Summary of interview with PC leader Tim Hudak

Sandy Interviewing Tim Hudak

Sandy Interviewing Tim Hudak

On Friday, March 16th, 2012 I had a one-on-one interview with Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak. We began our on-the-record time together with me explaining that conservatives I meet through the blogosphere tend to see  the word “progressive” in the Ontario “Progressive Conservative” party as problematic.

So, Hudak clearly understood what I was getting at when I asked my first of four questions.

(1) Conservative Credentials

Sandy: As leader of a “Progressive” Conservative Party, what are your “conservative” credentials?

Tim Hudak: I am always surprised when people ask me that question. As you know, I was first elected in June of 1995 and come out of that proud Mike Harris tradition of cutting taxes, reducing the size of government, balancing the budget and paying down the deficit. I also believe in the power of the private sector to create jobs and prosperity. I was just in New York City for a couple of days recently to see the bond dealers, such as Moody’s and the banks. For the first time since the Bob Rae NDP Government, Ontario is now on their radar screen and that is really troublesome.

(2) Turning Ontario’s economy around

Sandy: What do you see as the priorities to reverse the current trends should your Ontario PCs win a majority government in the near future?

Tim Hudak:   First, if we want to bring jobs and prosperity back to Ontario, the first thing we have to do is get the books back into balance as soon as possible — get our fiscal house in order. I have given the date of 2017 and I intend to stick to that. While I would like to say we could turn things around in one four-year term, that would be disingenuous. The Drummond Report made it clear that things are now so bad that the reality is it will take to 2017. 

How I would get the fiscal situation under control is by cutting the size and cost of each government Ministry by 12.5%. That’s huge. Right off the top it would save $2 billion a year. We would also immediate implement a public sector hiring and wage freeze — which would save another $2 billion a year. It can be done. It must be done. Which is only fair given people in the private sector have been struggling all along and have already had to cut back.  

We also need to get out of the corporate welfare business. I don’t think governments should be telling which businesses matter and which do not.

(3) McGuinty Liberal green bandwagon

Sandy:  Which brings me to those businesses which have jumped on the green bandwagon. What about the green and renewable issues related to the Liberals Green Energy Act?

Tim Hudak:  First, you can’t pay ten times for the amount of power and create jobs, any kind of jobs, green or otherwise. A PC Government would immediately end the “Feed-In-Tariff” program. Full stop. As I said, no more paying ten times the price of power and no more green subsidies.   Second, we would restore local decision-making. The municipalities would have their say and local community citizens would have their say. That would bring back democracy.

We would also direct the PC Minister of Energy to look at projects that have gone through the system but are not yet raising power. For each such project, we’d consult with the municipalities affected and their local communities and decide on a case-by-case basis whether they should proceed or not or be altered. In other words, whether or not they went ahead would be decided  after local input and the best interests of the local ratepayers.

(4) Creating prosperity and jobs

Sandy: How would a PC Government encourage job creation since government does not actually create long-term jobs?

Tim Hudak:  Tax cuts create jobs. They do so by stirring the economy and unleashing the rewards of the work ethic. The reality is you must have a healthy private sector. To be healthy, we would first have to change the attitude of government towards the private sector by ending policies that actually slows business development down or gets in the way [e.g., with red tape and other unnecessary regulations].  

By unleashing that power, I believe we can turn Ontario’s economy around. The reality is that in 2012 capital is fully mobile and can go anywhere in the world. I want it here in Ontario. I want to open up the door to that prosperity and roll out the red carpet.  What we don’t want is for Ontario to become the Greece of Canada.

End of Interview Conclusions

In person PC Leader Tim Hudak is vibrant and charismatic. As soon as he walked into the Tim Hortons where I was waiting (by myself as this was no photo-op), customers jumped up and shook his hand. The interesting thing is we were meeting in what is now long-time Liberal Jim Bradley’s riding. Which means, the extremely friendly response by customers could now have a more hopeful meaning.

Personally, I have never had any doubt that the Ontario PC Party and its leader were conservative. I have known Tim since he was first elected in 1995 and was one of the four Niagara caucus with my former boss, Tom Froese, MPP.  Yet, somehow the liberal media have muddied the waters, as have third parties such as the Working Families Coalition and the teachers’ unions‘ ad campaigns, such as this one and this one. I mean, let’s face it, the Dalton McGuinty Liberals have given the teachers everything they wanted and more and yet they refuse to look at the reality of our fiscal situation, balking at even a two-year wage freeze.  What ever happened to critical thinking skills and resisting peer pressure?

Whatever the case, it is obvious that Ontario is currently at a crossroads. Meaning, that if at any time the current Liberal government is brought down by the PCs and the NDP, Ontario conservatives, whether of the “progressive” conservative variety or not, have to make sure that Hudak and his party wins a solid majority government. But, to do that,  the very same conservative voters are going have to stop constantly questioning Hudak’s conservative credentials and being ticked off over any number of single issues.

In other words, Ontario needs the Ontario PC Party and Tim Hudak to return Ontario to prosperity and “have” status. Full stop!

41 thoughts on “Summary of interview with PC leader Tim Hudak

  1. Pingback: Sandy: PC Leader Tim Hudak interview on returning Ontario to “have” status | Jack's Newswatch

  2. wonderful interview Sandy
    Tim Hudak is a strong leader and will be the Premier after the next election
    Ontario throw out the devil DEVIL you know
    wake up and vote PC

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  3. Although I am not from Ontario nor do I live there, I must say that from everything I have seen Hudak is not in the least a strong leader and he is “progressive” rather than conservative. I was astounded by his pathetic performance during the campaign (even the NDP did better) and when it comes to important issues such as Caledonia he is incapable of taking a principled stand.

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    • Alain — You have made up your mind and no matter what I write you will obviously not change it. I thought I made it very clear, having known this man for 17 years, that he is a strong conservative.

      His stand regarding Caledonia is actually a very principled stand. I asked him about that as our interview wound down. He was there just this past week. No Premier can interfere but as he said, he would make it clear to the OPP that he supports them 100%. If you think a Premier can interfere you didn’t learn anything from Ipperwash. In other words, if the OPP took a stand now, Premier McGuinty would not support them and they would take all the blame. If, on the other hand, a Premier Hudak stood behind their decisions, they would do what they had to do to maintain law.

      As I have said so many times in the past, shoot yourself in the foot and leave McGuinty in place to bring Ontario to the point of being Greece #2.

      No politician or party is perfect. One other thing Hudak mentioned which I have yet to write about — Ontario is spending $1.8 million an hour in interest charges — 24 hours a day, 7 days week.

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      • No Sandy, I always try to keep an open mind on any issue, however from what I saw on SNN Hudak’s behaviour on Caledonia was very questionable. Why does he continue refusing to meet with the small group of law abiding Canadians who continue to protest the situation? According to SNN Hudak even refuses to look at all the documentation the group has gathered since the start. When Hudak was interviewed about the situation, he side stepped every pertinant question returning to political wishy-washy talking points. He did not look good.

        I trust your personal assessment of the man, but pray tell why did he blow his campaign so badly? If it was due to his advisors, he should drop them and start talking and thinking for himself.

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  4. I agree with Hudak’s plan for a complete halt to the green FIT program. The problem is that the Ont Lib/NDP green working coalition know this, and are working overtime to approve as many industrial wind projects as possible within the next 2 years. The idea being that once approved and under construction, the projects will be difficult to stop. After all, the province can’t make a habit of cancelling power stations, like McGuinty did, or no companies will invest in government partnered development. If they do, they will demand very expensive cancellation clauses.
    This part of McGuinty’s green energy plan is stll full steam ahead, whatever the budget restraints, or whatever rural Ontarians say. Hudak must find another program he can oppose with NDP, to defeat this government. I can’t see what this would be at this point.

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  5. In the Sun News today it states that Bruce Unit 2 generating unit will be coming on line (within a months time, my words, as I am a retired OPG nuclear worker and was quite involved at Darlington NGS in reactor and turbine start ups). This will add 750MW to the grid. Unit 1 will follow sometime after. If the Ontario Power Authority can’t sell the power it has why in heavens name are they entering into contracts with Solar and Wind Producers. Hudak and the PC’s need to spend money and take out full page adverts against these lunacy!

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    • Megawatt Joe — It’s crazy. You can read Alain comment below. What will it take to wake voters up to the fact that the PCs can turn Ontario around and that the first place they will start is with the solar and wind fiasco?

      In other words, what can anyone say or write that will wake people up? Everything I wrote was what I know to be the case. I worked for a Harris era MPP. I listened carefully to Hudak. In th entire interview, he said absolutely nothing that was considered traditional progressive. Nothing. Zip.

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    • If Mr. Hudak and his caucus cared so much about killing McGuinty’s green energy plan then you should have asked him why he and others in his caucus were not there for the private member bill vote by MPP Lisa Thompson, who, had over 1700 supporters backing her bill?

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  6. My advice to Hudak would be to ditch the “progressive” in the party name. Progressive means big government, no respect for life, no respect for Christianity, no respect for the individual and their God-given freedom.

    “progress” isn’t always a good thing.

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  7. Thanks for this Sandy, good work.

    Tim Hudak is our leader, we can stand with him or stop complaining about the horrible mess this province is in after over eight years of McGuinty and his inept band of Liberals who did not deserve to be re-elected the first time let alone the second.

    Saying Hudak is not Conservative is the most counterproductive utterance I can think of at this time. What ever he is thought to be by some , he’s leader of the only Conservative party in Ontario and we need to support him. As bad as McGuinty is the Liberals are not berating him even though he deserves to be ousted from office for incompetence .

    Ontario Conservatives seem to be their own worst enemies, dissing their leader and allowing this McGuinty nightmare to continue unabated.

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  8. From where I sit, rural Ontarians cannot afford the luxury of esoteric debate on labels progressive, or conservative or something else. To be blunt, Hudak and his party are all we have; most of us would support a whigg or a mugwump party, if it would promise to rid Ont of McGuinty’s disastrous energy policies. Every day is a desperate struggle with ongoing industrial wind development, and residents have exhausted practically all legal challenges. There are 2 parties dedicated to Liberal green policies, as demonstrated by their votes in the legislature. Neither of these parties have any representation, or concern for rural residents and communities.

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      • Normally, when I publish a post it reflects my own views on certain issues and it is those views that commenters discuss and debate. However, this post is different. It is about someone else’s views — those of Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak.

        I did this post because I wanted Ontario conservatives to know that, no matter what PC issues were in dispute, one thing was sure, Hudak is a Conservative and the PC Party is a Conservative Party, and if elected, would act as a Conservative Party. In Hudak’s own words, his party comes out of the proud Mike Harris tradition of doing what they say they will do. I also did the post to change the mainstream media narrative that Hudak is a liberal progressive. He is not.

        Had I been a professional journalist I probably would have disagreed with Hudak and asked tougher questions. I am not and I didn’t. So, I suppose there is not much to debate on this thread.

        However, if anyone learns anything new as a result of this post, or appreciated what Hudak said, just drop me a comment to let me know.

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  9. At this juncture in Ontario we should not be talking about changing the name, we are Conservatives, we are under the banner of Progressive Conservatives. There will be a time for such debate but it isn’t now. We need to get on with the job at hand, which doesn’t include constantly running down our own leader and letting the Liberals with the backing of the NDP wreck havoc over the province, ultimately affecting the quality of life of most of us.

    It’s getting scarier by the day as McGuinty plows on unchallenged.

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    • Thanks Liz J. Joanne and other regular commenters are having trouble leaving comments so I am going to put this theme back to its original state and see if that helps. It may be some wayward code.

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  10. So why not just drop the ‘Progressive’ moniker now?
    Because we don’t want to upset the progressives in the party?
    Whenever a conservative party tries to appease progressives, they invariably lose elections.
    When conservative parties become unabashedly CONSERVATIVE they win elections.
    What is so hard to fathom?

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    • Mark — I have approved your comment but will not respond to your points as I have made it clear that this thread is only about Hudak’s interview. The name of the party discussion can be for another day when I write something specifically about that. Otherwise, it is just an attempt to take away from what Hudak is saying. Sorry.

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    • Ontario Girl – Glad you had no problems leaving a comment. Strange that some are not able to do so — something about gravatar and their e-mail addresses not allowing a reply. I have sent a message to support to see if they can figure out what the problem is.

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  11. Pleasantly surprised that you got this interview. I have sat in front of this screen several times with a myriad of thoughts since you posted the item.

    Technically- I refreshed the screen awhile ago and your second March 17 exchange with Alain became the most recent. A subsequent refresh corrected that.

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  12. Pingback: Should ONPC drop “progressive” & become “Ontario Conservative Party”? | CRUX OF THE MATTER ►

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  14. Yay! O.K. What changed is I used my login instead of

    In any case, excellent interview. Thanks to both you and Tim Hudak for this informative effort.

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    • Interesting Joanne. The main thing is if regulars can’t get in one way, they have to try another way. Something is affecting my blog in terms of e-mail access.

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  15. Pingback: Sandy: Should ONPC drop “progressive” & become “Ontario Conservative Party”? | Jack's Newswatch

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    • Dorothy, Many thanks for letting me know that the print had disappeared. It appears that when I changed my blog’s theme a month or so ago, Hudak’s responses, which were in white font on my old theme, appeared invisible on my current theme.

      (My old theme had a charcoal grey background.)

      Anyway, I have corrected the situation and now you can read the interview in full. Plus, when I have time later today I am going to have to go back to older posts and make sure there are no other invisible writings!

      My apologies.

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