Tim Hudak's pledge to cut 100,000 public sector jobs in two years is a game-changer.
It is a bold move - kamikaze more like - designed to grab our attention.
It could – and probably will – blow up in his face.
The Barrie Examiner perceptively reports that Hudak made his breakfast-meeting pledge at Barrie Country Club in front of an audience of the faithful that had been shoehorned into “one of the golf club’s smaller rooms”.
This gets me thinking about how much real support there is outside the PC die hards for a remedy that seems a million times more toxic than the disease it is supposed to cure.
In his “Paths to Prosperity” platform paper Hudak talks cautiously about phasing out 10,000 non-teaching positions to save $600m. That measured approach has been thrown out of the window in his bid to capture the headlines. The precise location of the other doomed 90,000 jobs remains, for now, a matter for conjecture.
All in all, 10% of public sector jobs are to go but doctors, nurses and police officers are to be protected. No forced job cuts there. But teachers are singled out as legitimate targets.
Almost 11,800 teachers and support staff work in York Region – the third biggest School Board in Ontario - and they may feel a tad nervous.
For those who escape the scythe, Hudak is promising a public sector wage freeze.
In her biography posted on her website for the 2010 Municipal Election, PC candidate, Jane Twinney, speaks about being active at Meadowbrook Public School where she ran the school lunch programme. With that background, I am left wondering where she believes the axe should fall in our schools.
That's not something she should be allowed to dodge.