PC leader slams Grits’ broken promises, soaring hydro costs

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Hear that?

That’s the sound of a provincial election coming closer.

Ontario PC Leader Patrick Brown made a stop in London on Monday as part of his 20-riding campaign-style tour to discuss debt, cap-and-trade and infrastructure in the province.

Earlier Monday, he visited Kingsville and Windsor.

The tour continues with a visit to St. Thomas Tuesday when he is slated to talk about cuts to autism services.

“Life is harder on the Liberals,” Brown said during his London stop at the Greek Canadian Community Centre. Mentioning Premier Kathleen Wynne and what he called her “legacy,” Brown spoke extensively about Liberal spending and soaring hydro costs for Ontarians.

“We’re letting our own hydro power spill,” said Brown during his stop. “No fiscal reshuffling will undo the mess that Liberals have created.”

Claiming that Liberals have not gotten far when it comes to improving infrastructure, he also pledged to “put shovels into the ground.”

“As much as this government talks about infrastructure, we’re not seeing it,” said Brown. “Look at the promises they have made and the promises they have broken.”

In Kingsville earlier Monday, Brown pledged to scrap the province’s current cap-and-trade system in favour of carbon pricing that will provide rebates to greenhouse growers, a key segment of the Southwestern Ontario economy.

He said that provinces such as Alberta and B.C. already provide greenhouse growers 80 per cent rebates on carbon pricing.

Greenhouse growers recycle the carbon dioxide they produce, so Brown argued that they should be exempted from carbon taxing.

Growers have been under pressure from the recently introduced cap-and-trade program, rising electricity costs and the future hike in the minimum wage. Some growers have been doing much of their expansion in the United States where costs are lower.

With the next provincial election set for June 2018, Brown’s tour is acting as a dry-run for campaigning.

A poll released by Mainstreet Research in June showed the Progressive Conservatives were most favoured, with 43 per cent voter support. Liberals follow with 29 per cent support and NDPs are trailing behind with 24 per cent. The poll also noted that Brown is unknown to many of his electorates, with only about 48 per cent of individuals being able to identify him as the Progressive Conservative party leader.


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