Tories propose reforming WISB, cutting red tape

News Nov 06, 2009 Ancaster News

Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak wants to restructure the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board while cutting payroll taxes and streamlining environmental and other government red tape to assist small businesses as they wallow in the economic downturn.

“The Liberals have taken their eye off the economy,” said Mr. Hudak during a news conference in a muddy construction site in the Ancaster Meadowlands to announce what he called the PC Small Business Jobs Plan.

Yet when asked how many jobs the proposals will create and how much savings small businesses will net, Mr. Hudak didn’t know.

“Can’t say, but we are losing jobs,” he said.

Mr. Hudak, along with MPP Randy Hillier, said the savings would be difficult to calculate. But Mr. Hillier said later cutting some of the red tape in administration could save businesses about $13 billion.

“That’s only the tip of the ice berg,” he said.

Mr. Hudak was accompanied by MPPs Toby Barrett, Bob Bailey and Julia Munro, along with Doug Duke, executive director of the Hamilton Halton Home Builders Association. Over the last five years, about 300,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost in Ontario, the bulk in the Niagara and Hamilton areas, said Mr. Hudak. At the same time the Liberals have transformed Ontario into a “have-not province,” increasing taxes, while racking up a $25-billion deficit this year, he said. Yet since the Liberals were elected in 2003, they have added 200,000 government jobs, contributing to a bloated bureaucracy, stacking new regulations on top of each other and extending the red tape, said Mr. Hudak.

He called Bill 119 nothing more than a “blatant tax grab” that those involved in the construction industry have suggested will add $500 million in premiums.

The bill, which was passed this year and takes effect on Jan. 1, 2012, puts all independent operators and sole proprietors under the WSIB umbrella, said the Tories.

The Tories also called for reforming the WSIB board and firing board chair Steve Mahoney, who, it was recently revealed, earned $140,000, in his part-time position.

“We are drawing a line in the sand,” said Mr. Hudak. “This legislation doesn’t make sense.”

The other initiatives Mr. Hudak encouraged the Liberals to look at include establishing a one-year payroll tax holiday for new hires, re-creating the Tories Red Tape Commission, making it easier for businesses to follow the environmental assessment process and keeping the cost of the blue box program between the province and small businesses rather than burden businesses with all of the cost of the program.

Mr. Barrett, MPP for Haldimand-Norfolk, confirmed that part of the Tories’ idea to remove government red tap includes making it easier for businesses to get through what can be an arduous environmental assessment process that can add millions of dollars to a company’s bottom line.

Mr. Duke, who along with a small group of construction workers, attended the event and even introduced Mr. Hudak, applauded the Tories initiative.

“They are at least talking about the issue,” said Mr. Duke.

He said Bill 119 is the focal point of the construction industry, which, he said, will only add more costs to small businesses.

“This is one of our biggest concerns,” he said. “There has been a lot of talk about the U. S. Steel in our community, which is important. But sometimes (the government) forgets about the businesses with three, four, five employees.”

Government Services Minister Ted McMeekin said Mr. Hudak’s proposals harken back to the black days of the Mike Harris government. He pointed out Harris’ Red Tape Commission, which was created to eliminate government bureaucracy, contributed to the tragedy at Walkerton when needed e-coli health and environment reports conducted on the town’s water system were simply sent to unqualified operators of the water plant. Seven people died after drinking contaminated water.

“It scares me they want to ‘streamline’ the environment assessment process,” he said. “It’s just like Walkerton.”

Mr. McMeekin also points out the Liberals have created what they call a “cap in trade” system for government bureaucracy. Every time a new regulation is introduced, two other regulations must be eliminated, he said. He said the Harmonized Sales Tax will eliminate about $500 million in paperwork for small business, something that Mr. Hudak has railed against.

“This is nothing more than another slash and burn tactics for the Tories,” said Mr. McMeekin. “Mr. Hudak is a mini-Mike Harris.”

Tories propose reforming WISB, cutting red tape

News Nov 06, 2009 Ancaster News

Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak wants to restructure the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board while cutting payroll taxes and streamlining environmental and other government red tape to assist small businesses as they wallow in the economic downturn.

“The Liberals have taken their eye off the economy,” said Mr. Hudak during a news conference in a muddy construction site in the Ancaster Meadowlands to announce what he called the PC Small Business Jobs Plan.

Yet when asked how many jobs the proposals will create and how much savings small businesses will net, Mr. Hudak didn’t know.

“Can’t say, but we are losing jobs,” he said.

Mr. Hudak, along with MPP Randy Hillier, said the savings would be difficult to calculate. But Mr. Hillier said later cutting some of the red tape in administration could save businesses about $13 billion.

“That’s only the tip of the ice berg,” he said.

Mr. Hudak was accompanied by MPPs Toby Barrett, Bob Bailey and Julia Munro, along with Doug Duke, executive director of the Hamilton Halton Home Builders Association. Over the last five years, about 300,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost in Ontario, the bulk in the Niagara and Hamilton areas, said Mr. Hudak. At the same time the Liberals have transformed Ontario into a “have-not province,” increasing taxes, while racking up a $25-billion deficit this year, he said. Yet since the Liberals were elected in 2003, they have added 200,000 government jobs, contributing to a bloated bureaucracy, stacking new regulations on top of each other and extending the red tape, said Mr. Hudak.

He called Bill 119 nothing more than a “blatant tax grab” that those involved in the construction industry have suggested will add $500 million in premiums.

The bill, which was passed this year and takes effect on Jan. 1, 2012, puts all independent operators and sole proprietors under the WSIB umbrella, said the Tories.

The Tories also called for reforming the WSIB board and firing board chair Steve Mahoney, who, it was recently revealed, earned $140,000, in his part-time position.

“We are drawing a line in the sand,” said Mr. Hudak. “This legislation doesn’t make sense.”

The other initiatives Mr. Hudak encouraged the Liberals to look at include establishing a one-year payroll tax holiday for new hires, re-creating the Tories Red Tape Commission, making it easier for businesses to follow the environmental assessment process and keeping the cost of the blue box program between the province and small businesses rather than burden businesses with all of the cost of the program.

Mr. Barrett, MPP for Haldimand-Norfolk, confirmed that part of the Tories’ idea to remove government red tap includes making it easier for businesses to get through what can be an arduous environmental assessment process that can add millions of dollars to a company’s bottom line.

Mr. Duke, who along with a small group of construction workers, attended the event and even introduced Mr. Hudak, applauded the Tories initiative.

“They are at least talking about the issue,” said Mr. Duke.

He said Bill 119 is the focal point of the construction industry, which, he said, will only add more costs to small businesses.

“This is one of our biggest concerns,” he said. “There has been a lot of talk about the U. S. Steel in our community, which is important. But sometimes (the government) forgets about the businesses with three, four, five employees.”

Government Services Minister Ted McMeekin said Mr. Hudak’s proposals harken back to the black days of the Mike Harris government. He pointed out Harris’ Red Tape Commission, which was created to eliminate government bureaucracy, contributed to the tragedy at Walkerton when needed e-coli health and environment reports conducted on the town’s water system were simply sent to unqualified operators of the water plant. Seven people died after drinking contaminated water.

“It scares me they want to ‘streamline’ the environment assessment process,” he said. “It’s just like Walkerton.”

Mr. McMeekin also points out the Liberals have created what they call a “cap in trade” system for government bureaucracy. Every time a new regulation is introduced, two other regulations must be eliminated, he said. He said the Harmonized Sales Tax will eliminate about $500 million in paperwork for small business, something that Mr. Hudak has railed against.

“This is nothing more than another slash and burn tactics for the Tories,” said Mr. McMeekin. “Mr. Hudak is a mini-Mike Harris.”

Tories propose reforming WISB, cutting red tape

News Nov 06, 2009 Ancaster News

Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak wants to restructure the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board while cutting payroll taxes and streamlining environmental and other government red tape to assist small businesses as they wallow in the economic downturn.

“The Liberals have taken their eye off the economy,” said Mr. Hudak during a news conference in a muddy construction site in the Ancaster Meadowlands to announce what he called the PC Small Business Jobs Plan.

Yet when asked how many jobs the proposals will create and how much savings small businesses will net, Mr. Hudak didn’t know.

“Can’t say, but we are losing jobs,” he said.

Mr. Hudak, along with MPP Randy Hillier, said the savings would be difficult to calculate. But Mr. Hillier said later cutting some of the red tape in administration could save businesses about $13 billion.

“That’s only the tip of the ice berg,” he said.

Mr. Hudak was accompanied by MPPs Toby Barrett, Bob Bailey and Julia Munro, along with Doug Duke, executive director of the Hamilton Halton Home Builders Association. Over the last five years, about 300,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost in Ontario, the bulk in the Niagara and Hamilton areas, said Mr. Hudak. At the same time the Liberals have transformed Ontario into a “have-not province,” increasing taxes, while racking up a $25-billion deficit this year, he said. Yet since the Liberals were elected in 2003, they have added 200,000 government jobs, contributing to a bloated bureaucracy, stacking new regulations on top of each other and extending the red tape, said Mr. Hudak.

He called Bill 119 nothing more than a “blatant tax grab” that those involved in the construction industry have suggested will add $500 million in premiums.

The bill, which was passed this year and takes effect on Jan. 1, 2012, puts all independent operators and sole proprietors under the WSIB umbrella, said the Tories.

The Tories also called for reforming the WSIB board and firing board chair Steve Mahoney, who, it was recently revealed, earned $140,000, in his part-time position.

“We are drawing a line in the sand,” said Mr. Hudak. “This legislation doesn’t make sense.”

The other initiatives Mr. Hudak encouraged the Liberals to look at include establishing a one-year payroll tax holiday for new hires, re-creating the Tories Red Tape Commission, making it easier for businesses to follow the environmental assessment process and keeping the cost of the blue box program between the province and small businesses rather than burden businesses with all of the cost of the program.

Mr. Barrett, MPP for Haldimand-Norfolk, confirmed that part of the Tories’ idea to remove government red tap includes making it easier for businesses to get through what can be an arduous environmental assessment process that can add millions of dollars to a company’s bottom line.

Mr. Duke, who along with a small group of construction workers, attended the event and even introduced Mr. Hudak, applauded the Tories initiative.

“They are at least talking about the issue,” said Mr. Duke.

He said Bill 119 is the focal point of the construction industry, which, he said, will only add more costs to small businesses.

“This is one of our biggest concerns,” he said. “There has been a lot of talk about the U. S. Steel in our community, which is important. But sometimes (the government) forgets about the businesses with three, four, five employees.”

Government Services Minister Ted McMeekin said Mr. Hudak’s proposals harken back to the black days of the Mike Harris government. He pointed out Harris’ Red Tape Commission, which was created to eliminate government bureaucracy, contributed to the tragedy at Walkerton when needed e-coli health and environment reports conducted on the town’s water system were simply sent to unqualified operators of the water plant. Seven people died after drinking contaminated water.

“It scares me they want to ‘streamline’ the environment assessment process,” he said. “It’s just like Walkerton.”

Mr. McMeekin also points out the Liberals have created what they call a “cap in trade” system for government bureaucracy. Every time a new regulation is introduced, two other regulations must be eliminated, he said. He said the Harmonized Sales Tax will eliminate about $500 million in paperwork for small business, something that Mr. Hudak has railed against.

“This is nothing more than another slash and burn tactics for the Tories,” said Mr. McMeekin. “Mr. Hudak is a mini-Mike Harris.”