Jonathon Liedtke – ourWindsor.ca – July 11 2013
You can tell it’s by-election season when party leaders descend upon ridings to tout the benefits of both their local candidates and the party overall. Windsor was no exception to the rule Thursday morning when PC leader Tim Hudak toured Valiant with Windsor-Tecumseh PC candidate Robert de Verteuil.
“I believe in my gut that Ontario is the comeback province of Canada, but we can’t there if we keep going down the same track as we seen from the Liberals of high tax, runaway energy rates, all of this debt and then a waste in spending, of hundreds of millions of dollars on cancelling gas plants in the Toronto area just to save a few seats,” lamented Hudak. “Imagine what that money could have done, like creating good jobs here in Windsor.”
Both Hudak and de Verteuil want to make Ontario the best place for businesses to invest and to attract new businesses while growing local ones at the same time.
“If you’re happy with the way things are in Windsor, where one out of ten people can’t find a job … if you think this is the best we can do, well the good news is you’ve got two choices, the Liberals or the NDP,” said Hudak. “They’re basically the same thing these days.”
Having worked in the automotive industry for fifteen years, de Verteuil emphatically believes that the automotive industry is not only alive and well in Windsor, but that there are also auto jobs in Windsor to be had.
“I’m tired of people in Toronto from the other parties telling us that auto is dead,” said de Verteuil. “This is Windsor, this is what we do. We build cars.”
In order to compete in the 21st century global economy, de Verteuil explained that the government needs to increase support for companies that are creating jobs and has to provide better training and education to workers.
“The future of automotive is skilled trades, skilled workers and professionals,” said de Verteuil. “We can be a world leader in manufacturing, in R&D and in automotive technology.”
Hudak expressed that he was confident in de Verteuil’s chances in the by-election because de Verteuil is the only candidate who has work experience in the auto sector.
“He knows the importance of that sector [and] we’re the party of jobs,” said Hudak. “We didn’t get a general election, but at least we have a by-election where folks in Windsor have a chance to say … enough is enough, let’s try it different.”
Speaking broadly about how the automotive industry provides a linkage between Detroit and Windsor, de Verteuil expressed that both cities embody one region and that the other provincial parties are unable to grasp that concept.
“When the NDP and Liberals look at [the region], they think that Windsor ends at the Detroit River, but we’re actually part of one integrated region,” said de Verteuil.
Siphoning business from Detroit was a major component of de Verteuil’s strategy to create a better economy for Windsor-Tecumseh.
“In Detroit we’re seeing a revolution in manufacturing, a revolution in the auto industry … we need to bring some of that home, we need to also build on what’s going on over there,” he said. “Once we have the correct business environment with lower taxes, with less regulation, with more government support for key job producers … we can start competing directly with Detroit and bring those jobs over here.”
The by-election is scheduled for August 1, 2013.
Jonathon Liedtke is the Features & Opinion Editor for the University of Windsor Lance Campus/Community Newspaper and a reporter for ourWindsor.ca. As a founding member and current Co-Chair of the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Committee, he is committed to representing, connecting, engaging with and advocating for local youth. He is also a member of Windsor’s “Punk with Horns” band The Nefidovs, and as such, is committed to enhancing and sustaining the arts community.