Some Progressive Conservative members of the Ontario legislature say they were not given advance notice of the party’s plan to campaign on a vow to cut 100,000 public sector jobs.
They say the controversial pledge from PC Leader Tim Hudak, which came in the first week of the 40-day election campaign, caught veteran Tories and rookie candidates off guard.
Conservatives who survived the Liberal sweep are holding a caucus meeting at Queen’s Park today to talk about an election strategy that cost the party nine seats and allowed the Liberals to be re-elected with a majority government.
Several MPPs, who spoke on condition of anonymity before the meeting, said they were totally surprised — and not in a good way — when Hudak announced he would trim the size of the public sector by 10 per cent if he was elected premier.
The Tories said that led to awkward questions and even anger from voters as they knocked on doors looking for support.
Several MPPs expressed frustration with the way the PC campaign was managed, and at least two said they ignored ideas from headquarters and did whatever they could locally to get re-elected.
Hudak complained during the campaign that 19 different unions were participating in a multimillion-dollar ad campaign to fight his jobs plan by urging voters to reject the Progressive Conservatives.