Challenges face new Tory leader

Challenges face new Tory leader
Posted on July 3, 2014 | Lisa MacLeod | Written on July 2, 2014
Letter type:


Toronto Sun

The next leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party will face major challenges in rebuilding it and preparing for the 2018 election.
But the public should expect much more than that.
The new leader must be a champion for all Ontarians, not just for the PC party.
Ontario needs a crusading Opposition Leader who will hold Premier Kathleen Wynne accountable and who will stand up for the people the Liberal government has failed to help.
That includes seniors struggling to cope with a 42% electricity rate increase and a shortage of home care.
It includes families who can't get timely help for teens with mental health problems.
It includes the hundreds of thousands of unemployed the Liberal government has forgotten.
It also includes young entrepreneurs whose growing companies provide half of all new jobs.
These young people are our future, but we are losing too many to the western provinces.
Just as I did 15 years ago, they are leaving their home province to look for work. They need opportunities here.
Fighting for people is why I got into government.
It should be what motivates every politician.
But fighting for Ontarians does not mean fighting with the other two parties in the Legislature.
Where the parties can make progress for people by working together, they should.
I have a record of working with members of other parties on issues like suicide prevention and autism.
This is what Ontarians expect from their political leaders.
Most Ontarians are not interested in a clash of ideologies.
They want honest, pragmatic government that will set priorities and improve our health care, schools and social services.
Where the government falls short of those goals, it will be the duty of the new PC party leader to point out those failings, and to show a better way.
We need a government with policies that do good, not just sound good.
For example, the Liberals' plan to introduce a new private sector pension plan creates the illusion that future benefits can be achieved without current costs.
The Liberal plan will give some people benefits decades from now, but it doesn't address the real issues of today.
The new payroll tax that will pay for the plan will cost some people their jobs, and the forced contributions will take money out of people's pockets, money they need to look after their families and pay their bills.
It will be the responsibility of the new PC leader to criticize policies like this, and to do it with hard facts and logical arguments.
People need to know why it's a bad plan and what would be better.
The new PC leader must be driven by honesty, integrity, and values, not focus groups or opinion polls.
That means a party that engages all people, not one that just speaks to itself.
It means a sustainable budget and a growing economy as the essential foundation for better results in health care and education.
That's the provincial government's core job.
Above all, the new PC leader must build trust and win over the public.
That starts the day the leader is elected.
Trust is won through actions, not promises.
Trust comes when people see a leader who stands up for them and offers real alternatives that will make their lives better.
That's what I expect to see in a new PC leader, and it's what all Ontarians should expect, too.

LIsa MacLeod
Ontario PC MPP for Nepean-Carleton

About The Author

Lisa MacLeod's picture

Lisa MacLeod was first elected to the Ontario Legislature in a by-election in 2006. She has continued to represent the Nepean-Carleton riding after the 2007 and 2011 provincial elections.

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Michael Hall

You forgot to mention the thousands of people whose lives have been ruined by the wind turbines that have been forced upon them by the Liberal Government.

Dave Willard

Aside from all the issues mentioned in this article the one biggest challenge a new leader will face, and it is crucial to everything else, is being able to convince an apathetic electorate to reject glaring incompetence and corruption. Being able to instill the notion of voting using a knowledge of the issues and the application of just a tad of logic will be imperative to getting Ontario out of the mess its currently in which was a product of continued Liberal idiocy.