Ontario election again focused on PC job cuts

By: The Canadian Press

 | May 16, 2014 - 11:27 AM |
TORONTO - Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne agrees with Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak on one thing: the key issue in the campaign for the June 12 election is jobs.

Both Wynne and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath went on the attack again today against Hudak's vow to cut 100,000 public sector jobs in the first term of a Conservative government.

Campaigning in Toronto, Wynne said Hudak's plan to eliminate 10 per cent of the public service would mean fewer firefighters, water inspectors, teachers, personal support workers, nurses and therapists.

Hudak has said his planned cuts would not impact health care, police services or water inspectors.

But Wynne said the focus should be on hiring people, not firing them, adding that job creation "is clearly what the election campaign is about."

Horwath, meanwhile, lashed out at both Hudak and Wynne during a campaign stop in Sarnia, saying voters are "very, very wary" of the PC jobs cut plan, but they no longer trust the "scandal-ridden, wasteful" Liberal government.

For his part, Hudak was promising to increase GO Train service for commuters and said he'd pay for it in part by scrapping the Liberals' plan to spend billions of dollars to electrify the system.

The Liberals have made lots of promises on transit but built very little, he added.

"The Liberals have a long laundry list of things that make Liberals and special interests happy,"said Hudak. "I'd use that money instead to expand GO Train service and on our highways."

Horwath criticized the "mess" both the Conservatives and Liberals made of Ontario's electricity system and claimed people are finding their hydro bills now rival their rent or mortgage payments.

"We used to have very competitive electricity rates in Ontario (but) right now Quebec and Manitoba have electricity rates that are half or less (of ours)," she said. "People are opening their electricity bills and their jaws are literally dropping."

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