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Posted June 4, 2012

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Politics

Milloy claims "Unconstitutional PC Wage Scheme will Cost Ontarians Billions"

Says "Hudak once agreed unilateral PC wage bill won’t work"

Waterloo - Tim Hudak’s illegal wage scheme will be overturned by the courts and will cost Ontarians billions, said Liberal MPP John Milloy.

“Tim Hudak’s unconstitutional scheme to rip up collective agreements threatens Ontario’s plan to balance the budget and puts our economic recovery at risk,” said Milloy. “The Supreme Court of Canada has already ruled this type of scheme is illegal and precedent shows the PC wage bill could lead to billions of dollars in penalties paid by Ontario taxpayers.”

Milloy was referring to a 2007 Supreme Court of Canada decision that overturned B.C. legislation which ripped up a collective agreement with B.C. Health Services. Canada’s highest court was highly critical of the B.C. government’s unilateral action, saying it violated the right to a “process of collective bargaining” under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The decision forced B.C. taxpayers to retroactively pay $85 million to the 9,000 affected workers. Penalties under the Hudak PC wage scheme in Ontario could reach billions.

Milloy noted that Tim Hudak has previously agreed the PC wage scheme won’t work because negotiations with the public sector are necessary, and yet he has completely changed his tune:

“Where collective bargaining agreements exist, I think you need to respect the collective bargaining process.” (Tim Hudak, Dec. 15, 2009)

“The approach that I think is the preferable approach, always, is the collective bargaining approach.” (Tim Hudak, Nov. 9, 2010)

“We’ll consider all options on the table as a last resort. Our first resort: open negotiations; bring their ideas to the table. We’ll look for responsible leadership.” (Tim Hudak, Sept. 30, 2011)

Just seven weeks later, Hudak does an about face by calling for a legislated wage freeze:

"The PC caucus will be calling for a legislative mandatory wage freeze for public servants." (Tim Hudak, Nov. 18, 2011)

“The Supreme Court of Canada provided a roadmap to governments: They said consult and bargain hard. That’s precisely what Ontario Liberals are doing with teachers and doctors,” concluded Milloy. “The PCs should stop playing games and support the strong action in our budget to create jobs and grow the economy.”



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