Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Hudak Launching Campaign-Style Tour While Liberals Duke It out in Final Debate

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Hudak Launching Campaign-Style Tour While Liberals Duke It out in Final Debate

Article excerpt

Hudak launching campaign-style roadshow


TORONTO - While seven Liberal hopefuls duke it out in Wednesday's final leadership debate, Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak will be launching a new roadshow to convince voters that he's the one who should be in the premier's seat.

Tory insiders describe the multimedia presentation, called "When the Money Runs Out," as an "honest assessment" of the province's financial troubles and what will happen if urgent action isn't taken to lift Ontario out of the red ink.

"Tim is the only leader who's recognized the magnitude of the problem Ontario finds itself in, and spent the last year mapping out his plan to address both the debt and jobs crisis," Hudak's campaign manager Ian Robertson told The Canadian Press.

"This tour is about sending a wake-up call to the other parties that now is the time for urgent action, and they aren't prepared to lead. Tim is."

The Opposition leader will be taking the campaign-style presentation on the road for the next few months, targeting Liberal ridings particularly in Windsor, Ottawa and London, Robertson added.

Hudak will address the Liberals' argument that their government didn't create the 2008 recession and the $14.4-billion deficit isn't their fault.

"But the truth is that Ontario was, and is, much worse off that we should have been," he says in prepared remarks obtained by The Canadian Press.

Government spending has outpaced economic growth, taxes and energy prices have gone up, and the province has lost 300,000 manufacturing jobs, yet added the same number of jobs to the "already-bloated public sector payroll" that eats up about half of Ontario's $120-billion budget, he says.

"When the only 'growth industry' in Ontario is government, something is wrong."

Hudak is also expected to take aim at public sector unions. They supported the government during elections and in return, the government gave the unions what they wanted -- and more -- during labour negotiations, Hudak says.

"The trouble is, Ontario taxpayers couldn't afford it," he says. "Their money was running out."

The province's debt has doubled to $260 billion, which is putting all the services Ontarians value, such as health care and education, at risk, he says. …

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