Hudak promises to ‘fire up’ North’s economy – by Carol Mulligan (May 23, 2013)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak slammed what he called the identical twins of bigger government, higher taxes and deeper debt – the Liberal and New Democratic Party coalition – during a swing through Sudbury on Thursday.

Hudak repeatedly swiped at the NDP for propping up what he called the corrupt government of Premier Kathleen Wynne, charging it wasted millions of dollars when it cancelled two Toronto-area gas plants before October’s provincial election to save two Liberal MPPs’ seats.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath announced this week she would back Wynne’s spring budget, averting a June election. “This is clearly about the NDP and the Liberal MPPs putting their own seats and their own pay cheques ahead of Northern Ontario families,” Hudak said during a whistle stop at Anmar Mechanical and Electrical Contractors in Lively.

Hudak visited the Mumford Road plant to lend his support to Sudbury PC candidate Paula Peroni who this week went public with her 15-month battle with breast cancer.

The Tory leader has been pitching northern voters in recent weeks saying Northern Ontario residents are being harder hit than the rest of the province by the loss of jobs and increasing debt in Ontario.

The province is run by special interests in southern Ontario, who want to “turn the north into a museum and freeze us in time,” said Hudak.

The Liberals will chase away even more jobs from Ontario and challenge the future of the province’s young people if they establish the College of Trades, a legislative framework for the trades in Ontario.

“The so-called College of Trades is going to be a new barrier to young people getting good jobs in the trades. It’s going to hurt our manufacturing and our resource sector.

“I mean right now we have too many people who are home with mom and dad who thought they’d be out making their way in the world by now. They don’t need a College of Trades that’s going to raise taxes and put a new obstacle preventing those young people from getting those new jobs.

“It’s just another example of the Liberal-NDP coalition that’s causing harm to our economy and taking away opportunity from our province,” said Hudak.
The good news is there’s an alternative to the NDP-Liberal coalition, said Hudak, and it will “fire up the Northern Ontario economy.”

That’s the Tories’ plan to lower taxes, modernize labour laws and “get energy rates under control.”

Northern Ontario “could be the new frontier when it comes to job creation,” he said.

Peroni said her biggest concern is losing young people to the West or the U.S. as they look for jobs or apprenticeships.

Hudak said Progressive Conservatives would partner with Cambrian College and College Boreal to get more people excited about the trades and the job opportunities that Anmar owners say can come with wages of up to $100,000 a year.

The Tory leader repeated his party’s support to moving ahead development of the Ring of Fire chromite deposits in northwestern Ontario, starting with the premier championing the area.

“If we had this kind of (Liberal) government when the Sudbury Basin was being developed, we wouldn’t be here today,” said Hudak. “It would be wilderness or some museum in time.”

Residents in southern Ontario probably think the Ring of Fire is a Johnny Cash a but (the Ring of Fire) can be so much more than that.”

He has pledged to assign a senior cabinet minister to head development of the Ring of Fire if the Tories are elected.

When asked if Conservatives would require companies such as Cliffs Natural Resources to process all of the chromite ore mined in the Ring of Fire in Ontario, Hudak said they would.

“How do you do that? Well, you’ve got to make sure your energy rates are affordable so it makes business sense, so you don’t have all kinds of new rules and regulations like the College of Trades to drive up costs. Make sure that taxes are low enough to encourage that investment.”

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