(Update, June 3)
Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak is continuing to pound away at the Liberals on accountability.
Hudak says his party would implement an accountability pledge to make sure taxpayer dollars aren’t wasted.
He says all cabinet members would have to sign a binding agreement guaranteeing they will respect taxpayer dollars, reduce red tape and never raise taxes.
Hudak says members who break the pledge would have their pay docked and those who get anywhere near a scandal like the ones seen under the Liberals would be kicked out.
The PC Leader says the pledge is needed in the face of a “dishonest” Liberal government, adding it seems “nobody ever pays a political price” for mismanagement.
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We will provide wall to wall coverage on election night, including analysis of each of the main party leaders in the race, which candidate was elected in your local riding, as well as reaction to the results.
Here are the top five issues that Hamilton residents care about the most.
1. Light rail transit
While some local community and business leaders are calling for LRT, others believe the tonic that will help Hamilton’s transit issues is BRT, or bus rapid transit.
City councillors have already voted unanimously in favour of an LRT line from McMaster University to Eastgate Square, as long as the province covers 100 per cent of the estimated 800-million dollar price tag.
Some councillors have since softened their stance on the issue, admitting the city could find creative ways to cover any funding shortfall.
The provincial budget, which was voted down by the opposition and triggered the election, included a 15-billion dollar investment for transit in the GTHA, including “rapid transit” for Hamilton.
Either way, whichever party wins, that’s likely who holds the immediate future of LRT in their hands.
While the Liberals are supporting “rapid transit” in Hamilton, PC Leader Tim Hudak says he is against LRT and the NDP support full capital funding but haven’t provided any details on how they’d pay for it.
This past winter was horrific in more ways than one.
December’s ice storm was followed by long stretches of bitterly cold temperatures in January and February.
In short, Hamilton’s roads took a beating and water mains buckled at an alarming rate.
The problem is, the City is dealing with a 2-billion dollar deficit to fix our roads, bridges, etc.
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce has also asked the political parties to tackle the province’s growing debt, address the rising cost of electricity and to invest in critical infrastructure.
Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne has pledged 29-billion dollars to be spent on roads, bridges and public transit over the next decade.
Hudak is proposing to spend up to $2-billion a year for new projects from a transportation trust.
While Hamilton’s unemployment rate remains relatively low compared to Ontario’s other large cities, the economic landscape of the city has drastically changed over the last decade.
“The Ambitious City” is becoming more of a white collar city, with more health care and research jobs becoming available as opposed to the traditional manufacturing opportunities.
As for what the three main party leaders are proposing…
Wynne: promising a 10 year, $2.5-billion jobs and prosperity fund to attract more business to the province.
Hudak: the creation of 1-million jobs in Ontario.
Horwath: create a 10% tax credit for businesses that invest in buildings, machinery and equipment in Ontario
The Hamilton Public School Board is undertaking a massive accommodation review process and could ask the provincial government to pay for three new elementary schools while the board closes 11 older schools.
Wynne is promising 11-billion dollars to build new schools and repair older ones across Ontario.
Hudak has also talked about investing in elementary schools while NDP Leader Andrea Horwath has proposed to forgive student debt for doctors in Ontario’s under-serviced communities.
Wynne is proposing to invest $11.4-billion over the next 10 years in major hospital expansion or redevelopment projects.
Both Hudak and Horwath have committed to a simplified health care umbrella.
The PC Leader wants to create a single point of accountability for the system, and Horwath wants to do away with the Local Health Integration Networks.
List of candidates in Hamilton & area-:
Liberal: Ted McMeekin (incumbent)
PC: Donna Skelly
NDP: Alex Johnstone
NDP: Andrea Horwath (incumbent)
Liberal: Donna Tiqui-Shebib
PC: John Vail
Green: Peter Ormond
Hamilton East-Stoney Creek
NDP: Paul Miller (incumbent)
Liberal: Ivan Luksic
PC: David Brown
Green: Greg Zink
NDP: Monique Taylor (incumbent)
Liberal: Javid Mirza
PC: Albert Marshall
Green: Greg Lenko
PC: Tim Hudak (incumbent)
Liberal: David Mossey
NDP: Brian McCormack
Green: Basia Krzyzanowski
PC: Jane McKenna (incumbent)
Liberal: Eleanor McMahon
NDP: Jan Mowbray
Green: Meredith Cross