Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Hudak Promises Lower Business Taxes as He Kicks off First Week of Campaign

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Hudak Promises Lower Business Taxes as He Kicks off First Week of Campaign

Article excerpt

Hudak mum on grants to music industry

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MISSISSAUGA, Ont. - Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak kicked off his first week of campaigning Monday with a stop at a recording studio west of Toronto to tout his plan to help businesses grow and create jobs.

But he wouldn't say if he supports government grants to Ontario's music industry.

The governing Liberals complained that Hudak used the backdrop for an election photo op, but voted against last year's budget, which created the $45-million Ontario Music Fund.

It's aimed at supporting four sectors of the industry over three years: record labels, industry associations, music startups and promoters.

Hudak said he rejected the 2013 budget because it increased taxes and pulled the province deeper in debt. This year's budget would have done the same, he said.

Asked several times whether he'd kill the fund if he became premier, Hudak would only say that the province has to slay its $12.5-billion deficit to create jobs.

"If we don't balance the budget, we'll lose more jobs," he said.

Hudak has made in clear in recent months that he opposes what he calls "corporate welfare."

Hudak said Monday he'd rather lower business taxes to spur job creation than give companies government handouts.

The Liberals have a long track record of giving taxpayer dollars to "well-connected" companies that didn't create many jobs in the long run, he said.

"I've been very clear in my million jobs plan is actually to replace that corporate welfare approach with lower taxes and fair taxes for all," Hudak said.

"That'll mean that every business has a chance to succeed, not based on who they know, or not based on hiring a fancy lobbyist. It'll be based on the quality of the product to give everybody a fair shake."

Metalworks CEO Gil Moore, who hosted Hudak's visit, said he supports the music fund, but also likes Hudak's idea to lower taxes.

"I don't think it's an either/or choice," said Moore, a former member of the bank Triumph whose studio has recorded tracks for performers like Guns N' Roses, Katy Perry and Drake. …

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