Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Kathleen Wynne Calls $12B in Savings in PC Platform 'Ridiculous'

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Kathleen Wynne Calls $12B in Savings in PC Platform 'Ridiculous'

Article excerpt

Wynne calls savings in PC platform ridiculous

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TORONTO - The Progressive Conservatives' suggestion that $12 billion could be cut from Ontario's budget is "ridiculous," Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne says as her party crystallizes its criticisms against the Tories' newly unveiled election platform.

The recently announced PC plan reveals their platform six months ahead of the campaign and has also provided previews of what's sure to be a consistent Liberal line of attack until the June vote.

The Tory platform says $12 billion in savings could be found over three years -- $6 billion from cancelling Ontario's cap-and-trade program and another $6 billion they say could be found from a value-for-money audit.

Liberal attacks have so far focused on those savings, particularly the audit, rather than specific policy planks such as tax cuts for the middle class, a refund for childcare expenses and a further 12 per cent cut to hydro bills.

"In my experience ... efficiencies has always been code for cuts with Conservatives," Wynne told The Canadian Press from China, where she is on a trade mission. "That is glaring as far as I'm concerned, so all the other things they talk about, they're interesting, but we really have no idea what would actually be done."

Deputy premier and Liberal campaign co-chair Deb Matthews suggested the Tory cuts will come from health care and education, because they form the largest parts of Ontario's budget.

"My mother always used to say, 'If it sounds too good to be true it probably is too good to be true,'" she said. "I think that's what we're dealing with here."

The Liberals have long been attacking Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown for not having a plan and suggesting he is harbouring a secret agenda. Now that his platform is out, Brown said their criticism of it seems disjointed.

"Maybe they didn't expect my platform to be launched this weekend and so they've struggled to decide what they wanted to attack and they're attacking for attacking's sake," Brown said over the phone from a campaign-style bus. …

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