Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Premier Kathleen Wynne Says PC Leader Would 'Destroy' Ontario Auto Industry

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Premier Kathleen Wynne Says PC Leader Would 'Destroy' Ontario Auto Industry

Article excerpt

Hudak would 'destroy' auto sector: Wynne

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TECUMSEH, Ont. - Premier Kathleen Wynne took to the heart of Ontario's auto industry Wednesday, where Liberals have recently lost stronghold seats to the New Democrats, but aimed her attack squarely at the Tories, dismissing the NDP leader as "irrelevant."

"Tim Hudak would destroy the auto industry in Ontario," Wynne said of the Progressive Conservative leader.

"He would move away from a decades-old strategy of partnerships between government and business and he would say to the auto sector... you're on your own."

Earlier this year Hudak denounced a request by Chrysler Canada for a reported $700 million from Ontario and Ottawa -- which the company ultimately withdrew -- as "ransom" and "corporate extortion."

He said the government should lower taxes so companies can create jobs, rather than giving them "handouts."

"How are we going to get good manufacturing jobs in the province? More affordable energy, lower taxes so they can buy the latest state-of-the-art machinery, a big investment in our skilled trades workers by modernizing our apprenticeship laws... less red tape, more free trade," Hudak said Wednesday at a plastics manufacturer in Cobourg, Ont.

"Look, I've laid out step by step how we can become a manufacturing powerhouse again."

Speaking near Windsor at a manufacturer of plastics tooling used in the auto industry, Wynne touted the Liberal government's record on support for the sector, saying there was "no question" that bailouts for Chrysler and General Motors in the midst of the 2008-09 recession were necessary.

Wynne said Hudak's comments about the potential money for Chrysler earlier this year were unfortunate and injected "a message of instability" into the discussions.

"When Tim Hudak started talking about corporate welfare... that introduced and undermined a very strong discussion that was already going on," Wynne said. "Even (Conservative Prime Minister) Stephen Harper, even the federal government understands that those kind of partnerships are critical to the auto sector. …

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