Skip to main content
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track on the Olympic Games
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week for 24 weeks
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track onthe Olympics Games
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak, centre, laughs before he makes an announcement at a packaging plant about creating 40,000 jobs in Ontario with affordable energy during a campaign stop in Smithville, Ont., on Monday, May 12, 2014.

Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak is trying to show his "Million Jobs Plan" is more than a snappy slogan, casting himself as the serious man to lead Ontario out of the economic doldrums.

The Tory Leader on Tuesday released detailed estimates on how many jobs each of his proposed policies would create, as well as some of the economic metrics behind his big promise. And he vowed that driving down unemployment would be his paramount concern as premier.

"Truly making jobs a priority means putting no other goal ahead," he told a largely partisan lunch crowd at Ottawa's Château Laurier. "On issue after issue, we in the PC Party will choose jobs while the … Liberals always seem to decide that they see something else as more important."

Story continues below advertisement

The province's sluggish economy is the central issue in the June 12 election, with Mr. Hudak's tax-cutting, government-shrinking plan duelling with Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne's interventionist ideology.

Mr. Hudak's move Tuesday was meant to win that fight and deflect criticisms he simply picked an arbitrary figure. Mr. Hudak's critics, and some economists, contend no provincial government has the ability to guarantee such a specific level of job creation.

Mr. Hudak's plan assumes more than half the million jobs would be created anyway if the government did nothing and economic conditions remained relatively unchanged from the previous decade. The other half-million, he says, would come from cutting corporate taxes from 11.5 to 8 per cent, slashing personal income tax rates by 10 per cent, joining the New West free-trade agreement with the Western provinces and battling gridlock in the Greater Toronto Area, among other policies.

He also provided two PC-commissioned economic analyses to show his numbers add up. One by the Conference Board of Canada looked at the economic stimulus effect of his proposed tax cuts. The other, by economist Benjamin Zycher of the conservative Washington-based American Enterprise Institute, analyzed the effects of his other proposals.

The Liberals tried to discredit Mr. Zycher by pointing to AEI's right-wing bias, as well as interviews in which he appeared to question to what extent climate change is caused by human activity.

"With a platform signed off on by a controversial … consultant, Tim Hudak confirmed today that he'll pick up where Mike Harris left off, plunging Ontario back into recession by making reckless cuts," Grit campaign spokeswoman Rebecca MacKenzie wrote in an e-mail.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, meanwhile, said Mr. Hudak's plan to lay off 100,000 public-sector workers would hurt the economy and impede job creation.

Story continues below advertisement

"He's talking about the million jobs he's going to create in one scenario and in the next scenario he's talking about the 100,000 families he's going to kick to the curb," she said while mainstreeting in Scarborough.

Economist Jack Mintz said the PC job-creation estimates on corporate tax cuts "wouldn't be far off," but noted that economists have to be careful when attaching hard employment numbers to policy ideas.

"I always get a little nervous [doing that]. I've done it myself, but only because it helps the public understand it," he said in an interview.

Some of Mr. Hudak's proposed policies will probably create jobs over time, Mr. Mintz said, but there are other factors at play, including the influence of the U.S. economy and the province's need to pay down its deficit. And it's possible that some of the estimated new jobs are counted more than once because their creation could be attributed to more than one policy.

"One of the problems of evaluating policy by policy, sometimes there are interaction effects that you have to take into account," he said.

But the Tory Leader argued he had used conservative enough estimates of economic growth that his plan would be borne out.

Story continues below advertisement

"None of that model is based on glowing assumptions," he told reporters. "None of that model is crossing our fingers and clicking our heels together and hoping for some miracle."

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the authors of this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies