Monday, January 13th Commentary
Hudak and jobs
When it comes to political gimmickry, Ontario PC leader Tim Hudak is rapidly quite a craftsman.
Later this morning he will unveil his Million Jobs act, a private members bill promising to create a million jobs in Ontario over the next 8 years. It would be tabled soon after the Legislature reconvenes February 18th.
On the face of it, there's not a lot to quibble with other than it’s a private members bill and I would be stunned if the Liberals or the NDP bit, especially this close to an expected provincial election.
But by framing this inside legislation, the media are going to give the Hudak plan a closer look and more coverage. No doubt in my mind this will be a cornerstone of the PC's election platform.
There are five main points to this million jobs idea:
Reduce taxes and debt to encourage employers to hire; reduce red tape; create interprovincial free-trade agreements; encourage youth to get into skilled trades; and take advantage of federal immigration programs to match immigrants to jobs. Who doesn't want to encourage young people to get into skilled trades and red tape but some of these things are tough to achieve especially interprovincial free-trade agreements.
Hudak is accurate in saying that since the recession of 08, about 3-hundred-thousand manufacturing jobs, good paying jobs have been lost but to suggest that he has somehow found the magic bullet to turn things around is nonsense and he knows it...what with his master’s degree in economics. This is more about politics than economics. It's these types of pitches by the PC leader that make people leery about him, wonder whether he has some sort of hidden agenda. Why not just say it straight: here's my best shot at trying to get you to vote for me to become Premier and make no mistake, if you don't give me a majority, odds are the other two parties will shoot down this jobs plan.