Training, Colleges and Universities Minister Brad Duguid says the provincial Liberal government wants to work with labour unions and young people to build a better Ontario.

He told an audience in Local 793’s banquet hall Jan. 23 that the Conservatives, meanwhile, are intent on destroying unions.

“The Conservatives decided they want to declare war on labour and we can’t let that happen,” he said.

Duguid was guest speaker at a fundraiser for Oakville MPP Kevin Flynn.

In his remarks, he said the provincial Liberals have worked hard to create a good labour relations climate in Ontario, yet Conservative leader Tim Hudak is intent on destroying that.

Duguid told the audience that if Hudak is elected, labour would go back to the days of Mike Harris and protests on the front law of Queen’s Park.

By contrast, he noted, the Liberals want to “go forward” with labour and young people.

Duguid said the Liberals will stand up for labour and not let the Conservatives drive down wages.

He also spoke about the track record of the provincial Liberals in creating jobs for young people.

He said 6,463 young people have found jobs over the past four and a half years thanks to the Youth Employment Fund, and the program is well on its way to reaching the goal of 24,000.

“We are proud of the fact what we’ve developed here is working.”

The Fund is part of the government’s new Youth Jobs Strategy, which is helping young people across the province get work experience, start a business or build job skills.

Duguid said the provincial government is creating jobs by investing in the education system and Ontario is leading the world when it comes to post-secondary education.

He noted that the corporate tax rate in Ontario is the lowest in North America and, as a result, has helped attract 435,000 jobs to the province since the recession.

He said the Liberal government’s economic plan entails investing in people while the NDP plan is to tax corporations.

Meanwhile, he said, the so-called Million Jobs Plan proposed by Hudak would actually take away job creation and result in jobs being cut in education and health care.

“That’s wrong-headed. It’s bad economics and bad for our community.”

Oakville MPP Flynn told the audience that people keep telling the provincial government to be fiscally responsible and control spending, but also to keep investing in infrastructure.

He said the province is doing that through its economic plan for growth.