Grey all candidates meeting - Pictured above, seated, from
left, David Matthews, NDP; Lorne Kenney, Lib; Jesseca Dundan, Green;
and Jim Wilson, PC, take questions from the floor last night.
Wilson says Honda 'can move these machines'
Posted May 27,
Simcoe Grey MPP Jim Wilson told an all-candidates
meeting audience last
night that during a recent tour of the Honda operations in Alliston
with PC leader Tim Hudak, the automaker's officials taking part in it,
asked that they pass along to Liberal leader Kathleen Wynne, "not to
take us for granted."
Mr. Wilson made the comments while answering a question about his
party's plans to lower corporate taxes if elected as a means of
generating private sector jobs.
"Corporations are teachers. It's your pension funds. It's anyone that
has mutual funds. Corporations are people, and they will
hire people if
the tax environment is right, if the red tape environment is right, if
the hydro bill's not too high," he said, adding, "Tim and I toured
Honda recently, and
they said, 'you should tell Kathleen Wynne, don't take us for granted.
can move these machines.' Their (Honda) hydro rates have skyrocketed,
almost three times higher than any other jurisidction we have to
Mr. Wilson on stage last night at Banting Memorial High School, in
front of a half-filled audience, were Jesseca Dudun, the Green Party
candidate; Lorne Kenney, Liberal; and David Matthews,
Most of the floor questions and focus from the candidates revolved
around the PC Party's "Million Jobs" plan, and the promise to eliminate
100,000 public sector jobs, which Mr. Wilson explained would occur
mainly through a "natural attrition" rate.
In one particular exchange, Mr. Wilson was asked to speculate where
Simcoe Grey's projected share of the public sector cuts would come from.
"You're the MPP who has been in office (since 1990), It's likely that
Mr. Hudak will turn to you for
advice on where the job cuts will take place. We also know that you
have a strong commitment to the hospital sector so you're unlikely to
make recommendations in that area. Which sectors do you think are going
to receive most of the cuts of the 860 in Simcoe Grey?
Mr. Wilson said, the cuts amounted to less than 10
per cent over four years, returning the size of the public sector to
"A 5-9 per cent natural attrition, so
theoretically in two years, nobody has to be fired," he said mentioning
the 637 agency boads and commissions that could be dismantled,
including Drive Clean - a program established by the government he
served under Mike Harris.
"We want to get rid
of the LHINs, they're spending far too much money on bureaucracy and
enough on front line health care. We want to get rid of the Ontario
Power Authority. There are several thousand people there that make over
$100,000 a year. When I was energy minister that body didn't exist and
necessary. We've been honest with you telling you where we think we can
cut, but we can do it by attrition if we have to."
"What rubbish," countered Mr. Kenney. "You cut 100,000 jobs, you can't
do it by attrition. And
if you do do it by attrition, you're just basically not hiring 100,000
people. Who's going to do the work that they would do? Next, services
are going to get cut. Where's the plan when we don't have those people?
It's foolishness, and I want no part of it."
Mr. Matthews, replied with, "Let's face it, 100,000 jobs to
Conservatives, that doesn't mean
anything. All these people in the Conservative party are all working,
they're all taking food home. Who would give a damn? The one thing I
find amazing is when Mr. Hudak came up with this policy, he was going
to create one million jobs over eight years, then it was six years. He
was going to cut 100,000 over the next two years, now I believe its
escalated up to four years. I don't think he really knows what he's
talking about. And the whole point of the matter is, they know what
they're going to cut and they know what programs are going to be cut,
and they're too
damned embarrassed to admit it because if they do, they know they won't
Ms. Dudun was most forceful on the night when the first question from
the floor asked the candidates their positions and feelings abouts
increasing burdens on post secondary school students and their families.
"We need students to stand up and say that they're tired of it. We
need students to get together and make a stand and say we're not going
to take this anymore. We're not graduating from college to go into an
entry level position with thousands of dollars worth of debt, and OSAP
isn't going to cut, and our loans aren't going to cut it."
"It took me nine years to pay off my loan from
the University of Toronto," said Mr. Wilson, but the fact of the
matter is, I had three jobs all through school. Young people now tell
me they just can't get a job to even help out with the bills. So we're
focusing on jobs like a laser."
Ward 8 councillor Jim Stone asked the candidates whether they would
commit to providing more grants, particularly through gas tax revenues,
to municipalities to help pay for infrastructure improvements.
"I can't promise you gobs of new money," said Mr. Wilson. "We're going
to ask all our
partners in the first two years to do what Paul Martin did in the
1990s: reducing the size and cost of government, getting hydro rates
cutting red tape, starting to live within our means."
Other highlights in quotes from the night:
Jim Wilson: "I certainly am a believer in climate change.
There's lots of evidence
for it all over the world, particularly Canada, Canada's north, but no
we won't be introducing new taxes.
Jim Wilson: "100,000 in our world, can be more than made
up by growing the private
sector. Paul Martin did the same thing in Ottawa. And he was considered
up until Jim Flaherty, and some still consider Paul Martin the
best finance minister this country ever had, he did it by cutting down
the size of government, cutting taxes on the job creators in the
private sector, lowering their hydro bills, cutting red tape, and
growing jobs where they should be. As Jean Chretien famously said one
day, not everybody can work for government, and not everybody should
work for government."
Jesseca Dudun: "We don't have a platform to cut 100,000
jobs so I can't speak to that."
Dave Matthews: "Our party will stop all expansion of windmills. We want to check the contracts that we have to see what is actually in them. Wind solar and water are all important parts of a hydro system, but they have to be managed so that we can take full benefit from them."
Lorne Kenney: "When the Liberals took over from the
Conservatives, we had blackouts,
brownouts, dirty coal, problems with transmission. And there was an
artificial ceiling put on hydro prices that had to be removed. We now
have enough generating
capacity, and can look forward to more stable pricing."