Wednesday marks the beginning of the 2014 Ontario election campaign as Lieutenant Governor David Onley signed the official election writs.  Although all of the candidates began campaigning when NDP leader Andrea Horwath announced she would not support the proposed provincial budget, this signing was necessary to formally complete the process. The party leaders wasted no time beginning their tours of the province, and already one thing has become abundantly clear: no matter the outcome of this election, job creation will be a top priority.

Finance Minister Charles Sousa tabled the proposed provincial budget last Thursday. Among the initiatives listed in the budget was a $2.5 billion “Jobs and Prosperity Fund” aimed at supporting job creation across the country. Despite both the NDP and Conservatives’ lack of support for the budget, it appears that Wynne’s opponents share similar views on job creation.

Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak was quoted today as saying that his campaign will centre on “laying out in detail how [his] plan is going to work to get people back to work.”  Similarly, Andrea Horwath of the New Democrat Party has placed jobs and affordability for families at the core of her campaign.  Horwath announced that, if elected, the NDP will implement a Job Creation Tax Credit program to offer incentive to businesses to create jobs at home.  During a visit to Niagara Falls, Horwath noted her increasing concern for high rates of unemployment in Ontario, indicating her commitment to working with “the real job creators” to address the problem.  The new initiative, if implemented, will cover 10% of a new hire’s salary to a maximum of $5000 per job.

It appears that even the most divided of electoral candidates can agree that jobs must be a provincial priority.  We may be able to look forward to some serious investment in job creation very soon.