Ford promises a hands-off governmentPublished on May 02, 2018
Progressive Conservative leader Doug Ford says he’ll run a hands-off provincial government that will set the stage to create jobs and return Ontario to prosperity.
“We like to empower the people. When the people say jump, we say how high,” Ford told a packed audience Tuesday at his Rally for a Better Ontario event in Sault Ste. Marie.
“The government doesn’t create jobs. It creates the environment to create jobs,” he said.
About 175 people rallied with Ford during the dinner-hour event at Algoma’s Water Tower Inn, hearing the new Tory leader proclaim that if his party forms the next government, he will reduce hydro rates, eliminate the carbon tax and get rid of cap and trade.
Ford said that he’s hearing the same message across the province – and that is that people are frustrated the government is not listening to them, that cap and trade policies are hurting jobs and that hydro prices are too high.
“We have a cap and trade policy. We will cap all taxes and trade Kathleen Wynne,” he told the crowd. “We need to attract companies and we need to make sure there is an opportunity for every person in Sault Ste. Marie. We want the children to stay here, to fly, to have a great paying job. . . but they need the opportunity.”
Ford bashed the Liberal government and its policies and promised that the PC’s will bring about the change that the Ontarians are asking for.
The carbon tax “is the worst tax you can put on the people of Ontario,” he said.
And hydro rates will be reduced by 12 per cent “right off the hopper,” he promised, adding that he’ll end the “gouging” by those executives in multi-million-dollar jobs.
“You want to know someone is looking out for you, fighting for Ontario and that’s Doug Ford,” said PC candidate and MPP Ross Romano during his introduction of the party’s newly minted leader.
Ford said if elected, he would conduct a line-by-line audit of all ministries “to see who is getting rich off of you.”
Reducing business taxes by a modest one per cent would “be a start” and for Northern Ontario, developing a revenue sharing plan that will give Northern municipalities $20 million to $30 million will help municipalities build their communities, he said.
“We’ll nail down the figures next week,” he added.
And municipalities would be able to use the money as they see fit, he promised.
The plan is designed to ensure that Northern Ontario receives fair benefits from Northern resources and ensure that Northern communities and Indigenous communities benefit by receiving a portion of provincial revenues collected from aggregate licenses, stumpage fees and the mining tax, he said.
Ford also said that he would cut through the special interest and bureaucratic delays preventing Northern Ontario from benefiting from the Ring of Fire and other important resource projects.
But he couldn’t say how exactly the revenue sharing plan would work or how a value would be tagged to a natural resource.
“We want to put money back into municipalities and towns in Northern Ontario and let them decide what to do with it,” he told The Sault Star in a brief interview.
Ford suggested that revenues collected from stumpage fees, mining fees and business taxes would be redirected to municipalities without those taxes increasing on businesses.
He also said that a government under his leadership would open 15,000 long term care beds in the first five years of government and another 15,000 beds during year five to 10.
“That will take the load out of all the hospitals,” he said.
Ford said doctors and nurses will tell government how to best do their jobs, a true change from the existing Liberal regime style of government, he said.
The Toronto-area businessman and former Etobicoke city councillor said he’s against the Wynne government’s Green Energy plan – calling it the biggest scam taxpayers have seen -- but says he’d have to review contracts to determine the future of things like the wind turbines.
“I’m not a fan of wind turbines. We’re losing money on wind turbines . . . we need to look at the contracts and see what was signed and what deals were made. I can’t say what we’d do until I see that stuff,” he said.
While Ford told supporters that he wants to bring good paying jobs to the North, especially for young people, he was asked if he would consider passing legislation that would move all OLG jobs to Sault Ste. Marie.
Ford said he would have to look at the Crown corporation from top to bottom and review how many OLG jobs are located here and how many could be moved here.
“If it’s possible, we’ll look at it,” he said. “We’ll have to look at the whole deal here but sometimes you move up to where the organization is going or you leave the company,” he said.
A lot of young people are leaving these towns and cities for other jobs in major cities. I want them to have opportunities by getting rid of the carbon tax, the cap and trade and create a climate for business, he said in the brief interview.
Ford also said that the PC platform includes bringing back passenger rail service. “It’s in our platform,” he said.
He encouraged people to vote. “Together we will make sure we make this the most prosperous province in the country . . . We will be the engine of Canada once again. . . Help is on the way."
The provincial election is June 7.
By Elaine Della-Mattia, Sault Star