TORONTO - Ontario's Progressive Conservative Leader plans to announce today how he'll eliminate the province's projected $12.5-billion deficit before 2017 — a year the Liberals say they can balance the books.
Tim Hudak told a town hall meeting in Kitchener, Ont., on Thursday night that he'd start the deficit fight with a two-year wage freeze for everyone in the broader public sector.
Hudak — who will campaign in Barrie today — says the freeze will affect politicians as well as civil servants, nurses, teachers and anyone else paid by taxpayers.
Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne starts her day in Kingston, and plans campaign stops in Quinte West, Trenton and Pickering, before returning to Toronto for an evening speech.
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath will be campaigning in Windsor and Woodstock, before returning to Toronto to speak at a union convention this afternoon.
Federal Treasury Board president Tony Clement waded into the Ontario election fray on Thursday, calling for Wynne's defeat and a government run by Hudak.
Clement accused Wynne of strategically attacking his government to deflect attention from her party's "disastrous record."
Wynne launched another salvo towards the prime minister at a campaign stop in Ottawa, saying Harper is ignoring the needs of Ontario.
And she cast Hudak as a toady who won't stand up for Ontario.
Hudak took the first step Thursday to reveal how he plans to create one million jobs over eight years.
Hudak said he'd start with getting more young people into apprenticeships for the skilled trades.
Allowing more apprentices on work sites so young people can get good-paying jobs as plumbers, welders or electricians and help address a labour shortage in the skilled trades makes good sense, he said.
The Tories say changing apprenticeship ratios is an easy fix to a growing labour shortage in the trades and a good way to start addressing the high unemployment rate among youth.
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says only her party can be trusted to create new jobs in Ontario.
She visited a Niagara Falls auto parts plant Thursday to tout a tax credit that would compensate employers for bringing on new staff — a goal she says the Liberals and Tories can't be trusted to do.