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Ontario PC platform draws strong reaction from readers

Categories: Politics

Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak holds a tablet displaying his party's election campaign platform, dubbed the Million Jobs Plan, during a town hall event in Toronto Wednesday. (David Donnelly/CBC) readers were almost unanimous in their reaction to the Ontario Progressive Conservatives' campaign platform.

Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak released a campaign platform today that includes plans to increase class sizes and rein in education spending toward delivering a balanced budget by 2016 and, ultimately, tax cuts.

"I'll make Ontario number one again for new Canadians to start that business, to raise their families," said Hudak. "Balancing the budget is job number one to ensure we get private sector job creation in our province."

Reaction to Hudak's Million Jobs Plan was overwhelmingly negative. Many had something to say about the planned cuts to education, and questioned whether trimming the public sector would lead to the promised million jobs in the long run.

Here are some of the comments posted by our readers, from both our comments section on and our CBC News Facebook page:

EInOttawa writes: Larger class sizes means more distraction for kids, and a broader range of skill levels to accommodate ... Teachers spend most of their attention on a small portion of their students (usually the trouble makers and slow-learners, leaving potentially smart kids under-educated). We need to reduce class sizes and segment students into more tracks, so that all students get the teacher's attention, and all students can progress at their maximum rate.

Darch writes: I don't think the teachers are the problem. I think it's the revised curriculum that bites hard. My daughter has a teacher and 2 helpers for her class. I still have to tutor her especially in math because what they show them is more confusing than the problems really are. Dump 2 of those assistants and get a decent program back in our schools. That will pay itself off!

SilentWhisper writes: Tim just lost my vote. Education is the single most important factor in a prosperous society. Ontario is facing a lot of challenges with education. While I agree there is room for more efficient resource utilization within the Ministry of Education, all the items he has proposed are none of them.

Josanne L writes: Anyone who cuts education and healthcare in order to reduce a spending doesn't know what they are doing and shouldn't be allowed near a budget. It's like those people who eat nothing but Mr. Noodles so they can afford beer! Some things should be priorities, and some things should never be messed with. Investing in our heath and our education is investing in our future... anyone who knows a teacher knows they don't need bigger class sizes.

Tom Hooper writes: How he will sell this idea to a small-c conservative mum living in the 905 with 2 kids in elementary school, is beyond me. Or to a father with 2 kids in college who will see an immediate 30% tuition hike. Or to small business owners who don't benefit from a corporate tax cut.

Stacey Marie writes: Bigger classes means more classroom management, less learning, and difficulty building those oh so important relationships among kids.

James Dring writes: I do not see how financially harming 100,000 families goes towards growing a stable and vibrant Middle Class. That would make Hudak's plan really a... 900,000 job plan to my mind. And what types of jobs will these be? Walmart jobs or good paying wage jobs with benefits?

Mary Mulvihill-Reed writes: What is he going to do about hydro costs? How about the rising costs of housing, food, fuel, and the lack of jobs to pay for it all?

Kevin Menzel writes: How might it affect me isn't important. How it affects us is. Because politics isn't about me as an individual, it's about us as a society. And if I look at what's best for society instead of putting myself first, I can't possibly support such reckless policies.

While relatively few in number, there were readers who said Hudak's proposed platform was a good one. Others suggested other ways to streamline the education system along the lines of the PCs' proposed cuts:

seeitmyway writes: Just a suggestion, please read Hudak's entire plan before replying to the headline. There are a lot of things that just make sense and aren't as negative as the headline implies.

James44 writes: I like the campaign of ideas the PC's are running. It is sad to see Ontario become a "have not" province under McGuinty/Wynne. Change is coming! I hope Hudak continues on the the high road and leaves the mudslinging to Wynne and the tired Liberals.

Thank you, as always, for your contributions to the discussion. What do you think of the PCs' party platform? If you're an Ontarian, how might it affect you? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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