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In Their Own Words: Ontario Liberal Leadership Candidates Weigh in on SARP and Other Issues of Concern

In Their Own Words: Ontario Liberal Leadership Candidates Weigh in on SARP and Other Issues of Concern

In December 2012, Ottawa Life Magazine interviewed candidates in the Ontario Liberal leadership race (Sandra Pupatello and Harinder Takhar were unavailable and Glen Murray has since bowed out) on the issues that are of concern to Ontarians. A fuller discussion of the candidates’ opinions can be found on here.

 

 

 

Ending the Slots-at-Racetracks Program (SARP)

Kathleen Wynne:

“I think that we do need a viable [horse racing and equine] industry. There are thousands of jobs associated with this industry and I think we need sober second thought on the support that needs to be in place for it.”

Gerard Kennedy:

“Ending the Program has had a damaging impact. The government didn’t take the time to examine the likely consequences of its actions.”

Charles Sousa:

“Consultation with the industry is also crucial but what’s important is that we have to get the best value for money.”

Eric Hoskins:

“I would review the decision to end the Slots-at-Racetracks Program in the first 60 days as Premier” but “it is important to remember that other viable horse racing industries around the world require an investment by the public sector.”

 

The Ontario Green Energy Act (GEA) & Energy Policy

Kathleen Wynne:

“Communities must be engaged in a way that makes them feel that they’re part of the process.”

Gerard Kennedy:

“There shouldn’t be forced placement of GEA projects and we are not looking fully at the costs related to a number of GEA projects.”

Charles Sousa:

“I am advocating for more local input.”

Eric Hoskins:

“When one of these [GEA] projects does move forward, I would expect it to have the support of the people in the community in which the project will be located.”

 

Transportation/Traffic

Kathleen Wynne:

“We’ve always had a plan to invest in roads.We’ve always had a plan to invest in bridges. We have a five-year highway plan. But we haven’t had that for transit. So, we need an incremental plan.”

Gerard Kennedy:

“I would like to explore tax incentives to provide an offset to people who live near where they work.”

Eric Hoskins:

“We need a national transit strategy that takes a long-term, forward-oriented look at this problem and guarantees investment from all levels of government.”

Charles Sousa:

“We need to reduce costs and get rid of layers of bureaucracy and, as Premier, I would move ahead with a high-speed rail project from Windsor to Quebec City.”

 

Prorogation of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario

Kathleen Wynne:

“What I know is that there is discomfort among members about being out of the Legislature, and there is discomfort among Ontarians that the Legislature is not sitting when they expect it to be sitting. So, my antidote to that is to get back to the Legislature as soon as possible.”

Gerard Kennedy:

“Prorogation should only be used as an administrative device and should not be used as a political weapon.”

Charles Sousa:

“Am I happy that the government prorogued? No. Was it necessary? I think so” because “nothing was getting done in the Legislature and a lot of political games were being played.”

Eric Hoskins:

“Prorogation should be used without exception as a tool of absolute last resort.”

 

Ontario’s Deficit

Kathleen Wynne:

“The biggest thing that we can do is health care.We have to find ways in health care to curb the growth of health-care costs.”

Gerard Kennedy:

“Changing the manner of the government’s social programs will save us substantial money.”

Charles Sousa:

“The best way to improve revenue is to increase economic growth.”

Eric Hoskins:

“Investing more in preventative care and using existing technology better is necessary.”

 

Education

Kathleen Wynne:

“We’ve worked for nine years, we have built very solid relationships and we have achieved an enormous amount – but the collective bargaining process was not as good as it should have been.”

Gerard Kennedy:

“Ontario’s teachers understand the limitations on the treasury.”

Charles Sousa:

“We could have done a better job in the way we negotiated with Ontario’s teachers.”

Eric Hoskins:

“We need to pull out all the stops in the time we have left and this may require the Premier being involved.”