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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Hudak says tax cuts for all companies better than "corporate welfare" for some

TORONTO - Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak says he doesn't blame companies for taking government handouts, but he's still opposed to "corporate welfare."

For the second day in a row as he campaigns for the Ontario election, Hudak visited a small factory in suburban Toronto that - just like the recording studio he toured Monday in Mississauga - accepted government grants to expand.

The Tories say they'd kill the Liberals' plan to provide $2.5 billion over 10 years in grants to companies to attract new jobs and instead would lower corporate taxes to help all businesses.

Hudak says it's only natural for companies like Automatic Coating Ltd. and Metalworks Studios to take government cash when it's on offer because their taxes are so high, saying they're just getting some of their own money back.

Conservative strategists say they know they've been taking Hudak to companies that benefitted from government funding, but claim that's the only way those businesses can get ahead under the Liberal government.

Hudak says he'd cut taxes, make energy rates more affordable and bring down government debt to make the province a more attractive place for companies to invest and expand.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version said the Liberals had promised $2.5 billion a year in corporate grants.

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