When photo ops backfire: Hudak poster child a ‘corporate welfare’ beneficiary

ABOVE: Tim Hudak’s awkward photo-op

TORONTO – Some photo opportunities just don’t go as planned.

Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak was talking about his jobs plan at a music studio in Mississauga Monday standing beside Gil Moore, the Metalworks Institute’s CEO.

Hudak said his “million jobs plan” was in part influenced by “talking to people like Gil Moore.”

But it seems Hudak hadn’t spent much time talking to Moore beforehand.

Last year, Hudak voted against the $45 million Ontario Music Fund that was contained within the 2013 budget. He’s slammed this and similar government handouts as “corporate welfare.”

But Moore, whose studio benefited from that money, lauded the cash infusion as a “much-needed shot in the arm.”

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“The 220 students currently enrolled at the Metalworks Institute will be more likely to enjoy successful careers” as a result of the fund, Moore wrote in a press release issued last year.

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PC Leader Tim Hudak (left) sits in a recording studio with Gil Moore, the owner of Metalworks Studios, as Hudak hits the campaign trail in Ontario’s Provincial election in Mississauga on Monday May 5 ,. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Hudak sidestepped four questions on whether he would cancel or support the Ontario Music Fund should he become premier, saying he voted against last year’s budget “because it increased taxes and put us deep in debt.”

He did, however, say he would replace similar “corporate welfare” funds with “lower taxes and fair taxes for all.”

“I thought that was an outstanding report that Global did,” he said. “The case you made was there’s been all kinds of handouts to well-connected businesses that didn’t create many long-term jobs in the long-run.”

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Read More: Ontario gave 109 companies $765M over 8 years. So where are the jobs?

Following the press conference, Moore said the province needs programs like the Ontario Music fund, comparing it to previous governments’ participation in Toronto’s film industry.

But he added, diplomatically, he likes Hudak’s jobs plan and the fund.

“I prefer both. I don’t think it’s an either/or choice. And you can rest assured that I’m fully behind the Ontario Music Fund and I’m going to do my best to promote it to all the politicians.”

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