Grit minister fires back at Hudak, Tories

SEE VIDEO http://www.ottawasun.com/2011/09/12/grit-minister-fires-back-at-hudak-tories

Ontario’s finance minister is blasting Conservative leader Tim Hudak for his comments about the Liberals’ controversial immigrant hiring tax credit.

“I think Mr. Hudak owes all new Canadians an apology,” said Duncan during a visit to Ottawa Monday.

The McGuinty government is proposing a $10,000 grant to businesses for hiring skilled immigrants — in fields such as architecture, accounting or engineering — who have been in Ontario for under five years.

But Duncan says public understanding of the proposal is skewed thanks to Hudak “distorting our policy,” a move Duncan calls hypocritical.

“He had his own private members’ bill, which was essentially the same thing, a year ago. And the kind of divisive, hurtful language that was used, I don’t think represents leadership,” Duncan said.

Along with Ottawa West-Nepean Liberal incumbent Bob Chiarelli, Duncan was electioneering at the Queensway Carleton Hospital Monday.

They toured an expansion underway at the hospital, funded mainly by the province, that will see 15 dialysis stations and three operating rooms added by its completion date in 2014.

During his own campaign stop in Mississauga, Hudak addressed Duncan’s comments by flipping the script.

“I think that Dalton McGuinty should apologize to the 500,000 unemployed men and women today who are pounding the pavement, out looking for a job,” said Hudak.

“Dalton McGuinty should apologize for leaving them out of his program and bring in this $10,000 affirmative action subsidy that favours the special few.”

The provincial election is Oct. 6.

— With files from Antonella Artuso

@ottawasunkroche

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