Musings —10.06.2010 08:07 AM—
One year from today, Ontario will go back to the polls. We Ontario Liberals are already at work, and in fact have been at work for months. We intend to continue to work very hard, to once again earn the confidence of the people. And we intend to take our opponents very, very seriously. We don’t, and will not, take anything for granted.
That’s because the choices are starkly different, and the consequences of making the wrong choice are pretty significant. So I think Ontario voters need to start pondering what would be the consequence of a win by our principal (but by no means only) opponent, Conservative leader Tim Hudak.
Here’s a very short summary of Hudak’s views and positions, mostly derived from his tenure as a Mike Harris disciple. In the year ahead, you will be hearing a lot more about these. Consider them carefully. If you feel as I and many others do, we need to once again cast a vote of confidence in Dalton McGuinty [full disclosure: whose caucus I’ve given comms advice].
- Education: Hudak and his caucus call full-day kindergarten ” a frill.” He has supported funding private religious schools in the past, and he still does.
- Health: When he was the right-hand to the Conservative Minister of Health, Hudak worked to close 28 hospitals and 7,110 hospital beds. He also favoured firing 6,200 nurses. His current plan is to cut $3 billion from front-line health care in Ontario. And he opposed cutting the cost of prescription drugs for Ontario seniors and families.
- Economy: Many times, Hudak and his caucus have voted against tax cuts for Ontario families and businesses. He also opposed the partnership with the auto sector, which saved hundreds of thousands of Ontario families – just as he opposed investment in Ontario infrastructure when the recession hit. And, though he once opposed the HST, he now admits that it should be maintained.
- Energy/Environment: When Hudak and his party were last in power, we had failed energy de-regulation, a “price cap” fiasco, and his Conservative friends getting rich off Hydro One with untendered contracts. When he had a say, dirty coal generation increased 127 per cent. And, of course, Hudak, and his party, created a system where people in Walkerton died, and where hundreds more became sick for life.
In the year ahead, you’ll be hearing more and more about these and other concerns.
And in the year ahead, you will hopefully come to know – as I do – that Dalton McGuinty is a builder.
Tim Hudak and his cabal, meanwhile, are the wrecking crew.