ST THOMAS – In response to PC Leader Tim Hudak’s speech to the Toronto Board of Trade this morning, MPP Jeff Yurek stated that he’s proud to be a part of the only party with a credible solution to Ontario’s dismal economic performance.

“Between our Million Jobs Act and the vision laid out today, it’s clear that we’re the only party that has a comprehensive plan to get Ontario’s economy back on track and the more than 500,000 unemployed back to work,” said Yurek.

Hudak’s speech discussed the key priorities that need to be addressed to restore Ontario’s economy.  Of those priorities, Hudak stated that amending the RAND-formula – which makes union membership mandatory – is not one of them.

“We’re a party of ideas,” said Yurek. “Through our discussion papers, we’ve put forward a number of ideas aimed to generating debate. That’s how you arrive at good policy; you have the courage to put forward novel ideas and then debate them.”

Yurek noted that most people identified reducing energy rates, eliminating the government deficit, pursuing greater free trade with other provinces, and modernizing labour laws as the most important economic priorities.  A recent Boston Consulting Group report has reinforced low energy rates and high labour productivity as key drivers in a manufacturing ‘renaissance’ occurring in the United States.

“We’ve said for a long time now that we can manage our energy system better to deliver lower rates and entice investment.  We can modernize our labour laws by reducing all the journeymen-to-apprentice ratios to one-to-one and dismantling the College of Trades.  Doing so would immediately address our labour shortage.”

“If we can fulfill this vision, I believe Ontario can experience its own manufacturing renaissance.”

While some supported the right-to-work proposal, most people agreed that addressing the aforementioned deficiencies would have a greater economic bang for the buck.

“Coming from a riding that has lost over 6,000 jobs in the past 5 years, I can’t express how important it is that we get the economic fundamentals right.  That’s what attracts businesses and that’s what creates jobs.”

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 Media Contact: William Ross | P: 416-325-3965 | E: william.ross@pc.ola.org