Tag Archives: Progressive Economics Forum

Short Takes: Hillier’s remarkable labour conversion, the battle of the inequality authors and more

It is somewhat astonishing to see PC Randy Hillier vote against a Tory private member’s bill that would free construction giant EllisDon from a 55-year-old obligation to hire only unionized labour. This is the same Randy Hillier who, as the opposition labour critic, drafted a White Paper that advocates opening the door to any individual bargaining unit worker to opt out from paying union dues, taking advantage of the collective agreement without actually contributing to the cost of negotiating it. Recently an Indiana judge overruled such a local State law recognizing that it was unconstitutional to force an entity to provide service without compensation. Before losing his critic portfolio, Hillier complained that the Tories were introducing the bill in the hopes of enhancing party donations from the Liberal-friendly construction giant. EllisDon makes considerable financial contributions to the Tories but even bigger ones to the Liberals. Hillier wrote in an e-mail: “Our opposition will cite this example at every opportunity to demonstrate that we are only fighting unions to make big business richer.” Does he not think the rest of the PC labour platform already reflects that reality? While Hillier may appear to be supporting labour today by voting against the EllisDon bill, keep in mind that such action also brings embarrassment to PC leader Tim Hudak who may be the real reason Hillier has chosen to become a dissident on this issue. TVOntario host Steve Paiken recently blogged that such disloyal behaviour is a case of “what comes around goes around.” Paiken noted Hudak’s own disloyalty to former leader John Tory at a time when the former Rogers executive was seeking a safe by-election seat after losing his chosen constituency in a general election to Kathleen Wynne. According to Paiken, Hudak was said to be quietly urging his fellow MPPs not to give up their seat to allow Tory into the legislature. Now several of Hudak’s MPPs are encouraging a new leadership vote, the PCs having only won one of seven byelections since 2011. One of the MPPs encouraging such a review is Randy Hillier. We don’t know who left the comment on Paiken’s BLOG, but one reader duly noted that Hudak is the proverbial dog that don’t hunt. We’re not sure about the rest of the provincial PCs and their policies either.

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