The first policy announcement in the 2014 Ontario election campaign that seemed to stir up a real strong reaction with voters was Tim Hudak's pitch to cut 100,000 public sector jobs on Friday.
- Ontario Votes 2014: More coverage
- Tim Hudak would cut 100,000 public sector jobs if Tories win Ontario election
We asked Progressive Conservative candidate in Nepean-Carleton Lisa MacLeod, New Democratic Party candidate in Carleton-Mississippi Mills John Hansen and Liberal candidate in Ottawa West-Nepean Bob Chiarelli for reaction as part of our local coverage.
Here's some of what they had to say:
Lisa MacLeod, PC candidate for Nepean-Carleton
"Our Million Jobs Plan is very clear, we're looking at creating a million brand-new jobs in the province of Ontario within the private sector. This is a Liberal government who over the past decade has not only doubled the debt, they have increased taxation, they've tripled spending... the big issue for us is creating jobs and creating that environment by reducing red tape, getting hydro rates under control, modernizing apprenticeship laws and keeping taxes low.
"That doesn't mean you have to continue to have a bloated bureaucracy at the OPA (Ontario Power Authority), it means the lens should be focused not on creating more bureaucracy but we should be looking at front line health care. Those are some of the things we're talking about.
"The size and scope of government has grown dramatically in the last decade, we need to reduce that size, we need to get our spending under control and when we do that, that's when you're going to see these private sector jobs which are, by the way, far more sustainable than government jobs."
John Hansen, NDP candidate for Carleton-Mississippi Mills
"It sounds like it's 'I don't like unions so I'll find another way to get at the unions and I suspect all along that he's not really going to cut 100,000 jobs in the strict sense of it because he'll just go contract them out and at the end of the day it'll end up costing more.
"Typically whenever you contract stuff out, you get savings initially then you discover the people aren't qualified, there's all sorts of issues around contracting. Most corporations now have stopped contracting out key services, they're starting to go in-house."
"I don't know how cutting jobs has got anything to do with creating jobs, one has got to do with balancing the budget and the other one's to do with creating jobs and I haven't really seen a jobs plan from Hudak, I haven't heard anything.
"The NDP approach is, let's reward job creators by giving out a tax credit for creating a job, let's give them a tax credit for investing in equipment whether they're making a profit or not. A lot of these companies aren't profitable at this time but they need money and that's one way of getting jobs."
Bob Chiarelli, Liberal candidate for Ottawa West-Nepean
"You're destabilizing the economy, you're sending the wrong message to people who invest. Ontario has been attracting the third-highest level of investment of all the jurisdictions in North America... We are going to be back in balance 2017-18, that was our plan from the beginning, we're still on track to meet that.
"Because there's been a significant drop in revenue for all governments we decided we wanted not to start cutting all kinds of services and jobs. We took a little step up in terms of our investments and we have a plan to get it back in time for 2017-18.
"The public sector has been dropping very considerably, the ministries vary from one to the other. We're trying to maintain our levels in the priority ministries which are healthcare and education because they're strategic to our quality of life and they're strategic for our future…
"We have a policy of downsizing the public service over time and we have been working toward that on an ongoing basis.
"It's in those two sectors that Tim Hudak has indicated the slashing will take place, education and healthcare. That's not our way of doing it, we want jobs to be maintained, those jobs that are crucial to our priorities which are healthcare and education."
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