PC leader Tim Hudak makes stop in Leamington

About 50 people showed up at the Masonic Temple in Leamington Thursday morning for a town hall discussion hosted by Hudak and Chatham-Kent-Essex MPP Rick Nicholls.
PC leader Tim Hudak visits Leamington to talk jobs. (Associated Press File Photo)

The future of the Heinz plant is up for discussion again, this time with the province's Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak.

About 50 people attended the town hall discussion hosted by Hudak and Chatham-Kent-Essex MPP Rick Nicholls at the Masonic Temple in Leamington Thursday morning.

That included farmers, Heinz workers and Mayor John Paterson.

"We need to pull together," said Nicholls.

Hudak's speech included fighting for the people of the town, but also promoted his plan to attract 300,000 manufacturing jobs to Ontario.

"We're hemorrhaging jobs. We're losing our middle class," he said. 

The PC leader called the Heinz plant closure "devastating."

"The federal and provincial governments need to provide loans to these companies to keep Ontarians working," said Mike Malott, a Windsor resident who attended the town hall.

But, Malott criticized Hudak for visiting Leamington.

"It's obvious with his attacks on unions that he doesn't care for organized labour," he said. "For Tim Hudak to ... say he's here to support the workers, I don't believe it."

This is the third time in less than a week a political leader has made an appearance.

Windsor West MPP Teresa Piruzza sent out a press release Thursday morning, highlighting how the government is continuing to help.

"Businesses have already contacted my office to express their interest in new agri-food businesses in the Leamington area," said Piruzza in the release.

Some of those meetings between businesses and government officials will be held next week.

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