Public should be wary of ‘mini Mike Harris,’ says Liberal MPP

News Nov 12, 2009 Ancaster News

After the environmental and social disruptions the former Mike Harris Progressive Conservatives imposed on the province during the 1990s, the public should have a healthy dose of skepticism about any proposals made by the new Tory leader, says Hamilton’s Liberal cabinet minister.

After enduring withering criticism from Niagara West-Glanbrook MPP Tim Hudak during the summer about the “Dalton Sales Tax that will take $3 billion out of the pockets of consumers and kill jobs,” an irked Ted McMeekin let loose with his own fusillade of accusations against the P. C. leader, whom he calls a “mini- Mike Harris.”

“(The public) should not accept anything he says at face value,” said McMeekin, government services minister. “He is against everything. Why don’t you be a leader? What is he for?”

McMeekin’s barrage of criticism comes on the heels of Hudak’s recent announcement in Ancaster of his party’s PC Small Business Jobs Plan that proposes, among other things, to repeal Bill 119 that the Liberals introduced to reform the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, streamline the environmental assessments for the construction industry, implement a one-year payroll tax holiday on new hires and eliminate government red tape.

McMeekin said during an interview that Hudak is gung-ho to repeal Bill 119, which he supports to protect workers. He also accused the Tory leader of repeatedly dodging questions on whether he will get rid of the Harmonized Sales Tax if elected premier once it is implemented on July 1, 2010.

“He won’t repeal the HST,” said McMeekin, in an interview on his way to the Liberal party annual meeting in Windsor. “Stand in your place, Mr. Hudak. Will you repeal it? He won’t. Why? Because he supports it. He knows it is the right thing to do.”

McMeekin said Hudak’s two mentors, federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and former premier Mike Harris both advocate for the harmonized tax. In addition the Tories most ardent supporters, the business community, also widely support the HST, said Mr. McMeekin.

“If he repealed the HST,” said Mr. McMeekin, “His popularity would drop 12 percentage points overnight.”

In a fiery mood, McMeekin, who confirmed he will be running in the 2011 provincial election, said Hudak, won the Tory leadership in June, by “fear mongering” throughout the province.

McMeekin said the PC leader is scaring the low income, the vulnerable and the elderly with statements that the HST will hit them the hardest.

Yet, says McMeekin, all of Ontario’s vulnerable groups will benefit from the Liberal’s $10 billion personal income tax cuts that will save them thousands of dollars over the next three years starting Jan. 1, 2010. Businesses as well, he said, will save over $4.5 billion in tax cuts.

During Mr. Hudak’s recent news conference in Ancaster, he again castigated the Liberals for transforming Ontario into a “have-not” province, while adding an additional $25 billion deficit this year. He also accused the Liberals of “having their eye off the ball” when it comes to protecting Ontario’s economy, with 300,000 in lost manufacturing jobs, while adding about 200,000 government jobs.

“This is not sustainable for Ontario families,” he said.

McMeekin said Ontario is doing the best of all the provinces, and even better than when the Liberals assumed power in 2003 after the Tories left office with a deficit in the billions of dollars.

“We are doing quite well,” he said. As for Hudak’s ideas about cutting red tape and streamlining the environment assessment process, McMeekin responds with only one word: “Walkerton.”

When the Mike Harris Tories got into office, they cut government red tape by eliminating essential reporting of harmful e-coli in the local water system to the province and local medical officer of health, said McMeekin.

Instead, the reports were only sent to the water plant in Walkerton to “Tweedledumb and Tweedledumber,” two brothers in Walkerton who didn’t know how to read the e-coli reports, he said.

“Don’t talk to me about reckless red tape cutting,” said McMeekin. “It’s the same slash and burn tactics that Mike Harris used.”

Hudak quietly wants to turn back the clock to a time when his Tory government increased tuition fees by 70 per cent, downloading services onto the backs of municipal governments who couldn’t afford it, and supported urban sprawl through amalgamation,” said McMeekin.

“We don’t want to go back to that,” said Mr. McMeekin. “Mr. Hudak is a mini-Mike Harris.”

Public should be wary of ‘mini Mike Harris,’ says Liberal MPP

News Nov 12, 2009 Ancaster News

After the environmental and social disruptions the former Mike Harris Progressive Conservatives imposed on the province during the 1990s, the public should have a healthy dose of skepticism about any proposals made by the new Tory leader, says Hamilton’s Liberal cabinet minister.

After enduring withering criticism from Niagara West-Glanbrook MPP Tim Hudak during the summer about the “Dalton Sales Tax that will take $3 billion out of the pockets of consumers and kill jobs,” an irked Ted McMeekin let loose with his own fusillade of accusations against the P. C. leader, whom he calls a “mini- Mike Harris.”

“(The public) should not accept anything he says at face value,” said McMeekin, government services minister. “He is against everything. Why don’t you be a leader? What is he for?”

McMeekin’s barrage of criticism comes on the heels of Hudak’s recent announcement in Ancaster of his party’s PC Small Business Jobs Plan that proposes, among other things, to repeal Bill 119 that the Liberals introduced to reform the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, streamline the environmental assessments for the construction industry, implement a one-year payroll tax holiday on new hires and eliminate government red tape.

McMeekin said during an interview that Hudak is gung-ho to repeal Bill 119, which he supports to protect workers. He also accused the Tory leader of repeatedly dodging questions on whether he will get rid of the Harmonized Sales Tax if elected premier once it is implemented on July 1, 2010.

“He won’t repeal the HST,” said McMeekin, in an interview on his way to the Liberal party annual meeting in Windsor. “Stand in your place, Mr. Hudak. Will you repeal it? He won’t. Why? Because he supports it. He knows it is the right thing to do.”

McMeekin said Hudak’s two mentors, federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and former premier Mike Harris both advocate for the harmonized tax. In addition the Tories most ardent supporters, the business community, also widely support the HST, said Mr. McMeekin.

“If he repealed the HST,” said Mr. McMeekin, “His popularity would drop 12 percentage points overnight.”

In a fiery mood, McMeekin, who confirmed he will be running in the 2011 provincial election, said Hudak, won the Tory leadership in June, by “fear mongering” throughout the province.

McMeekin said the PC leader is scaring the low income, the vulnerable and the elderly with statements that the HST will hit them the hardest.

Yet, says McMeekin, all of Ontario’s vulnerable groups will benefit from the Liberal’s $10 billion personal income tax cuts that will save them thousands of dollars over the next three years starting Jan. 1, 2010. Businesses as well, he said, will save over $4.5 billion in tax cuts.

During Mr. Hudak’s recent news conference in Ancaster, he again castigated the Liberals for transforming Ontario into a “have-not” province, while adding an additional $25 billion deficit this year. He also accused the Liberals of “having their eye off the ball” when it comes to protecting Ontario’s economy, with 300,000 in lost manufacturing jobs, while adding about 200,000 government jobs.

“This is not sustainable for Ontario families,” he said.

McMeekin said Ontario is doing the best of all the provinces, and even better than when the Liberals assumed power in 2003 after the Tories left office with a deficit in the billions of dollars.

“We are doing quite well,” he said. As for Hudak’s ideas about cutting red tape and streamlining the environment assessment process, McMeekin responds with only one word: “Walkerton.”

When the Mike Harris Tories got into office, they cut government red tape by eliminating essential reporting of harmful e-coli in the local water system to the province and local medical officer of health, said McMeekin.

Instead, the reports were only sent to the water plant in Walkerton to “Tweedledumb and Tweedledumber,” two brothers in Walkerton who didn’t know how to read the e-coli reports, he said.

“Don’t talk to me about reckless red tape cutting,” said McMeekin. “It’s the same slash and burn tactics that Mike Harris used.”

Hudak quietly wants to turn back the clock to a time when his Tory government increased tuition fees by 70 per cent, downloading services onto the backs of municipal governments who couldn’t afford it, and supported urban sprawl through amalgamation,” said McMeekin.

“We don’t want to go back to that,” said Mr. McMeekin. “Mr. Hudak is a mini-Mike Harris.”

Public should be wary of ‘mini Mike Harris,’ says Liberal MPP

News Nov 12, 2009 Ancaster News

After the environmental and social disruptions the former Mike Harris Progressive Conservatives imposed on the province during the 1990s, the public should have a healthy dose of skepticism about any proposals made by the new Tory leader, says Hamilton’s Liberal cabinet minister.

After enduring withering criticism from Niagara West-Glanbrook MPP Tim Hudak during the summer about the “Dalton Sales Tax that will take $3 billion out of the pockets of consumers and kill jobs,” an irked Ted McMeekin let loose with his own fusillade of accusations against the P. C. leader, whom he calls a “mini- Mike Harris.”

“(The public) should not accept anything he says at face value,” said McMeekin, government services minister. “He is against everything. Why don’t you be a leader? What is he for?”

McMeekin’s barrage of criticism comes on the heels of Hudak’s recent announcement in Ancaster of his party’s PC Small Business Jobs Plan that proposes, among other things, to repeal Bill 119 that the Liberals introduced to reform the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, streamline the environmental assessments for the construction industry, implement a one-year payroll tax holiday on new hires and eliminate government red tape.

McMeekin said during an interview that Hudak is gung-ho to repeal Bill 119, which he supports to protect workers. He also accused the Tory leader of repeatedly dodging questions on whether he will get rid of the Harmonized Sales Tax if elected premier once it is implemented on July 1, 2010.

“He won’t repeal the HST,” said McMeekin, in an interview on his way to the Liberal party annual meeting in Windsor. “Stand in your place, Mr. Hudak. Will you repeal it? He won’t. Why? Because he supports it. He knows it is the right thing to do.”

McMeekin said Hudak’s two mentors, federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and former premier Mike Harris both advocate for the harmonized tax. In addition the Tories most ardent supporters, the business community, also widely support the HST, said Mr. McMeekin.

“If he repealed the HST,” said Mr. McMeekin, “His popularity would drop 12 percentage points overnight.”

In a fiery mood, McMeekin, who confirmed he will be running in the 2011 provincial election, said Hudak, won the Tory leadership in June, by “fear mongering” throughout the province.

McMeekin said the PC leader is scaring the low income, the vulnerable and the elderly with statements that the HST will hit them the hardest.

Yet, says McMeekin, all of Ontario’s vulnerable groups will benefit from the Liberal’s $10 billion personal income tax cuts that will save them thousands of dollars over the next three years starting Jan. 1, 2010. Businesses as well, he said, will save over $4.5 billion in tax cuts.

During Mr. Hudak’s recent news conference in Ancaster, he again castigated the Liberals for transforming Ontario into a “have-not” province, while adding an additional $25 billion deficit this year. He also accused the Liberals of “having their eye off the ball” when it comes to protecting Ontario’s economy, with 300,000 in lost manufacturing jobs, while adding about 200,000 government jobs.

“This is not sustainable for Ontario families,” he said.

McMeekin said Ontario is doing the best of all the provinces, and even better than when the Liberals assumed power in 2003 after the Tories left office with a deficit in the billions of dollars.

“We are doing quite well,” he said. As for Hudak’s ideas about cutting red tape and streamlining the environment assessment process, McMeekin responds with only one word: “Walkerton.”

When the Mike Harris Tories got into office, they cut government red tape by eliminating essential reporting of harmful e-coli in the local water system to the province and local medical officer of health, said McMeekin.

Instead, the reports were only sent to the water plant in Walkerton to “Tweedledumb and Tweedledumber,” two brothers in Walkerton who didn’t know how to read the e-coli reports, he said.

“Don’t talk to me about reckless red tape cutting,” said McMeekin. “It’s the same slash and burn tactics that Mike Harris used.”

Hudak quietly wants to turn back the clock to a time when his Tory government increased tuition fees by 70 per cent, downloading services onto the backs of municipal governments who couldn’t afford it, and supported urban sprawl through amalgamation,” said McMeekin.

“We don’t want to go back to that,” said Mr. McMeekin. “Mr. Hudak is a mini-Mike Harris.”