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May 27, 2014 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

Peterborough This Week

PETERBOROUGH — PC Leader Tim Hudak isn’t against green energy, but he says Ontario can’t afford it.

Fielding questions at a town hall meeting in Peterborough on Monday morning (May 26) he told a small business owner he’d rather give Ontarians a break on their hydro bills than provide wind and solar farm developers subsidies. Bringing down energy rates is one of many strategies he’s proposed to help create roughly one million jobs over the next eight years. It would see 100,000 public sector jobs cut across the province — a tactic that union supporters weren’t shy to discredit from the back of the room at the Holiday Inn.

Backing his decision to stop funneling government dollars into green energy projects, Mr. Hudak says the province has the highest hydro rates in North America.

“These are the richest, fattest subsidies,” he says.

Additionally, he says communities deserve a say in the projects.

A Peterborough physician, who is openly supporting local PC candidate Scott Stewart, says his colleagues are concerned about Mr. Hudak’s plan to cut public sector jobs.

Mr. Hudak says he’s not looking to axe the nurses, personal support workers and doctors who care for patients. He’s looking to cut out what he deems unnecessary bureaucracy.

“I have a challenge for you,” he told the crowd. “Go into your local LHIN (Local Health Integrration Network) and ask them to take your blood pressure…They’re health care middle managers that push paper all day.”

He adds nurses are run off their feet and the province needs more of them, not less. “You’d actually be surprised at how much government you’ll never miss,” he says.

Peterborough’s Liberal incumbent Jeff Leal stood in the hotel lobby after the town hall meeting, ready to strike down the plan to save public sector jobs.

“The plan to cut 100,000 public sector jobs — that’s the size of the City of Peterborough plus 22,000 more,” he says. “I’ve watched this movie before…the public sector economy supports a dynamic private sector economy.”

Shortly after the meeting, the Liberal Party responded to an accusation it had sent a heckler into the event. According to a statement from the party, the heckler was an NDP supporter.

READ MORE: Who Heckled Tum Hudak? And Do Voters Even Care?

Maryam Monsef snagged the last question of the meeting, asking what Mr. Hudak would do to ensure immigrants have an easier time coming to the province and building a life here.

While Mr. Hudak continued on the campaign trail to Thornhill and Milton on Monday afternoon, Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne and NDP Leader Andrea Horvath headed to Thunder Bay for a debate organized by northern municipalities.

According to Toronto media reports, Mr. Hudak had hoped to participate but couldn’t due to scheduling conflicts.

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