"This 'right to work' issue just doesn't have the scope of the power to fix the issues that are threatening 100 per cent of the manufacturing jobs in Ontario," Mr. Hudak said.
It takes a big man to admit when they're wrong. This couldn't have been easy for Hudak, but it was the right thing to do and he deserves credit for doing it.
But you still have to feel bad for Dave Brister.
In the interests of moving forward, though, let's focus on the fact that Hudak has shown a willingness to question his own approaches, listen to others and make adjustments were appropriate.
So - those traditional manufacturing jobs. Change sucks and is really, really hard on those who've already carved their niche in life and would like to keep things that way.
Here's the deal, though - the reason they're leaving Ontario is because they're going to places with poverty-level wages and almost no protections for labourers. Like Bangladesh. Those manufacturing operations that are moving to the States aren't so much creating new jobs down there as putting more work on existing labourers.
Either way, this more-work-for-less-pay approach isn't going to work for those jurisdictions; as we're seeing in Bangladesh, they're just simmering towards the sorts of labour revolts we've already been through that landed us with unions in the first place.
Ontario's solution isn't to freeze our economy in the past with massive industry subsidies that don't work or to reduce our quality of citizen life in favour of old-school work, but to look forward. That means new opportunities, new dynamism on the part of all employers, employees and labour groups, training and a revisit of our traditional, hierarchical, pay-fixated model of work.
I remain convinced that Hudak could surprise everyone and gain some massive wins by being the Labour Nixon that goes to the Union's China, engaging directly with unions themselves.
Will he do it? Probably not. Politicians tend to be more focused on wins that solutions, to their (and our) detriment.
But hey - he's come this far. Shows that anyone is capable of evolving with the times when they open themselves to progressive thinking.