Freedom Party of Ontario

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For immediate release

 

Paul McKeever's Statement re: Televised Leaders Debate


June 4, 2014, London - Freedom Party of Ontario leader Paul McKeever today recorded an statement to the voters of Ontario, setting out what he would have said at last night's televised leaders debate, had he not been denied participation in it.  The 7 minute, 50 second recording of his address can be heard by clicking here: 

http://www.freedomparty.on.ca/archive/audio/2014-06-04.leaders-address.mp3

 

The full text of Paul McKeever's statement follows:

 

Ladies and Gentlemen:

As you may know, I was not permitted to participate in last night's televised leaders debate.  As a result, you were not permitted to know the Freedom Party's responses to the questions asked by Ontario voters.  In addition, the leaders of the Liberal, PC, and NDP parties were shielded from my responses to their answers. 

I believe that, as a voter, you have a right to know my responses to questions and statements made at last night's leader's debate, and I have an obligation to provide those responses.  And so, in this letter, I will tell you what the television stations and the Liberal, PC, and NDP parties tried to prevent you from knowing, by barring me from participation in last night's television debate.

1. Last night, PC leader Tim Hudak told you that his Million Jobs Plan is a plan to balance Ontario's books.  He was not telling the truth.  On page 13 of his Million Jobs Plan, Mr. Hudak writes what I believe are the three most important sentences in his whole 24 page plan: " ...an Ontario PC government will balance the budget within two years of the election...This is a central pillar of our jobs plan...The details of how we will balance the budget are laid out in detail in a separate document."    In other words: the Million Jobs Plan is not a plan to balance the budget, even though balancing the budget is a "central pillar" of the PC jobs plan.  Had I been permitted to participate in the debate, last night, I would have asked Mr. Hudak: "Tim, where is that separate document?  Does it exist?  If so, what is it called, and where can the voting public read it?  If we cannot read it, why not: why are you hiding it?  If the document doesn't exist at all, isn't it time that you admit that you have no plan to balance the budget?  The voter deserves to know.  Isn't it time that you came clean and admitted that your entire Million Jobs Plan rests on a pillar that does not exist?  Freedom Party of Ontario does have a detailed plan to balanced the budget.  We have put in a detailed balanced budget plan every year for the last three years, and anyone can obtain it from the Freedom Party website homepage, www.freedomparty.on.ca."

2.  Ms Wynne asserted - rightly - that Mr. Hudak has promised to cut 100,000 jobs from the public sector.  Mr. Hudak accused Ms Wynne of "distorting" his plan.  Having accused her of such dishonesty, he then proceeded to explain that he would reduce the number of public sector jobs from 1.2 million to 1.1 million.  My simple statement to Mr. Hudak would have been: "Tim, 1.2 million jobs minus 1.1 million jobs is 100,000 jobs.  Ms Wynne is correct, and so is Debbie from Peterborough, who told you that your math "doesn't compute".  Saying on the one hand that you will not cut 100,000 jobs, is not disproven by saying you will reduce the number of public sector jobs by 0.1 million.  Quite the opposite.  Mr. Hudak, do you believe that Ontarians deserve a premier that doesn't falsely accuse a colleague of dishonesty?  Do you believe that the people of Ontario deserve a premier who can do simple subtraction?  You say that a good percentage of those jobs cuts will be the result of dismissing middle managers.  Have you considered that the law will require those middle managers each to be paid severance.  At an average of $75,000 to $100,000 of severance money per person, the termination of 100,000 government employees would cost Ontario taxpayers between $7.5B and $10B.  How does that sort of buy-out - which dwarfs the $1.1B gas plant buy-out - help to balance the budget?  Or is that just more Hudak math?"

3. On the matter of green energy, such as wind turbines, Mr. Hudak tried to suck and blow at the same time.  I would have said to Mr. Hudak that: "Mr. Hudak, you say that you want to restore affordable energy.  On the one hand, you want Ontario voters to believe that you will stop expansion of expensive wind turbine energy.  On the other, you tell them that you will introduce "local" decision-making about whether and where new wind turbines would be installed.  You can't have it both ways Mr. Hudak.  It's time to be clear Mr. Hudak: will you or won't you allow more wind turbines to be installed?  And, if restoring affordable energy is truly your plan, why do you refuse to pull the plug on already-existing over-priced green energy deals, even though the law makes it clear that Ontario can do so without facing a penalty or lawsuits?"

4. On the matter of affordable energy: "Mr. Hudak, the six active nuclear reactors at Pickering will be shut down in 2018-2020.  The government recently was quoted a price of $13B per reactor for new reactors to replace the ones being shut down.  That's $78B.  You are the only party leader in Ontario who is committed to putting more nuclear purchases on the taxpayer's tab.  How are you going to balance a budget if you are simultaneously going to stick the taxpayer with a $78B tab for new nuclear reactors?

5. To Ms Wynne: "Ms Wynne, you keep repeating that the per capita cost of our government programs is the lowest in the country, but you leave out the fact that we don't make the money we used to.  We now are treated by the federal government as a have-not province.  A gas station attendant might spend less on groceries than a physician, but that quite probably is because the gas station attendant is paid less than a physician.  Ontario might spend less, per person, on government programs - as you say - but your characterization of things deliberately leaves out the fact that, after 11 years of Liberal government, we're broke.

6. To Ms Wynne: "You have said tonight that 'we have seen [economic] recovery; we are seeing recovery and we now need to build on that recovery'.  Ms Wynne, I don't know what you're seeing, but I'm seeing the closure of Kellogg's in London.  I'm seeing the closure of the Caterpillar plant in London.  Is that what you call a recovery?  Please tell the people of London what sort of building do you hope to do on the economic wreckage of 11 years of Liberal governance."

7. To Ms Wynne and Mr. Hudak: "You both say that you are committed to expanding public transit in Toronto.  Mr. Hudak, you in particular want to go the extra-expensive route of building subways.  Ms Wynne's plan for Toronto transit expansion - she says - will cost Ontarians $15B.  Mr. Hudak, your Toronto subways will cost even more.  Most of the people of London will  never use Toronto public transit.  Why are you both forcing Londoners and others to pay for Toronto transit that they will never use?  Why are you looting Londoners?  To win votes in Toronto?  I think that's wrong, and Freedom Party thinks what you are both planning is wrong.

8. To Ms Horwath: "Ms Horwath, you rightly stated that voters do not need to choose between the bad ethics of the Liberals and the bad math of the Hudak PCs.  I would add that voters also do not need to invite a repeat of the tax-and-spend radical NDP government that gave us double-digit deficits and record debt in the 1990s.  We've seen what your commitment to socialism results in.  I want voters to know that bad socialism is not the only alternative to bad ethics or bad math, even when that wolf is dressed up in sheep's clothing, as it is in this election.  A Freedom government will balance the budget, ethically, and you can check our math by reading our budget because, unlike Mr. Hudak's PCs, we actually have one, and we make it available to all.

 

I thank the people of Ontario for their time.  I hope that I have helped voters to know what they were prevented from hearing in last night's televised debate.  I continue to read your e-mails and to answer your calls during this election, and Freedom Party will continue to do so if given the honour and responsibility of representing you at Queen's Park.  Thank-you.

 

Sincerely, 

 

Paul McKeever
Leader, Freedom Party of Ontario

 

For more information, contact Paul McKeever:


e-mail: pmckeever@freedomparty.on.ca


Freedom Party of Ontario

240 Commissioners Road West
London, Ontario
CANADA N6J 1Y1 

Twitter: fpontario