Ontario PC leader Tim Hudak
Credits: CRAIG ROBERTSON/QMI AGENCY
"Instead of running down the oilsands, we owe it to the half a million Ontarians who are out of work right now to ask how can Ontario best leverage the potential of the oilsands to create jobs at home," Hudak said Wednesday following a tour of the project in Fort McMurray, AB.
Ontario steel and engineering, refineries, technology and financial services would all benefit from the development of the oilsands, Hudak said in a statement.
Premier Dalton McGuinty and federal NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair have blamed Alberta energy for driving up the Canadian dollars and killing manufacturing jobs in Ontario.
McGuinty later distanced himself from those remarks, but Mulcair continues to publicly hold that position.
Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan said Wednesday that the oilsands are important to the province and a lot of jobs depend on that development.
Duncan said there are also "challenges" associated with the oilsands, but Canadians should be able to work through them together.
"There are many companies in Ontario that are prospering because of the oilsands," he said.
Asked about Hudak's visit, Duncan said he would hope that PC leader was as interested in passing the provincial budget as he was in travelling to Alberta.