The Sault welcomes newly appointed Progressive Conservative leader, Doug Ford, with enthusiasm.
Ford’s rally in the Sault marked one of many stops on a tour to hear out the concerns of citizens in Northern Ontario, and he was not afraid to speak loud and clear against Kathleen Wynne and the provincial Liberal party on their $325 billion dollar debt, “The largest subnational debt in the entire world.”
MPP Ross Romano introduced Ford to the community,
“I’ve been listening to our community and I’ve heard you. You are fed up. You are frustrated. You are tired of the hydro rates and the high taxes. You want better healthcare, shorter wait times, more access to long-term facilities. You want real jobs, meaningful and sustainable jobs. You want to know that someone is looking out for you, there is somebody out there fighting for you, and Doug Ford is.”
Part of Ford’s visit to the Sault included conversation with Algoma (Essar Steel Algoma), who expressed their frustration with cap and trade policy.
He promised to “Cap taxes and trade Kathleen Wynne,” all the while supporting people in cities like the Sault who rely on companies like Algoma to fuel the economy, and ultimately, fuel the small businesses that employ so many of us.
Ford claims that 300 thousand manufacturing jobs have left Ontario in the last 15 years, a cause of concern for a steel town like Sault Ste. Marie.
Ford also made a promise to reduce the hydro rates by 12%, and made a point to call out alleged corruption within the Hydro One corporation,
“The people of Ontario are getting gouged. While hydro CEOs in other provinces are making a $400-thousand dollar salary maximum, ours (Mayo Schmidt) is making $4.5 million, with a $1.7 million dollar bonus on top of that.”
He further described the situation as “The most shameful thing i’ve ever seen, with an additional $14 million dollars of bonuses going to his cronies.”
Ford promised that the last time he (Mayo Schmidt) controls taxpayer money and approves anything will be June 7th, and then he and the Board of Directors of Hydro One will be gone.
Aside from hydro, Ford also shared with Saultites some of the ways that he would do politics differently than the competition, starting with a major issue, healthcare, sharing his genuine appreciation for nurses and doctors through his experience with his late brother, Rob Ford.
He pledged to hear out doctors and other healthcare professionals so that they can advise recommendations to better the healthcare system because “Nothing is worse than a politician at Queen’s Park telling the front line worker, be it the doctor, be it the nurse, be it any of you, how to do your job.”
He reaffirmed his promise to bring in 15,000 long-term care beds in the next five years and 15,000 more in the next ten, which would “take a load off the hospitals.”
His platform includes renewing rail service in Ontario, getting rid of tax on those who make minimum wage ($30,000 per year or less), the carbon tax, cap and trade, and the Green Energy Act, in addition to enacting revenue sharing so that municipalities have more control over their own finances.
To huge applause, Ford said, “People are always telling municipalities how they have to use their money. I don’t believe in that. I say, let the people from Sault Ste. Marie use their own money how they want. If they have pot holes and want to resurface the roads, god bless ’em. We don’t need to have the ‘nanny state’ or ‘big brother’ dictate how each and every one of us are going to spend our money!”
While Ford did not get into the logistics of how many of these plans would come to fruition, or specifically how policy would apply to Sault Ste. Marie, he guaranteed job development and attracting businesses to our region.
For more information on Doug Ford and the PCs platform going into the June 7th provincial elections, click here.