Ontario Votes: Clement keeps up federal pressure on Wynne
Treasury Board President Tony Clement is the latest federal Conservative to jump in to the Ontario election campaign — accusing Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne of inflaming the pension debate to draw attention away from her party's "disastrous record."
Speaking on CBC News Network's Power & Politics, Clement called Wynne's provincial retirement plan proposal a "tax grab" designed to overshadow talk of past Liberal scandals.
"She doesn't want to talk about the gas plants scandal, she doesn't want to talk about E-health scandal. She wants to divert attention from her government's terrible record on these things as well as terrible economic record," he told host Evan Solomon. "So, I'm not going to play into her campaign strategy, quite frankly."
Traditionally federal cabinet ministers refrain from meddling in provincial elections, but Clement said he is "very comfortable" as an Ontario senior cabinet minister entering the fray.
"I'm going to make sure we're working to protect the interests of Ontarians...make sure we have lower taxes, make sure we have policies that work for Ontarians, and she's not offering that," he said. "She's offering a diversionary tactic to take the prism of viewing off her disastrous record."
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has already lashed out at Wynne's pension plan, calling it an "unnecessary tax hike."
Wynne has also taken shots at Harper, accusing him of refusing to work with the provinces on a plan to help younger Canadians save for their retirement. If he doesn't want to help, he "needs to get out of the way," she said on the weekend.
And in an interview on CBC Radio's The House, Finance Minister Joe Oliver also blasted the recent Liberal budget.
"This is the route to economic decline, not the route to economic growth or job creation," he said.