Timothy Patrick "Tim" Hudak (born November 1, 1967) is a politician in Ontario, Canada, and the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario (PC Party). He also serves as member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario for the riding of Niagara West—Glanbrook.
Tim Hudak was born in Fort Erie, Ontario. His father was a high school principal whose parents came to Canada from Slovakia in advance of World War II. His mother, Anne Marie nee Dillon, was a teacher of Irish/Franco-Ontarian descent. He has a younger sister, Tricia.
Hudak attended the University of Western Ontario, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics in 1990. He then studied at the University of Washington in Seattle on a full scholarship. He received a master's degreein economics in 1993.
While in college, Hudak worked at the Peace Bridge on the U.S. – Canada Border from 1988 to 1993. In 1994, he was hired by Walmart as a travelling manager, instructing employees on the company's policies and operating procedures.
Early political career
Hudak ran in the provincial election of 1995 in the riding of Niagara South. He defeated Liberal Aubrey Foley by 1,081 votes. At the age of 27 Hudak was the second-youngest Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) elected in 1995, the youngest being John Baird. The Progressive Conservatives won a majority government under Mike Harris, and Hudak was appointed Parliamentary Assistant to Minister of Health Jim Wilson. He later served as Parliamentary Assistant to Wilson's successor, Elizabeth Witmer. During this term the government closed 28 hospitals and fired more than 6,000 nurses, However Hudak was also able to negotiate an agreement to exempt rural and northern hospitals from closure, including four in the Niagara region.
In August 2009, shortly after taking power, Hudak criticized the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) after a string of controversies. The government had forced the resignation of several board members and, according to Canadian broadcaster CTV, Hudak "suggested the government was trying to pre-empt another eHealth-like scandal, and promised his party would "shine the light" on any Liberal misspending." Following Hudak's opposition, Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan fired the corporation's CEO, Kelly McDougald, "for cause". The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) also reported that a freedom-of-information request by Hudak's Tories was behind the shakeup. According to Hudak, the Liberals "knew it would be coming up in the opening session of the legislature, [so they] put it out today to head off the scandal.... But you're not going to stop the scandalous spending until [Premier Dalton] McGuinty sets the tone by firing one of his ministers."
On September 10, 2009, Hudak delivered his first major speech as Party leader to the Economic Club of Canada. In his speech, Hudak attacked the Liberals for unnecessary spending at eHealth and OLG, as well as giving a $263-million grant to a video game developer.
On October 19, 2009, Hudak launched a petition to support the new West Lincoln Memorial Hospital (WLMH) in West Niagara. The petition called on the McGuinty government as well as the Minister of Health to stop the Hamilton-Niagara-Haldimand-Brant Local Health Integration Network from delaying the construction of the new hospital.
In the midst of the fall legislative session, Hudak launched one of his first major platform pieces, the PC Caucus Small Business Jobs Plan, which he stated was essential to Ontario's economic recovery. Also during the fall of 2009, Hudak and his party ramped up their opposition to the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST). The HST, came into effect July 1, 2010, blended the previous eight per cent provincial sales tax with the five per centGoods and Services Tax (GST).
By the end of 2009, polls indicated that under Hudak’s leadership, the Ontario PC Party jumped from a distant second to a double-digit lead. The Party’s first year under Hudak’s leadership wrapped up with the Conservative’s Northern Ontario Jobs plan, a plan to restore jobs and economic growth to Ontario’s vast north. “The big picture here is that [when] developing economies like China and India grow, and the American economy rebounds, there will be a massive appetite for Ontario’s wood products and minerals and other resources,“ Hudak said.
Hudak also criticized the McGuinty’s government’s approach on Ontario’s nuclear industry. In line with his plan for the North, Hudak commented that “Reducing Northern Ontario's high energy costs is key to making industries there more profitable and preventing future mill closures.”
In March 2010 by-elections, the Tories retained retired MPP Bob Runciman's riding of Leeds-Grenville, boosting their support by 19 points to 67 per cent of the vote. The party lost a second race in Ottawa West-Nepean to former Ottawa mayor and former MPP Bob Chiarelli, although they improved their showing over results of the 2007 election. In a third by-election held in Toronto Centre on the same day, the Progressive Conservative candidate came in third with fifteen percent of the vote.
Later in April, Hudak and the Ontario PC party focused Question Period on Local Health Integrated Network (LHIN), a system of regional health authorities established by the McGuinty government. Offering examples of sole-sourced contracting, Hudak hammered the government for broken promises and removing money from front-line care. Hudak said the amount of money being paid in six-figure salaries to LHIN executives and managers had nearly doubled since 2006. Hudak promised to dissolve the LHINs if he were to win the Ontario general election in 2011.
On Canada Day, 2010, the controversial harmonized sales tax (HST) came into effect across the province of Ontario. Tim Hudak responded by saying, “Dalton McGuinty will do what he does best, raising taxes on hard-working families. People will feel it at first at the pumps overnight. Next they will get hit with it on their utility bills."
Hudak also vowed to eliminate the eco-tax, a fee on certain environmentally harmful products brought in by McGuinty, if he were elected Premier.
In August 2010, Ontario Ombudsman André Marin exposed a bylaw that enables local health bureaucrats to hold closed-door meetings on hospital closures. Controversial decisions on hospital restructuring in the Niagara-area health unit could now be open to judicial review due to the use of the bylaw by the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant Local Health Integration Network. Premier McGuinty had been responsible for establishing all of the 14 LHINs. In response to Marin’s report, Hudak committed to abolish the LHINs and redirect $200 million in savings back to the health system.
On May 26, 2011, Hudak proposed a highly controversial plan to implement mandatory street-cleaning "work gangs" made up of provincial inmates, replacing current voluntary programs. This program was described as modern-day "chain gangs" by Hudak's critics, who pointed out that such a program would be costly to implement and could pose significant security risks to the public, along with eliminating these entry-level jobs from the paid workforce.
A Nanos Research poll released on August 16, 2011 found that fewer than one in four voters describe Hudak as the most trustworthy leader. Among women, the number was one in five.
Hudak faced criticism from party members after the Progressive Conservatives won only one out of five seats being contested in a series of by-elections on August 1, 2013. 10 party members have petititioned the party to allow a leadership review at the party's policy convention in the fall and two MPPs, Frank Klees and Randy Hillier, have called on Hudak to allow the review to proceed.
Tim Hudak and fellow MPP Lisa MacLeod are currently being sued for libel by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne for saying she “oversaw and possibly ordered the criminal destruction of [gas plant] documents.” Wynne denies she had any knowledge or involvement of the allegations made.
Hudak's party also faces a subsequent lawsuit over statements made on its website brought forward by the Working Families Coalition. The union-backed group that has funded attack ads and has previously been chided by the party for its support of the Ontario Liberal Party.
Numerous pundits have labelled Hudak as a blue Tory who is on the right-wing of the PC Party of Ontario, though Hudak has called himself a "purple Tory". He has proposed income splitting for young couples and families, and campaigned to scrap the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, replacing it with a courts-based system of settling complaints. Hudak's wife Deb Hutton was a senior advisor to Mike Harris, and he is seen by some as the new standard-bearer for the Mike Harris Common Sense Revolution.
When he was running for the PC leadership in 2009, Hudak told the Association for Reformed Political Action that he is pro-life and had signed petitions calling for the defunding of abortions. However on July 18, 2011, during the lead-up to the October 6 provincial election, Hudak stated that he “may have” signed petitions calling for an end to abortion funding. He refused to answer follow-up questions from media regarding his views on abortion, but promised that he would not reopen the abortion debate if elected premier.
In December 2012, Hudak announced that if he were to form government he would allow beer, wine and spirits to be sold at corner stores throughout the province. Hudak also said he would sell part of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario or some of its stores, to the private sector and is open to the idea of a full sell-off of the LCBO. Although the McGuinty government had rejected the idea of selling alcohol in corner stores in the Summer of 2012, weeks after Hudak's announcement they launched a pilot project to allow alcohol to be sold in supermarkets.
In April 2013, Hudak met with the National Post's editorial board to discuss education issues in Ontario. Among other things, he was asked about Ontario's publicly funded Roman Catholic school system, which operates in parallel with the public system. Hudak suggested that parents from other religions have "legitimate concerns", but expressed no interest in changing the status quo.
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Jump up^ Events - London Chamber of Commerce (London, Ontario)
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^ Jump up to:a b "Fight for the new hospital: Hudak". Flamborough Review. 23 October 2009. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
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Jump up^ "Infrastructure investment key to job creation in north: PCs". Fort Frances Times Online. 30 December 2009. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
Jump up^ Ferguson, Rob (10 February 2010). "Nuclear industry left hanging, Tim Hudak says". The Toronto Star. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
Jump up^ Grech, Ron. "Hudak sees need to cut North's energy costs POLITICS". The Expositor. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
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Jump up^ http://www.sachem.ca/news/article/216304
Jump up^ Marin report blasts ‘illegal’ talks on closing Niagara ERs - Healthzone.ca
Jump up^ Brennan, Richard J.; Ferguson, Rob (27 May 2011). "Hudak proposes modern-day chain gangs". The Star (Toronto).
Jump up^ Howlett, Karen (16 August 2011). "Ontario female voters shy away from Tim Hudak - The Globe and Mail". The Globe and Mail(Toronto).
Jump up^ "Ontario PCs allege threats after calls for Tim Hudak review". CBC News. August 10, 2013. Retrieved August 11, 2013.
Jump up^ "PCs feuding over proposed leadership review for Hudak". Ottawa Citizen. August 9, 2013. Retrieved August 11, 2013.
Jump up^ "Kathleen Wynne sues Tim Hudak, MPP Lisa MacLeod and PC party". Toronto Star. 4 April 2014.
Jump up^ "Working Families group sues Tories". Toronto Sun. 27 April 2014.
Jump up^ "Tories demand probe into TV attack ads". CBC News. 24 August 2007. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
Jump up^ Taube, Michael (10 May 2010). "Sex ed blunder presents huge opportunity for Tim Hudak". Ifpress.com. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
Jump up^ Radwanski, Adam (31 January 2011). "Tim Hudak: A true-blue conservative - some days". Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
Jump up^ "Hudak's purple prose marks Tory platform". Stratford Beacon Herald. 30 May 2011. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
Jump up^ Ferguson, Rob (28 June 2009). "How much Harris is there in Tim Hudak?". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
Jump up^ "Ontario Election: Is Tory Leader Tim Hudak A Moderate Or Mike Harris Clone?". Huffington Post. 7 September 2011. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
Jump up^ "Hudak won't address abortion beliefs". CBC News. 18 July 2011.
Jump up^ Park, Queen's; Talaga, Tanya (19 July 2011). "Hudak admits to once supporting anti-abortion petition". The Star (Toronto).
Jump up^ "Allow liquor sales at corner stores, Hudak urges". 4 December 2012. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
Jump up^ Ferguson, Rob (25 July 2012). "McGuinty says no to beer, wine in Ontario’s corner stores". The Toronto Star. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
Jump up^ "Ontario pilot project will allow booze sales in supermarkets". Sun News. 31 December 2012. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
Jump up^ "Chris Selley on Catholic schools: The constitutional quirk that won’t go away". National Post. 17 April 2013.
Jump up^ Tim Hudak’s daughter Miller the light of his life
Jump up^ Ontario PC leader Tim Hudak and his wife Deb Hutton welcome a second daughter
Jump up^ Hudak gets his own iPhone app | Canada | News | Toronto Sun
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Ontario Legislative Assembly Parliamentarian History