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Hudak defends job numbers ahead of debate

By: The Canadian Press

 | Jun 02, 2014 - 2:00 PM |
TORONTO - Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak said Monday he doesn't want to haggle over exactly how many jobs his so-called "Million Jobs Plan" will create, but he stands by the math behind his key promise.

Pressed again on what will likely be a focus of Tuesday's leaders' debate, Hudak denied making any errors in his calculations and said the important thing is to boost employment.

"We can have a great argument over whether it's going to create 80,000, 100,000, 120,000 or 150,000 jobs, the bottom line is, it's going to create jobs," he said.

"Will lowering taxes on job creators create more jobs? Absolutely. Will more affordable energy for families and industry create more jobs? One hundred per cent sure. Will less red tape help small businesses create more jobs? You're darn right. You add that up, that's over a million jobs, when you add all of that up."

Hudak said he's confident he can fulfil his promise, despite some economists suggesting he confused the term "person years of employment" with permanent jobs.

The governing Liberals say Hudak should admit that the promise to create a million jobs over eight years — while cutting 10 per cent of the public service — is a fantasy.

They've urged him to find one independent economist to back up his numbers, or revise his plan before the televised debate.

The Liberals and the New Democrats have also sounded the alarm over the Tories' pledge to cut 100,000 public sector jobs, saying it would compromise core services such as health care and education.

The Tory leader faced attacks from another group Monday, the Ontario Provincial Police Association, which released two ads accusing him of planning to cut their pay and pensions.

Hudak said he won't make any exceptions in implementing a public sector wage freeze if he's elected June 12.

"I think it's just fair and reasonable to say all of us, starting with me and all the politicians, there won't be any wage increases for at least two years."

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