The Ontario leaders debate showed Tim Hudak clutching the same old talking points – the ones he has made up. So, to save some time here are the some fact checks on Hudak’s fantasies, smears and lies.
eHealth: Hudak says $1 Billion was wasted on Liberal consultants.
TRUTH: The Auditor General says Hudak is “going too far” on his claims of money wasted, and that much of the money spent “is going to turn out to… benefit taxpayers.” (Standing Committee on Public Accounts, October 21, 2009) He goes on to say that he looked at allegations of party politics playing any role and concluded “we saw no evidence of this.” (eHealth Report, Page 11)
In fact, the Auditor points out the program started under the PC government without any real plan of action. Ontario Liberals turned it around and today, 7 million Ontarians have electronic records and all hospital diagnostic testing is digital. (Toronto Star, August 31, 2011)
Carbon Tax: Hudak says a carbon tax is coming.
TRUTH: There is no carbon tax proposal. (National Post, September 22, 2011) In fact, Ontario Liberals are the only party who will not raise taxes. The NDP have a $9 billion tax hike on job creators. And Tim Hudak has pledged to hike property taxes by dumping new costs on cities and ripping up a signed agreement to take back costs from municipalities that the PCs dumped on them last time.
HST: Hudak likes to say “greedy tax grab.”
TRUTH: Hudak once authored a Legislative report that called for the HST. (Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, Pre-Budget Report 2009, page 13) Then as soon as it was introduced (and supported by the federal Conservatives), Hudak opposed it. But now he’s campaigning on keeping it. Oh, and he’ll keep the Health Premium too.
Newcomer Training: Hudak condemns what he calls a “$10,000 affirmative action program” and even calls Canadians “foreigners” or “foreign workers”
TRUTH: The Premier said on CP24 on September 6th that the No Skills Left Behind Training Credit would apply to Canadian Citizens. Hudak repeated his “foreign worker” slag for at least 6 more days. (Globe and Mail, September 14, 2011). And his candidates continue to use divisive language. (Ottawa Citizen, September 27, 2011) Hudak is also trying to ignore the fact that he introduced legislation that offered wage subsidies to hire newcomers, but had no requirement for citizenship.
Debt Retirement Charge: Hudak says the debt is paid off and can magically come off hydro bills.
TRUTH: The Auditor General doesn’t agree. And even Hudak’s staff admitted they are making this up. “In their hastily convened counter-briefing, the Tories tried to explain everything… they had a hard time justifying the removal of the DRC from hydro bills (acknowledging that the debt is still there.)” (Toronto Star, June 22, 2011)
Clean Energy Jobs: Hudak pretends clean energy jobs don’t exist.
TRUTH: Clean energy jobs are here, and more are being created across the province. But Hudak is intent on killing them. (London Free Press, September 14, 2011)
Have Not: Hudak says Ontario is now a have-not province.
TRUTH: Former Premier Bill Davis said he doesn’t agree that Ontario has slipped to being a have-not province simply because it qualifies for federal equalization payments. “The reality is that (Ontario) is still economically the best province. Just ask any new person coming to Canada — 50% of them come to the province of Ontario. Why? Because this is where they see the future… in terms of opportunity and in terms of educational system, the health care system, I think we’re still Number 1.” (Owen Sound Sun Times, August 23, 2011)
Small Business: Hudak claims to have a plan for small businesses
TRUTH: Ontario Liberals have already done everything on Hudak’s list, including eliminating 80,000 regulations. And the Ontario Liberal Plan goes one step further, cutting small business taxes further. “There is, however, no mention of tax reductions for small business in the PC platform.” (Globe and Mail, September 18, 2011)
John works for the Kathryn McGarry Camapign.
-30-Tags: ontario, Ontario Liberals, Tim Hudak, Toronto Star