Conservative incumbent MPP Randy Hillier is blaming the Liberals for leaking his tax woes and tarnishing his reputation.
“I don’t take much stock in the creative minds of partisan opponents,” Hillier told the Sun Friday.
Hillier recently came under fire after news of his unpaid taxes went public: He and his wife owe the Canada Revenue Agency nearly $15,000.
Hillier defended his position, saying he misread the form, but failed to list it on his MPP disclosure to the provincial integrity commissioner last year.
“It’s been resolved and remains a private matter,” said Hillier.
“(Voters) see it for what it really is.”
But the Liberal candidate for Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington says Hillier’s claims are unfounded.
“That’s not true at all. The Liberals had nothing to do with that,” said Bill MacDonald.
A Liberal spokesperson went farther.
“Randy Hiller can whine all he wants about how he was caught not paying his taxes and it was reported in newspapers across the province,” the spokesperson said. “The real question during this election: Is Tim Hudak comfortable having Hillier on his team?”
A key message in PC leader Tim Hudak’s campaign is promising voters the Conservatives will stand up for hardworking taxpayers.
Hillier is one of the founders of the Lanark Landowners Association.
The grassroots movement spread across Ontario and has been labelled a radical libertarian organization.
It’s founded on protecting property rights and reducing government red tape and regulation.
“I don’t believe standing up and representing and advocating for people in democracy, advocating for fairness and justice, is a radical position,” said Hillier.
The movement is being compared to the U.S. Tea Party.
“I drink coffee,” Hillier quipped, downplaying the rift.
“I don’t believe anybody in the PC party is saying that.”
But former Conservative premier Ernie Eves has spoken out against Tea Party-like politics within the party.
And change is brewing.
Veteran cabinet minister Norm Sterling lost the PC nomination in Carleton-Mississippi Mills to Jack MacLaren, a victory Hillier helped secure for the fellow Landowner.
Oct. 6 is election day in Ontario.