PC MPP John O'Toole Joins Chorus of Opposition to Hudak's Right-to-Work Policy
QUEEN'S PARK, ON, Feb. 4, 2014 /CNW/ - Today Ontario Liberals released an audio tape in which PC MPP John O'Toole implores the PC leadership to abandon the extreme and risky planks personally championed by Mr. Hudak. On the tape the Veteran PC MPP from Durham can be clearly heard saying:
"Here's the main issue… if anyone mentions the word Wisconsin we're screwed."
A reference to the labour and economic turmoil that the state of Wisconsin experienced as a result of right-to-work legislation. O'Toole then concluded:
"But this is a sensitive issue that could cost us the election [Applause]." (PC Policy Convention, September 22, 2013)
The tape was given to the Liberals by a delegate to the PC convention in London where Mr. O'Toole spoke against Tim Hudak's handling of the labour issue.
Mr. O'Toole joins a growing list of Conservatives uncomfortable with Tim Hudak's leadership and judgment on this issue. Earlier this month the PC Candidate in Essex, David Brister, was fired after saying Hudak's Right-to-Work policy would lead to "drive wages lower" (CKLW, January 22, 2014). Brister noted that, "There is no free speech among party members." (Windsor Star, January 22, 2014)
"It is now increasingly clear that even PC members acknowledge that Tim Hudak's Right-to-Work-For-Less policy will drive down wages, weaken pensions, and damage the economy. It is the last thing Ontario families want or need in these tough economic times," said Liberal MPP Brad Duguid.
"Tim Hudak's 'right-to-work-for-less' plan will result in lower wages for Ontario workers. His radical agenda has been proven not to work and is a risk to our labour relations climate in Ontario and our economic recovery," added Duguid.
Meanwhile, Niagara Falls PC candidate Bart Maves and Thornhill candidate Gila Martow have intentionally downplayed Hudak's plan to drive down wages with right-to-work legislation. It's time they come clean on where they stand on this controversial policy.
While we wait for their answers, all eyes will be on Hudak to see how he responds to yet another high profile party member questioning his judgement. When asked about opposition to his radical agenda, Tim Hudak stated that he's not "going to let any obstacles stand" in his way. (TVO's The Agenda, January 29, 2014)
***The full transcript of Mr. O'Toole's comments are attached and a copy of the audio is available for download at: http://youtu.be/_h3Sg1e4WKs
Transcript of PC MPP John O'Toole:
O'Toole: "Yes, John O'Toole, I'm the MPP for the riding of Durham. [Applause]
First I recognize that this is an important issue: jobs and the economy. I realize it's also a very sensitive issue. I'm not standing, it's closer to where I'm sitting. Here's the main issue, I think it might be the wrong issue, if anyone mentions the word Wisconsin we're screwed.
You heard the interview by the new president of Unifor. When he was asked by CBC "What if the governments challenge you? What are you going to do?" He said, "If they come for one, they come for all." Those are fighting words and I'm afraid that we aren't languaging this properly.
And I hate the lecture part here but. It is the public sector unions that have a natural monopoly and private sector unions don't. Now they're united: police, fire, ambulance all of them are unionized. They have distribution, membership lists.
You think Working Families is bad now, it could be worse. Because a lot of the things we're talking about could be dealt with by language. Here is what I suggest: we need to strengthen workplace democracy.
That means by [inaudible] and Employment Standards Act so workers don't feel exposed. But this is a sensitive issue that could cost us the election." [Applause]
(PC Policy Convention, September 22, 2013)
SOURCE: Liberal Caucus Service Bureau
For further information: Liberal Caucus Service Bureau, 416-325-9138