Tuesday, January 14, 2014

When is Tim Hudak not considered another Mike Harris?

Now we know when his constrant critics won't consider Tim Hudak to be another Mike Harris.

The Toronto Star provided opinion space for Tim Hudak to communicate that his PCs have a plan to bring prosperity to Ontario, and concurrently ran an editorial that began:
In order to maintain the prevailing theme of simplicity, let’s cut to the chase on Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak’s proposed “Million Jobs Act”: it’s campaign sloganeering, at best.
The Star's Queen's Park propagandist, Metro Martin Regg Cohn, took a stab at statistics in dismissing Hudak's plan by noting:
...Statistics Canada said Friday there were 588,000 people unemployed in the province. That’s a daunting number, but it’s rather less than the number Hudak claimed. He was off by about 400,000 jobs — that’s plus or minus 70 per cent — from the official tally.
Well, I empathize with communicators, and I will firmly support Hudak's party in 2014, so I was willing to cut him a lot of slack and not check to see if he was definitely rounding way, way up in the potential of any jobs plan.

But Metro Martin had concluded his column with a smug, "we're not stupid," so I figured in checking the possibility of adding 1 million jobs I might confirm 2 things.

I looked at Statistics Canada's data to see if it's plausible that 1,000,000 people in Ontario might prefer to be working, regardless of how unemployment is officially defined, and if it's plausible 1 million jobs could be created in an election cycle.

The answer surprised me: 1 million jobs being added in 4 years would be, adjusting for population growth, not uncommon when Ontario recovers from prolonged downturns.

One period demonstrating this would coincide with Mike Harris' years, from December 1996 to December 2000.  1 million would be a bit of a push compared to this period as Statistics Canada shows higher labour force participation and lower unemployment now than it did in December 2006.

The greater population adjusted growth would have come earlier, in the period from 1983-1987.  The participation rate is lower now than it was in 1983, and the population has grown 59%; the comparable number of jobs for growth would be close to 1.1 million.

History shows that it is plausible that 1 million jobs could be created within an election cycle ; Regg Cohn's "we're not stupid" may not be as well supported.

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