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Hudak vows to change public sector pensions

By Antonella Artuso, Queen's Park Bureau Chief

Tim Hudak

Tim Hudak

TORONTO - 

Public sector “gold-plated” pensions will be run out of town if Progressive Conservative Tim Hudak becomes the new sheriff.

New hires in the public sector would move to defined contribution pension plans, instead of the defined benefit plans now given to public sector workers, he said.

“The Liberal policies have actually divided Ontario between public sector haves and private sector have nots,” Hudak said Wednesday. “The raises, the bonuses, the gold-plated pensions that the government continues to give to government workers — that’s making that divide between the public sector haves and everybody else greater and greater each and every day.”

If the PCs are elected to govern, they would freeze pay in the broader public sector, trim the size of government and move to more affordable pensions, he said.

These measures would reduce government spending and debt and encourage private sector job creators to expand their operations in Ontario, he said.

Ontario Labour Minister Yasir Naqvi said the “right-to-work” proposals by Hudak would not create jobs.

“It’s a job killer plan,” Naqvi said. “Evidence has shown that in the United States, the states that have brought in right-tow-work-for-less type of legislation, we have seen weakening of health and safety laws, we have seen a reduction of both wages and benefits for both unionized and non-unionized workers and, in fact, a net loss of jobs.”

Hudak said he expects union bosses to oppose his ideas but believes nurses, teachers and other public sector workers will support measures that will tackle government debt and protect funding in the long-term for front-line services.

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