On the weekend, holiday shoppers in Ontario encountered the Salvation Army at the big box store checkouts with their red kettles and bells. Tis the season for holiday music and bells.
And thanks to the Progressive Conservatives, our Ontario politicians are listening to the bells at Queen’s Park. The PCs are trying to add some festive sound to the legislature’s gloomy corridors. Well not really.
The PCs are perhaps showing the governing Liberals more ‘scrooge’ than holiday cheer. The bell ringing is due to some old style parliamentary filibustering.
The Hudak PCs are slowing down the legislative process by speaking to bills at length and then during their speeches, move to adjourn the legislature. The Speaker rings the bells calling for a vote which signals a vote on the adjournment motion further stalling and reducing the time available for debate.
And why are the PCs injecting Queen’s Park with the holiday bells. According to PC Leader Tim Hudak it comes down to his three priorities, “jobs, jobs, jobs.”
The PCs accelerated legislation for the governing Liberals a few months back to allow Premier Wynne the opportunity to focus on introducing legislation to create jobs and stimulate Ontario’s economy. Hudak believes that Wynne has not delivered on her end of the deal.
Therefore the PCs have decided to slow the government’s legislative agenda to a snail’s pace. Ring those bells.
In addition to the legislative music, Hudak’s PCs have fanned out across the province speaking about the 300,000 manufacturing jobs that been lost in Ontario during the McGuinty / Wynne era.
Of course the Liberals counter that the PC claim is not correct. Premier Wynne and her cabinet have been claiming that the Liberals have created more jobs than have been lost in the province.
Perhaps. Not sure which party’s arithmetic is accurate.
What would be interesting is to have the governing Liberals illustrate their arithmetic by region in the province. Gut feel is that there have been more jobs lost than gained outside of the Greater Toronto Area.
Toby Barrett, Progressive Conservative MPP for Haldimand Norfolk wrote in a column last week that Ontario has been bleeding jobs thru the closures at U.S. Steel, Heinz, Bick’s, CanGro, Hersheys, Redpath Sugar, Imperial Oil and Cliffs Natural Resources. Perhaps these job losses are not common knowledge in the Liberal bastion of Toronto, but rural Ontario is struggling.
For example, how does Leamington, a small community of 28,000 people, absorb the closure of its largest factory (Heinz) throwing more than 1,000 people out of work and impacting others within the community reliant on those good paying jobs?
Warren Buffet whose company owns the Leamington Heinz factory has indicated that the employees will be given a very good severance package in addition to the meager $200,000 the province has put in place.
This should give the impacted families great comfort as they prepare to celebrate the holidays and purchase gifts for their families.
Let’s hope that the employees who have lost or will be losing their jobs due to plant closures in Ontario will hear the jingling of the bells in the next few weeks both at the stores and at Queen’s Park.