If it works, leave it alone. If it’s broken, fix it. If it cannot justify its existence, it goes.

By Jane McKenna, Progressive Conservative candidate for Burlington.

Our Burlington was created to reduce the information deficit that was described and defined in the Shape Burlington report.  As part of this initiative we asked the Progressive Conservative, the New Democratic and the Liberal party candidates to provide material on two features.  The first was an opinion piece on what each candidate thought was not in the best interests of Ontario and Burlington in the other  party’s platform.  The Liberals and the New Democrats participated in the editorial feature.  The Progressive Conservatives declined.

 The second editorial feature was an opportunity for each candidate to set out their political party’s platform.  Today our readers hear from Liberal candidate Karmel Sakran.  Later this week you will hear from NDP candidate Peggy Russell and Progressive Conservative candidate Jane McKenna.


BURLINGTON, ON  September 28, 2011  Dalton McGuinty had his chance. But over the last eight years, he chose gimmicks over growth, indulgence over responsibility.

And again and again: Dalton McGuinty raised taxes. He raised taxes even after he signed a pledge not to raise taxes: With Dalton, “put it in writing” isn’t a protection. It’s a temptation.

Right now, Dalton is on another of his spending sprees – from his secret deals with unions to raise their pay to his expensive energy experiments that are running up hydro bills.

And you know how Dalton McGuinty plans to pay for all this secret spending? Of course you know. With another tax increase should he win the next election. In fact, the McGuinty team has their next round of tax increases planned already, such as the Carbon Tax, Smart Meter User Tax, Water tax and school board property tax.

Our changebook is a stark contrast from the Liberals and the NDP’s platforms. Not only is it completely costed, but it is the only platform to have been written by Ontario families, seniors and small business owners.

We say it’s time for change. Change that gives families the relief they need and the hope they deserve.

Instead of raising taxes for most – while lavishing special breaks for the favored few – we will provide broad based income tax relief.

We will lower taxes 5 percent on the first $75,000 of taxable income and allow income-sharing for couples, providing over $1400 in tax relief annually for families.

This change is an important step towards recognizing that there really is a family budget.

We will double the caregiver tax credit. That’s compassion and it’s the relief families need when taking care aging parents or critically ill family members.

And we will remove HST from home heating and hydro bills. And then we will remove the debt retirement charge, the DRC, from your Hydro bill.

The charge was imposed in 2002 to pay off Hydro’s residual stranded debt.

All of the debt principal was paid in full by 2010. But the charge was not removed! It was extended to 2018.

Can you imagine if a bank did this to you as a credit card customer?

You’ve paid off your balance – congratulations – but we’re going to keep hitting you for interest payments anyway? They’d go to jail.

Late campaign start was soon overcome. LAwn sign team seems to be winning the battle at that level. Two copies of the Changebook needed by the candidate - one to read and the other to put under her pillow.

But in Dalton McGuinty’s Ontario, it’s just another experiment in creative revenue enhancement.

Under a PC Government – it will be gone.

As we relieve families of tax burdens, we will restrain spending in a responsible way that protects health and education.

We will increase healthcare spending with an extra $6 billion.

The Joseph Brant Hospital redevelopment will be a priority for a Tim Hudak government.

Under Dalton McGuinty, 24,000 seniors are still waiting for access to a long term care beds. We will fix this by investing in 40,000 long term care beds.

Under Dalton McGuinty, Ontarians are waiting more than 26 hours in emergency rooms. We will fix this by implementing ER wait time guarantees that put hospital CEOs accountable.

Under Dalton McGuinty, one million Ontarians still do not have a family doctor. We will fix this by bring more doctors, nurses and physicians to communities that need them.

Under Dalton McGuinty, half of urgent cancer patients don’t receive care within the recommended wait times; eliminated 2,500 nursing positions and cut 4.3 million hours of nursing care; and closed two ERs. We will fix this.

We won’t be spending that money the way McGuinty did – to hire Walt Disney world performers to entertain LHIN bureaucrats.

In fact, we’ll abolish the LHINs, which have wasted $300 million on unnecessary bureaucracy. That money could have gone to the redevelopment of Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital, which just shows you the priorities of the Liberal Party.

Excellent healthcare costs money. Ontarians pay the price and pay the price willingly. But we get mad when we are told to pay for bureaucracy and bloat.

Beyond health and education, we will work to find 2% in responsible savings throughout the government. That’s two cents on the dollar each year until we get this province’s budget balanced again.

It took 23 Premiers 136 years to do what Dalton McGuinty did in just eight- double the debt.

Ontario has a serious problem. If you were to compare Ontario (population of just over 13 million) versus California (population larger than Canada at over 34 million) and were to take each of their debts and divide equally for every citizen, Ontario would be worse off. Each Ontarian (including infants) would be paying over $16,500 and each Californian $9,000.

What Ontario can live without, we will live without.

Ontario has almost 630 different Agencies, Boards and Commissions. Every one of them will be reviewed to ensure they are providing good value.

Our process will be straightforward. If it works, leave it alone.

If it’s broken, fix it.

If it cannot justify its existence, it goes.

We will shrink Dalton McGuinty’s bloated public sector and bring public-sector salaries into line with private-sector realities.

McKenna listens and she responds quickly. Given the short, short length of her camapign - she got the jist of it all.

We believe in paying public servants what is fair.

But I also believe in taxing Ontarians no more than is fair.

We will bring fairness and democracy to our labour law.

We will uphold the right to a secret ballot in certification votes.

We will introduce pay cheque protection so union members are not forced to pay fees towards political causes they don’t support.

Unions spend more money on Ontario elections than any of our political parties, but with much less transparency.

Which means that public-sector collective bargaining in Ontario often puts union leaders on one side of the table – and politicians elected by union money on the other side.

Who’s looking out for the taxpayer?

Dalton McGuinty can’t do it. I can. I will.

In this northern nation, heat is not a luxury. In this industrial province, electricity powers our jobs.

For Dalton McGuinty to hike the power bills of ordinary families so that he can pay higher prices to special favorites – it’s a rip-off and it’s wrong.

That is why we will end the $7 billion sweetheart Samsung deal.

A PC government will restore the fundamental principle: one law for all.

If you or I decided to open an illegal cigarette factory in our backyards, we’d have the OPP on us two hours later.

But some lawbreakers are more equal than others in Dalton McGuinty’s Ontario.

Lawbreakers will use their time in provincial prison to repay society: picking up litter, raking leaves.

We’d especially like to see prisoners using mop and pail to clean up the graffiti that defaces our cities and towns – and that threatens law-abiding citizens with the message – gangs rule here, and there’s nothing the authorities can do.

If entrusted with the government of Ontario, those who fight the law will find… the law won.

For 8 years, Dalton McGuinty has governed Ontario by his unique ideology. If it works, break it.  If it’s broken, hide it.  If you run out of money, borrow more.

Everything is government’s business, but nothing is ever government’s fault.

We have the opposite point of view: a practical plan for Ontario families.

Changebook.  If it works, leave it alone. If it’s broken fix it. If you are out of out money, stop spending.  When things are going wrong, change them. Respect working people. Support families. Create opportu

Ted Chudleigh, running as the PC candidate in Halton and the current member, Joyce Savoline who announced her retirement opening up the seat for a newcomer, were on hand for one of McKenna's first campaign forays.

nity. Restore hope.

And whatever else you do, never ever stop believing in the great future of this beautiful province of Ontario and its compassionate, hard-working people.

Now decision day has almost arrived. I’m looking to you, for your support – to deliver the change that Ontario families need. The choice on October 6th is clear.

Vote Liberal and vote for more tax increases, more surprises, more misplaced priorities, more experiments with your money, and more and more of your money being wasted on bureaucracy and bloat.

Or you can vote for change- change that delivers families relief on their taxes and hydro bills; that guarantees the services that matter most to you; and change that cleans up government.

Together we will change this province – and restore Ontario as the best place on this earth to live, start a business, and raise a family.

Dalton McGuinty won’t do it. Dalton McGuinty can’t do it. We can. We will.

I will represent you with passion and distinction- listening, working hard and delivering the results that matter most to you, so that this community remains the greatest in Ontario.

On October 6th, vote Jane McKenna, PC Candidate for Burlington.

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