Surrounded by supporters, PC candidate Bill Walker opened his campaign office in Owen Sound to mark the countdown to Election Day, and said he is ready and eager to take on all the contenders vying for the Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound seat.
Walker, who has been a vocal critic of Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals’ policies, is running for his third term at Queen’s Park.
“The great people of Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound have my personal guarantee that representing them, as I have done for the past six-and-a-half years, will always be my top priority at Queen’s Park,” Walker pledged.
“I believe this election will be a change-maker for my constituents who have said to me they need relief from higher hydro rates and higher taxes, and they want to see new jobs come to our communities,” he said. “Today, I assure them that help is on the way. In less than 42 days, we will clean up the government's mess.”
Hydro rates have more than tripled in Ontario under the Liberal government, and the average family has seen its hydro bills increase by more than $1,000 per year.
“When I talk to local business owners, as well as those in our local hospitals, schools, long-term care homes, arenas and curling clubs, the number one issue is the added cost that comes from higher hydro rates, bureaucracy, red tape, and regulation that they have to face,” Walker said. “Hydro continues to be the biggest issue for seniors and families on fixed incomes, and it is also negatively impacting not-for-profit organizations and charities.
“They don’t trust the Liberal administration will put the province back on track. In fact, everything they have done in their 15 years in power has undermined our competitiveness,” said Walker.
He said it was no surprise that when Kathleen Wynne was in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound last weekend she decided to gloss over her record on the hydro file.
He said the PC party is the only one committed to cleaning up Ontario’s hydro mess and scrapping the Green Energy Act and delivering relief to people who need it most.
“I've never shied away from taking the government to task over their failed policies. As a member of the loyal Opposition, it is in fact my job to hold their feet to the fire,” Walker explained. “To me, it’s unacceptable that a family would be forced to sit in the dark and burn wood to stay warm because of the Liberals’ reckless energy policies. It’s unacceptable this government has spread energy poverty across Ontario while helping Toronto insiders get rich at the expense of the people of Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound.”
Walker says that the Liberal government has overpaid $9.2 billion for Green Energy contracts that were awarded to Liberal donors. The Liberals spent billions of dollars on smart meters that don’t work. And, while families across our community are living in energy poverty, the CEO of Hydro One earned $6.2 million last year - a $1.7 million raise from the year before.
“I am proud to have stood up for the people of our area on such divisive and negative decisions as when the Liberals shuttered the horse-racing industry, when they closed our jails, when they wait-listed seniors for long-term care, cut home care hours, cut special education assistants and threatened to close our schools," Walker said. "To me, they cannot be trusted. They will do, say, or promise anything to cling to power in this election.”
Just last week, the Auditor General issued her Pre-election Report which stated the deficit will be double what the Liberal government said at Budget time – to $11.4 billion from $6.7 billion.
“This is yet more money that will have to be borrowed and will result in even more money going to pay interest on debt as opposed to frontline care and services.”
Walker said it’s time for a change in Ontario.
"After 15 years of wasteful spending and scandals, it’s time to clean up this mess, protect the services people hold dear, and deliver real relief for families."