Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Hudak Rejects Criticism of Math on His Million Jobs Promise: 'I Know I'm Right'

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Hudak Rejects Criticism of Math on His Million Jobs Promise: 'I Know I'm Right'

Article excerpt

Hudak on jobs plan math: 'I know I'm right.'

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AJAX, Ont. - Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak responded to ongoing criticism over the math calculations behind his promise to create one million jobs Wednesday by saying: "I know I'm right."

Some economists have suggested Hudak confused the term "person years of employment" with permanent jobs, and political opponents say his math just doesn't add up.

Speaking to a small, early-morning crowd in Ajax, Ont., Hudak defended his plan, saying all the talk about his math and exactly how many jobs his plan will create reminds him of debates from graduate studies in economics.

"I stand by my numbers," he said when asked about person years versus jobs. "It's going to create the jobs that I say."

Hudak pointed to an article this week by an economist who he called "your exact definition of independence," who said the PC leader's pledge to create one million jobs over eight years is realistic -- even "overly cautious."

"Philip Cross, the former chief analyst at Statistics Canada comes out, and he said Hudak's plan is going to work, in fact it's going to create more jobs than a million -- I know I'm right," Hudak said.

He has promised a Tory government would bring a million jobs to Ontario over the next eight years, although about half of those would be created through normal economic growth, regardless of which party is in government.

Hudak has also said he would slash 100,000 public sector jobs over four years, saying the "vast majority" would come through attrition.

But the Liberals, and some prominent economists, including a former federal associate deputy minister of finance, have suggested the Tories misinterpreted information from a report they commissioned from the Conference Board of Canada.

The report, which studies the impact of reducing corporate and personal taxes, uses the term "person years of employment," which some economists suggest the Tories confused with permanent jobs, resulting in a vast over-estimation of just how many new positions their plan would create. They say the Tories counted one person holding a job for eight years as eight jobs when they made the million jobs promise. …

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