of the current Liberal fiscal mess and be the “have” province it used to be.
Get real? Seriously? Absolutely! There is no amount of tinkering the NDP or the PCs can negotiate that would make the current Liberal budget acceptable.
Endnotes: Other related information about Tim Hudak and the Ontario PCs — here, here, here, and here.