Build new Fort Erie-to-Hamilton highway: Hudak
Ontario’s Opposition leader remains committed to a new highway running through Niagara Region from Fort Erie to at least the Hamilton airport.
Tim Hudak argues the controversial proposal — all but killed by the former Dalton McGuinty government in favour of an expansion of the existing road network — is a critical part of rebuilding the province’s manufacturing base.
“We need this road if we want to bring jobs back to Hamilton and Niagara,” he said in an interview Wednesday after a tour of ArcelorMittal Dofasco’s Hamilton plant. “If we want to send Ontario manufactured goods into the United States, we have to be sure we have the highway infrastructure to be able to do that.”
Hudak’s appearance at the Burlington Street plant was designed as a chance to reiterate his calls for new policies including improvements to the apprenticeship system to train more workers for $85,000-a-year skilled-trades jobs; lower taxes; balanced public finances; lower electricity costs and new labour laws designed to hobble unions.
“My Ontario is always going to build things … but, unfortunately, the manufacturing advantage we’ve had … has been beaten down by government policies…,” he said.
“I believe Ontario’s comeback in manufacturing is about to start, but for that to happen, we have to change the team that leads this province.”
Hudak said Ontario has lost 300,000 manufacturing jobs in the last 10 years, positions that will be hard to replace in a competitive world economy.
“Steel is a competitive industry and I want to ensure that the next time they (managers of ArcelorMittal Dofasco) go to headquarters looking for a new investment, I want them to be able to say the Ontario government is on their side and not working against them so we can get those jobs and investment here,” he said.