Tim Hudak’s promise to cut 100,000 jobs in the public sector is worrying even fellow Conservatives.
In today’s National Post, right-wing columnist Tasha Kheiriddin says she can’t vote for Hudak because his education cuts would threaten kids with special needs, including her own four-year old daughter. “One in 68 kids is now autistic,” writes Kheiriddin. “We need more support workers and early childhood educators, not just for the kids who have difficulties, but to make sure they don’t draw all the teachers’ attention away from the kids who don’t.”
Newstalk 1010 is known for its over-the-top Conservative vitriol, but today Dave Agar started to do the math on what a cut of 100,000 public sector jobs would mean. “That’s a hundred thousand fewer people spending at the grocery store and the Canadian Tire and the Home Depot, at your favorite restaurant or bar or movie theatre,” Agar said, noting a Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives report that indicates 50,000 private sector jobs would also get side-swiped by such a public sector cut. Asking what would we get, Agar says “the only thing that seems certain is the province’s books would be balanced one year earlier than the Wynne government plan.”
The Globe and Mail, no fan of progressive politics either, said in its May 12 editorial the 100,000 job cut plan “looks ill-considered and excessive.” They note “at current deficit levels, the province’s debt-to-GDP ratio is barely rising,” highlighting the fact that Ontario remains one of the lowest spending provincial governments. By the time you calculate public sector jobs beyond Hudak’s reach (municipal, federal) and those he has vowed not to touch (doctors, nurses and OPP) that leaves 650,000 public sector workers at risk, most, the Globe warns, of whom work in education, health and social services. That would amount to a cut of about one in six jobs.