Hudak would cut 100,000 public sector jobs to wipe $12.5B deficit year early

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BARRIE, Ont. – Ontario’s Opposition Leader Tim Hudak’s vow Friday to wipe out 100,000 public sector jobs if he wins the June 12 election earned immediate condemnation from his political opponents and union leaders.

The public sector job cuts are a key part of the Progressive Conservative leader’s plan to eliminate the $12.5-billion deficit by 2016 — a year ahead of the Liberals’ schedule.

It’s the fastest way to restore business confidence and generate new investment and new jobs, said Hudak, who calls job creation “the only issue” in this election.

“If I have to trade off 100,000 jobs in the bureaucracy for one million new jobs in the private sector creating wealth, that’s a tradeoff I would do any second,” he told a town hall meeting in Barrie.

“It’s not easy, I take no joy in this, but it has to be done if we want job creators to put more people on the payroll in our province.”

Hudak said he can make a 10 per cent cut in the size of the public sector without affecting “vital” services performed by nurses, doctors and police, and save $2 billion a year.

He’d also make sure new government hires don’t get the “gold plated pensions” current civil servants enjoy “that aren’t seen anywhere outside of government.”

Campaigning in Belleville, Premier Kathleen Wynne warned voters that Hudak’s plan “would turn paycheques into pink slips” and force him to slash government programs that people need.

“Tim Hudak either doesn’t understand the numbers … or he doesn’t care about the services that we deliver in this province,” she said at an earlier stop in Kingston.

The New Democrats said it doesn’t make sense to throw more people out of work when so many are already struggling to find a job.

“The type of ideas Hudak was floating were first seen in Alabama a half century ago,” NDP Leader Andrea Horwath told public sector union delegates in Toronto.

The Ontario Public Service Employees Union said Hudak’s culling of jobs would be “five times worse” than cuts brought in by former PC premier Mike Harris nearly 20 years ago.

Union president Warren (Smokey) Thomas called for government workers to vote strategically in tight races, even if that means going against the union’s traditional ally — the NDP.

“Hudak does not represent anything good for Ontario. So I would say to people, if you’re in a riding where it’s close vote for anybody just beat a Tory,” said Thomas.

“If Hudak wins a majority, it’s your job that’s at stake.”

The Canadian Union of Public Employees said the PC “unemployment plan” would affect child-care workers, people providing direct support to the elderly and people with disabilities, hospital cleaners, school support staff and people who provide special education.

“That’s why every family in Ontario, every community in Ontario will be hard hit,” said CUPE Ontario president Fred Hahn.

By promising to protect only health-care funding as he balances the books, Hudak becomes the first Ontario leader to say he’d cut the education budget.

“Will it mean fewer teachers? It does,” Hudak said answering his own question. “We’ll hire more nurses, we’ll keep our police officers, but it will mean fewer teachers in our system.”

Hudak said it’s too late to kill full-day kindergarten, the $1.5-billion-a-year program that will be fully implemented across Ontario this fall, but he would change it so there’s no longer both a teacher and an early childhood educator in the class at the same time.

Government is growing bigger than taxpayers can afford, said Hudak, as he vowed to eliminate agencies such as the Ontario Power Authority, Local Health Integration Networks and the College of Trades. The Tories would also kill programs that “don’t offer good value” such as Drive Clean, the unpopular vehicle emissions tests, and even a home renovation tax credit for seniors.

Hudak would reduce the number of administrative jobs across government and also shrink the size of cabinet from 27 to 16 ministers and, unlike the Liberals and New Democrats, insisted he won’t be promising any new spending programs to lure voters.

“I’m not going to be the leader that promises you more and more spending,” he said. “There’s no compassion in borrowing money on your credit card and handing it over to you. I’m actually promising less spending.”

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13 comments on “Hudak would cut 100,000 public sector jobs to wipe $12.5B deficit year early

  1. I am looking forward to his campaign promise to legalize marijuana….clearly he is a big fan of the stuff and has been smoking a lot of it lately….should create at least a million jobs …the real kind as well as imagined kind….what the heck…make that 2 million.

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  2. what about the high paying jobs in the cabinet including Hudak`s

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  3. CBC Ontario Morning host Wei Chen – So you’re going to create jobs by firing people?
    Hudak – …

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  4. Hudak is in the ilk of the US Tea Party who are in the process of destroying the Republican Party in the USA. Trust me you don’t want the anti-union, small government but big military of the Tea Party… Most of their idea are right out crazy and based on ignorance and fear. We are smarter than that. Ask yourself how much it will cost when they hire private sector, profit driven replacement. It’s never cheaper but it creates a lot of profit for Hudak’s sponsors and friends. That is the real driver.

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  5. If he cuts a 100,000 jobs that would be sure to pop the inflated housing situation in the GTA. Moronic way to garner votes.

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  6. While it is nice to see at least one leader who understands that the function of the government is to make choices, not to spend blindly in all areas, one does wonder on what basis he is prioritizing health care over education given that education leads to jobs while health care is largely just a drain on resources with most of the spending occurring in the last few years of a person’s life.

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  7. Hudak continues to amaze with his ignorance. How can ontario move forward by halting progress with “Harris” like thinking. I hope Ontarians remember the way Harris’ government balanced their books by selling off money making government assets. Slow and steady as the saying goes.

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  8. Tough medicine, but it’s bout time all of us in Ontario wake up and realize we need to get our fiscal house in order and then we will save a ton of money on not needing to service our debt. After that we can treat ourselves to the services that we think we need and deserve. Why is it that everyone realizes that when it comes to their own pocket but somehow think that the money government spends is not theirs?

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  9. It is shocking to hear a leader admit that he promises to cripple the success of the province’s children. Cutting teachers often seems to be a ‘quick fix’, but rarely are the results seriously viewed from the perspective of the child. Children do not simply learn by being within the four walls of a classroom. Especially in their earliest years, students need frequent one-one interaction with their teachers. This is less likely to happen as class numbers increase.

    When teachers are cut the students they taught are still there. Where, for example, three classes each with 25 grade 3 students existed before cuts, perhaps only 2 classes of 37-38 students each exist post cuts. Or perhaps one of those classes is turned into a grade 2/3 split. Whatever the configuration of the students post-cuts, the quality of education every single student receives when teachers are cut is diminished.
    Is it really worth it? If cuts are planned upon a child’s entry to formal education, clearly there is no concern for the success of those children. Their early years are key in terms of literacy and numeracy. When students fail to learn to read and understand math in their primary years, it is infinitely more difficult for them to acquire these skills as they grow.

    It is madness to imagine the success of the province depends on crippling the future of its children.

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    • I don’t see too many teachers on the Sunshine list. Maybe Hudak can go after the Ministry or Board level employees for a change. Lots of them on the Sunshine list…

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  10. wishful thinking platform. PCs will be looking for new leader after election. whatever happened to ‘Progressive’ Conservatives. Mike Harris, encore. hold your nose and vote Liberal.

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  11. Hudak is an idiot! Cutting 100,000 jobs will mean the end of small business and the Canadian locally owned retail market. Those 100,000 people losing their jobs will shop at Walmart and eat at McDonalds. Congrats Mr. Hudak, your 100,000 job cut turns into a 300,000 unemployment toll. Simple economics folks…doesn’t anyone in the PC Party understand?

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  12. Instead of cutting out teachers, why are you not cutting out the fat cats, such as at the Ministry level of Education eg: school trustees…………..they are the ones on the “sunshine list” not teachers.

    I have a nephew who completed his college course as a Millwright. Ever since then, he has not been able to get an employer to hire him so that he can earn his hours of apprentiship. Is this something that the college should have taken into consideration in their statistics? Why are you cutting out The Trades Program?………………….this doesn’ t make any sense…………..we need stats to show where the jobs are, what the employers need……………would all of this info not come from the colleges? The biggest problem that we need to focus on in the province is “JOBS”………let’s get at it.

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