PC Leader Won’t Debate Northern Ontario: Local Reaction


Tim Hudak, Ontario PC leader won’t be traveling to Thunder Bay for the Northern Ontario Debate scheduled for Monday.

Liberal MPP David Orazietti and and NDP candidate Celia Ross issued the following statement concerning the PC’s not attending.

In the last election, the Liberals couldn’t be bothered to show up for a Northern debate. This time it’s Conservative Tim Hudak who can’t find the time to debate Andrea Horwath on northern issues.
“Northerners and the issues that matter here are clearly not very interesting to Tim Hudak,” said Celia Ross, NDP candidate for Sault Ste. Marie. “Liberal and Conservative Leaders alike both treat our region as an afterthought.”
“Andrea Horwath is the only leader who has come to the North so far this election to talk about real issues, like jobs, education, hydro and affordability,” Ross said. “There’s been no sign of Kathleen Wynne, no sign of Tim Hudak.”
Andrea Horwath will attend the May 26 debate in Thunder Bay, sponsored by the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association, Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities as well as the Northeastern and Northwestern Ontario Chambers of Commerce.


PC Leader Tim Hudak recently announced that he has decided to skip the Northern Leaders Debate, which is scheduled for Monday in Thunder Bay.

“Our party understands Northern Ontario’s important economic benefits as well as the unique challenges that Northerners face on a daily basis and we will continue to make significant investments in public services and we are committed to further strengthening the economy and job creation,” said David Orazietti, Liberal candidate. “It is disappointing that Hudak has chosen to give Northerners the cold shoulder but it’s not surprising, after all, when they were in government the PC’s failed to appoint a Northerner as Minister of Northern Development and Mines and just last week Hudak said he wanted to eliminate one of either the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines or the Ministry of Natural Resources.”

During the eight years the provincial PC’s were in power (1995 – 2003) no Northerner served as the Minister of Northern Development and Mines.

The NDP neglected Northerners by cutting $60 million from the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, NOHFC economic development program, shortchanging Northern residents.

In contrast, the Liberals immediately appointed a Northerner as Minister of Northern Development and Mines when they formed government in 2003 and have increased the NOHFC program from $60 million to $100 million.

Specific examples of health care, education and job creation initiatives and investments contained in the 2014 Liberal Budget plan include:

Health care

  • · An additional investment of $750 million by 2016/17 for home and community care services for seniors, which includes $270 million for this year
  • · Increasing wages for Personal Support Worked (PSWs)
  • · Expanding access to health benefits such as prescription drugs, assistive devices, vision care and dental care to approximately 500,000 children from low-income families
  • · Continue to expand Health Links to better coordinate care for patients in the community so patients don’t have to go to the hospital
  • · Continue to improve access to primary care by increasing the availability of same day/next day appointments
  • Education
  • · Providing an additional $11 billion over the next ten years for elementary and secondary education infrastructure
  • · Investing $150 million over three years in new technology and learning tools in schools, so that Ontario’s schools remain the best in the world
  • · $269 million over three years to increase wages for Early Childhood Educators (ECEs)
  • · Saving families $6,500 per child per year and providing children with the best possible start in school through full-day kindergarten for four and five-year olds
  • Job Creation
    · Establish a new 10-year, $2.5 billion Jobs and Prosperity Fund that will improve Ontario’s ability to attract significant business investments, strengthen Ontario’s strategic sectors and support the province’s future economic growth
  • · Investing $295 million over two years for the Ontario Youth Jobs Strategy, which gives young people the opportunity to gain a foothold in the job market. Since September 2013, it has already helped over 10,000 young people gain work experience and find employment opportunities