Wednesday November 28, 2001

Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday November 28, 2001

Chris Stockwell Enters the Race

Labour Minister Chris Stockwell says it doesn’t make sense to cut more taxes when Ontario is on the brink of a huge deficit.

In announcing his bid for the Conservative leadership yesterday, the outspoken Stockwell pulled few punches and took direct aim at his four opponents.

He said a balanced budget is more important now than additional tax cuts, as promised by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and Health Minister Tony Clement.

“I don’t know how anyone can tell you they’re going to do tax cuts next year looking at a $4 (billion) or $5 billion deficit,” Stockwell said, referring to deficit projections from Management Board Chair David Tsubouchi.

“I’d like to say it, but I don’t know how I can say it and then turn around and look you in the eye and say I won’t have a deficit. In my mind you can’t square that circle.”

At a low-key event in his Etobicoke Centre riding, with just one caucus supporter, MPP Bill Murdoch (Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound) and his family standing beside him, Stockwell joined the race to replace Premier Mike Harris on March 23. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)