CORNWALL, Ont. - Union bosses, aided and abetted by the Liberal government, are getting in the way of apprenticeship positions and job creation in Ontario, Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak said Tuesday.
In pushing his job-creation platform, Hudak said if he forms the next government Oct. 6, he would reduce the ratio of journeymen to apprentices to one-to-one, down from four-to-one.
"Dalton McGuinty puts the union bosses and special interests ahead of young people," Hudak said.
"We'll fix our apprenticeship system."
Hudak said union rules that limit the number of potential apprenticeships are a throwback to the 1970s and need to be brought into the 21st century.
He also pledged to create 200,000 apprenticeship spaces over four years.
Pressed as to how his measures would actually reduce unemployment and create jobs, Hudak resorted to his usual anti-Liberal rant about higher taxes and hydro rates.
He said he would give businesses a tax break he said would encourage investment and job creation.
Taking the provincial portion of the HST off heat and hydro, as he has pledged to do, would leave more money in people's pockets, he said.
They in turn would spend that extra money in the local economy and help to create jobs, Hudak said.
The Tory leader railed at what he called job-killing red tape, and pledged to create a cabinet position to deal with it if he wins the Oct. 6 provincial election.
He also attacked a Liberal proposal that would give a $10,000 tax credit to companies that hire certain professional newcomers.
"I just reject Dalton McGuinty's approach, which is basically an affirmative-action subsidy of $10,000 based on how long you've lived in Ontario," Hudak said.
The McGuinty plan calls for a $10,000 tax credit for businesses who give some new Canadian professionals their first job and train them, provided the new hires are citizens and have lived in Ontario fewer than five years.