Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader, Tim Hudak, dodged a crucial question inquiring about his plans to impose extremely controversial anti-union legislation if elected premier, while his own party elements remain divided over the proposal. Despite being frequently inquired if he still supports so-called “right-to-work” laws, Mr. Hudak carefully managed to avoid giving a direct answer on Thursday.
Mr. Hudak instead used a carefully selected word to answer the question, as he asserted being in favour of “modernizing labour laws.” He alleged that “I’ve got a comprehensive integrated plan to get taxes down, to get debt down in our province, to get energy rates under control. Modernizing labour laws is part of that plan.” Furthermore, Mr. Hudak stated that “you need a comprehensive, integrated plan and a leader with the guts to actually make major change in our province.”
Right-to-work provisions allow workers to opt out of paying union dues, which according to critics, kills unions and leads to lower wages. Several members of Mr. Hudak’s own party do not support these proposals as they believe it could cost PCs votes. The Tory candidate in Essex, Dave Brister, openly spoke against them on Twitter two weeks ago, which also cost him his nomination. The governing Liberals released a video tape earlier this week, which showed Tory MPP, John O’Toole, informing attendants of a party conference in September that the party could be “screwed” by the promise. He alleged that “this is a sensitive issue that could cost us the election.”
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