Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak | Aaron Vincent Elkaim/Canadian Press
The Dalton McGuinty government, if re-elected, would provide a tax credit to businesses of up to $10,000 for hiring new immigrants to their first jobs. The program, which is expected to cost $12-million to implement, has the earmarks of an “affirmative action program” with all the emotional and political baggage that entails.
As might be expected, Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak was all over the ill-conceived election promise. As he put it on Tuesday at a campaign event:
“Basically Dalton McGuinty wants to pay companies $10,000 to hire foreign workers while we have half a million people in Ontario today who are looking for jobs.”
I agree almost entirely with Mr. Hudak. The whole idea that we give new residents priority over those who lived and worked in our province—some of whom are decades-long taxpayers—is distasteful, to put it mildly. And I believe most Ontarians will view this new election promise with suspicion and wonder why Dalton McGuinty believes they are less worthy, or needy, than newcomers.
Where I can’t agree with Tim Hudak is with his use of the term “foreign workers” in the above context. When my mother and I arrived in Canada those many decades ago as “landed immigrants,” did folks like Tim Hudak and his speechwriters/handlers consider my mom to be a foreign worker? She was a landed immigrant, i.e., a permanent resident and taxpayer, or a citizen in waiting, if you will. Good grief!
What can these people at PC Ontario headquarters be thinking? Perhaps they need Jason Kenney to sit them down and explain that there’s nothing foreign about being a new immigrant. The quarterback of the Grits fumbles right into their hands and they score, but in their own end zone.