Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne speaks to reporters as she arrives at the First Ministers meeting at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa on Nov. 23, 2015. (Photo: Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)The government would not comment on reports the budget could be introduced as early as Feb. 25, two months earlier than last year's fiscal plan. The Progressive Conservatives say soaring electricity rates have made Ontario hostile to business, and warn the Liberals will kill jobs and slow growth with their provincial pension plan — which the Tories call a payroll tax — and their cap-and-trade system to put a price on carbon, both of which take effect next January. "If you listen to any employer in the province, they're saying the payroll tax would put an additional burden on businesses," said PC Leader Patrick Brown. "A carbon tax that is not revenue neutral, a tax that is simply a revenue grab for the government, would be another challenge for businesses trying to create jobs." The Tories, fresh off a byelection win last week in Whitby-Oshawa, also plan to go on the attack about criminal charges that were laid against two former top aides to Dalton McGuinty during the Christmas recess in connection with deleted government emails.
Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown greets supporters as he makes his way to the podium to deliver a speech to introduce PC candidate Lorne Coe, after he won the provincial byelection in the Whitby-Oshawa, in Whitby, Ont., on Thursday. (Photo: Chris Young/Canadian Press)
"There's still an overwhelming rejection of Kathleen Wynne's sell-off of Hydro One, so our goal is to get the government to stop at the 15 per cent," said Horwath. The Liberals plan to use the revenue from the Hydro One sale to help fund their $134 billion, 10-year plan for infrastructure and transit projects, and insist it won't impact electricity rates which are set by the Ontario Energy Board. The New Democrats also want to ask Wynne why she recently described her 2013 budget commitment to lower auto insurance rates an average of 15 per cent over two years as a "stretch goal" after premiums dropped by less than half the promised amount. "We have a system that is working for the insurance companies and hauling in a heck of a lot of profits for them, while people are struggling to keep their cars on the road," said Horwath. Follow @CPnewsboy on Twitter
"There's still an overwhelming rejection of Kathleen Wynne's sell-off of Hydro One."
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