Saturday, May 9, 2009

PCO leadership race: Christine Elliott and Tim Hudak lead going down the final stretch

The PC Ontario leadership race, in my humble opinion, is now down to two candidates with a real chance of winning: MPPs Christine Elliott and Tim Hudak. Ms. Elliott seems to be running the best campaign and has tabled the more “meaty” policies. Mr. Hudak, on the other hand, seems to have more party insider support, but his policies don’t resonate as well with me.

In a recent letter to my house, Mr. Hudak offers:

  • income splitting for families with small children [I don’t have small children]
  • newborn savings accounts [too old to qualify for that]
  • helping kids learn with Phonics in public education [kids are grown]
  • helping homebuyers with freeze on land transfer tax [why have the damn tax in the first place?]
  • one-year payroll tax holiday on new hires [I’m retired].

Nothing at all, zip, zero, nada for members of our aging population. Nothing for the thousands of retired citizens who have seen their life savings savaged by the economic storm in which they find themselves.

Come on, Mr. Hudak, have a heart. Do you really expect seniors to fork over their tax money to help pay for a $1,000 per child give-away to able bodied young couples? Why this shameless example of mindless socialism? Why are your policies so skewed towards the young adults of our province—those already in the better position to look after themselves. Don’t seniors count for anything?

By eliminating this tax [PST] on inputs, via the GST’s familiar system of input credits, the Howe analysts [C. D. Howe Institute] estimate that harmonization alone would cut nearly 11 points off Ontario’s effective tax rate on new investment by 2012. It’s the single most positive thing the province could do to improve its competitive position. But what is that, compared to the delights of shouting “tax grab”?

Andrew Coyne

Also, more than any of the other candidates, Tim Hudak has come out strongly against the policy of harmonizing the PST and GST, naming it, DST (Dalton Sales Tax). This policy is outlined on his Web site, while virtually every economist thinks harmonization is a good idea. I see his stance as unhelpful partisan politics. We aught to be supporting good tax policy regardless of the party implementing it.

In contrast, Ms. Elliott seems to be more strategic and broad-based in her focus. And her campaign is making a positive impression at my house. We like her proposals for a flat-rate tax, cracking down on crime, “fixing” EI as it affects Ontarians and freezing of the province’s minimum wage rates. These, along with her policy initiatives regarding Northern Ontario are solid, meaty solutions to real broad-based issues facing our province.

There is, though, two issues I’m sort of hung up on with Ms. Elliott:

Firstly, her being married to a senior federal cabinet minister makes me somewhat uncomfortable; and secondly, her reputation as a “Red” Tory. Neither of these are deal-breakers, but do cause me concern.

At this time, I’m leaning towards Christine Elliott as first choice and Tim Hudak as my second choice. Of the other two candidates, I favour Randy Hillier over Frank Klees.


  1. No offense, but by complaining that Hudak offers nothing for seniors then calling money for couples "mindless socialism" you sound pretty hypocritical.

    And before you ask, I'm neither a Hudak supporter nor someone with children.

  2. Tin has a plant o create jobs, grow the economy ... that puts more money in the system for every type of social support.

  3. Hey Russ, thanks for your post.

    While I realize that some of the points in Tim Hudak's campaign don't resonate with you, there are a couple which you seem to have missed which might change the way you perceive him.

    You mentioned Northern Ontario, for which Hudak also has a plan to help strengthen its economy.

    He also has a plan for cracking down on crime, which includes working actively with the Ontario Provincial Police to fight violent crime, grow ops, organized crime and vandalism.

    He is in favour of ef= minimum wage until the province recovers its economic strength.

    On the hand, while you may think that its socialist to want to support families raising children, I find it's solid forward thinking. These children, if brought up well with a good education, good health and so on, will go on to become productive members of society. It's a long-term investment in Ontario's future, and I completely agree with this proposal.

    As for the HST, some economist may praise it as a good idea, but I just don't see how charging an additional 6 percent on new homes is beneficial. The same with charging tax on a number of items which weren't taxed before. That doesn't seem to be an effective way of helping out in hard hit times. I understand that its meant to reduce red tape, but surely this could be done without putting the cost on us.

    Also, I find it strange that if it is such a good idea, that so many who are in favour of the new tax also advocate exemptions. Clearly this file is not closed, and while you might disagree with opponents of the HST, you must agree that it needs more work. At least Hudak is bringing attention to this situation, rather than letting Ontarians remain passive on the subject. That's my opinion anyways.

  4. Hi Mr. Campbell:

    I'm 20 years old and your points are generally correct. Tim Hudak has nothing planned for the people who devoted a large part of their time in this country working, including paying taxes and "supporting the economy."

    Mr. Hudak's motive is seemingly to fight the economy. What we all must come to realize is that the economy and politics are two separate issues. He thinks that by offering incentives to the young that this will somehow stimulate the economy; his target just so happens to be the biggest form of economic commodity that Canadian CITIES subscribe to - realestate; mortgages, MORE credit, and MORE DEBT. Sounds great? Tim Hudak's plan is a repetition of the last guy's efforts. It is senseless, visionless, and full of flaws. Again, it offers nothing for the seniors in our community, whom have seen much of their life savings disintegrate into nearly nothing! WHERE DID ALL THE MONEY GO? To the banks of course.

    In circumstances such as these, Canadians need real leadership. We need someone who is not afraid to stand up for our rights and freedoms (and human rights I might add; Tim Hudak wants to change the Human Rights Commission to simply an educational program for citizens). The problem is that not a single one of the people in the PC Leadership Candidacy are deserving to guide us through this economic crisis. Who can we trust?