This article is a couple days old now, but I wanted to post it to show the extremely positive reception Charles received talking to local business leaders in Mississauga, while also outlining his vision to create jobs and grow the economy to protect our gains in health care and education.
Ontario's leaders must govern by addressing the long-term needs of the province, not by "just looking at the next election cycle," Mississauga South Liberal MPP Charles Sousa told the Mississauga Board of Trade this morning...
The second-term MPP pressed his home field advantage in front of an attentive audience at the Mississauga International Centre by outlining his policies to improve life in the GTA, which he said was burdened by both traffic gridlock and "political gridlock."
"It's all about growing the economy and jobs," the MPP said. "That will allow us to pay for the things that really matter — health care and education." Instead of headlines bemoaning the fact that traffic in the GTA is worse than it is in Los Angeles, Sousa said he wants to write a new economic story by implementing policies to create jobs and curb gridlock. He outlined a five-point GTA plan that he claimed will put the 416 and 905 regions back on the road to prosperity. "We can remove one complete layer of decision-making" by making Metrolinx responsible for MiWay, the TTC and all local transit systems in the GTA, he suggested.
It's finally time to build the high-speed rail connection from Windsor to Quebec City that every provincial government has talked about — but none has acted on — the Mississauga native said. "It's time for action and we need to start with the Hamilton to Toronto and Toronto to Oshawa sections," he said. Ontario must make significant long-term capital investments in high speed rail now because otherwise the economic benefit will be lost to the U.S., which is also looking at the prospect...
The former Labour and Immigration minister said the new policy he launched several weeks ago to attract more immigrants to Ontario is critical to meeting the province's future labour needs. "In the future 100 per cent of the net jobs will be filled by newcomers to Ontario." Another long-term problem that has never been addressed, despite ongoing promises from every party, is the Ontario Condominium Act. Sousa promised "immediate reform” of the legislation to give owners a greater voice on condo boards and to force the licensing of condo managers.
Investing in post-secondary education in times of a down economy, such as the one we are in now, will pay huge dividends down the road as the economy recovers, argued the 54-year-old graduate of Gordon Graydon Secondary School.
He urged approval of a new university campus in neighbouring Milton, Ontario's fastest-growing municipality, as soon as possible. "We have the funding. We need to act,” he said. At ease in front of the friendly MBOT audience, Sousa sounded and looked very much like a man who would be comfortable as the next premier of the province. "We do have a strong foundation in this province but we need to work together," he concluded. "It's not about the future of anyone's political stripe, it's about the future of the province."
A great week for the Charles Sousa campaign! After solid performances in the all candidates debates, and fantastic youth turnout at our pub night and the UTM Winterfest, Charles Sousa has rolled out his plan for Northern Ontario in the run up to the Northern region leadership debate tomorrow. Take a look!
Ontario Liberal leadership candidate, Charles Sousa, has the right plan to create jobs for northern families.
His vision for the North will mean accelerated job creation, better transit and more local decision making.
His plan has three points:
1. Further develop the mining sector and speed up the Ring of Fire to create jobs for northern families.
The Ring of Fire is one of the largest chromite deposits in the world, offering enormous untapped potential to create jobs for northern families and economic benefit for all of Ontario. To fast-track development in the area, Sousa will:
Work with investors to reach deals that create jobs and provide new net returns for Ontario in the North;
Invest better transportation systems to the North;
Expand energy transmission capacity; and
Engage First Nations partners so that they share and benefit from job creation and economic stimulus.
“We need to act now to create these jobs. Developing the Ring of Fire will be my top priority for the North,” said Sousa.
2. Support a reliable and sustainable ONTC to connect northern communities.
The recent decision to divest the ONTC has many communities concerned about how they’ll travel between communities. “Transit is vital to continued growth and important to northern families. That’s why I am committed to a sustainable, reliable ONTC that connects the North and supports jobs,” said Sousa.
3. Act upon local input into decision-making and build municipal partnerships.
Like other regions of the province, people in the North need to know that their input is valued and their priorities will be acted upon. “Under my leadership, local solutions will come from local input, because not all good ideas come from the Premier’s office.”
Sousa is running to be Ontario’s Jobs Premier and has already put forward several concrete ways to create jobs now. More information is available online at www.votesousa.ca.
With today being the "Day of Debates" (an all candidates luncheon at the Canadian Club and a special taping of The Agenda with Steve Paikin) here is some light reading material for you on Charles Sousa's bold new ideas to get rural Ontario and the GTA both working to create jobs and improve the quality of life for residents.
Acting upon local input into decision-making and building municipal partnerships;
Strongly supporting industries like auto, primary & secondary manufacturing and food processing;
Providing industry with the right tools to create jobs by promoting innovation and attracting investment; and
Supporting small businesses by making access to the Southwestern and Eastern Ontario Development Funds easier, simpler and permanent.
“As a party and as a government, we need to do a better job of listening to local voices,” said Sousa. “People need to know that we take their concerns seriously and are ready to act on them. That’s why listening is the starting point of my plan.”
Sousa, who is running to be Ontario’s Jobs Premier, has put the main focus of his plan for small town and rural Ontario on creating jobs.
Like all Ontario families, people in Southwestern and Eastern Ontario want the government to be focussed on creating jobs in their communities. That’s why Sousa is committed to maintaining strong support for the auto and manufacturing industries and is committed to working with business to create jobs.
His plan to improve access to the Southwestern and Eastern Ontario Development Funds for small businesses will help entrepreneurs to grow their companies and create jobs.
“Making it easier for small businesses to access the funds they need to succeed is the right thing to do,” said Sousa.
To date, the Eastern Ontario Development Fund has created $595M in private sector investment and helped create or retain 13,200 jobs. Sousa plans on building off of this success by making the funds more accessible to rural and small town businesses.
“The funds have worked well for big employers, but Main Street should be benefiting as well. That’s why I’ll make it permanent, bring clarity to the program and make it much easier to access.”
Gridlock –both literally and politically – is a huge problem for Toronto. By making Metrolinx responsible for the TTC, we can start building transit now, so we’re not having the same conversations ten years from now. “We’re two years behind schedule because of political gridlock,” Sousa said.
2. Site a new university campus in Milton
Milton is the fastest growing city in Canada and we need to take action now to keep up. A new campus in Milton will help our students prepare to succeed and boost the local economy. “We have the funding. We need to act,” Sousa said.
3. Take immediate action to reform the Condo Act
Ontario has been looking at reforming the condo act for years, and private members’ bills on the issues have previously passed second reading in the legislature.
Within 90 days of becoming Premier, Sousa would introduce legislation to reform the Condo Act. “We have had a lot of input. We need to act,” Sousa said
4. Make immigration work better for Ontario
By increasing the number of provincial nominees, and pushing the federal government to deliver their fair share, we can take full advantage of the skills that new immigrants have, and make sure that the GTA remains a magnet for economic immigrants around the world. “We need immigration to work for Ontario,” Sousa said.
“We all know that the GTA is a world-class region that is facing significant challenges over the next decade,” said Sousa. “We need comprehensive solutions to address these challenges, and we need to start moving now.”
Sousa is running to be Ontario’s Jobs Premier and has already proposed several concrete steps we can take to create jobs now.