Hudak's 'Million Jobs' plan 95% wrong: Sousa

Ontario Liberal Finance Minister Charles Sousa held a technical briefing at a downtown Toronto...

Ontario Liberal Finance Minister Charles Sousa held a technical briefing at a downtown Toronto hotel Saturda morning to run through the Progressive Conservative's much-touted Million Jobs Plan. (SHAWN JEFFORDS/QMI Agency)

Shawn Jeffords, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:15 AM ET

TORONTO — Liberal Finance Minister Charles Sousa said Tim Hudak's job numbers are wrong — 95% wrong.

Sousa held a technical briefing Saturday morning to run through the Progressive Conservative's much-touted Million Jobs Plan.

He said the Tories have made basic math errors when cobbling together the pledge and their plan will create just over 34,000 jobs, not the nearly one million promised.

That means numbers are off by over 780,000 jobs, or 95% from the Tory projections, he said.

"He is misleading Ontarians to make his discredited promises sound better," Sousa said at a downtown Toronto hotel.

Sousa said the numbers are skewed because the Tories take a figure from a Conference Board of Canada report that cites "person years of employment." By definition, that means one full-time job that only lasts one year.

Sousa says the Tories took the impact of a 1% corporate tax cut reduction that the board report says would create 119,808 jobs. They then count that figure eight separate times for each year of their plan.

"Quite simply, Tim Hudak multiplied his promised jobs by eight," Sousa said. "In other words, Hudak didn't double count. He counted them eight times."

Sousa called the error "laughable at best and dishonest at worst."

Sousa also railed against what he termed "severe austerity" pitched in the plan, saying the Conference Board report also calls for continued stimulus spending to keep the economy creating jobs.

Hudak's plan to cut jobs and spending simultaneously could plunge the province into recession, he said.

"It's clear that Hudak's proposals will be destructive on a scale that Ontario has never before seen," he said.

PC candidate Monte McNaughton dismissed the criticism during a press conference outside of Queen's Park Saturday, although he would not answer specific questions about how the Tories arrived at their figures.

"Who trusts the Ontario Liberals anymore?" he said, calling Sousa's comments "nonsense".

"My question to Charles Sousa is, how did you say the cancellation of the gas plants was going to be $40 million when it was $1.1 billion? Look, I don't believe a thing Kathleen Wynne, Charles Sousa or any of the Liberals say."

A statement issued by the PC Party late Saturday afternoon accuses Sousa of "embarrassing himself" by confusing the numbers provided in the Conference Board report. The report doesn't call for a 1% drop in corporate taxes, it calls for a one-point drop, the press release said.

"How could the finance minister not know the difference between a percentage reduction and a point reduction?" the statement said.


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