Barrie MPP Ann Hoggarth must apologize for insensitive comments about struggling Ontario businesses

Insensitive comments from Barrie’s Liberal MPP dominated Question Period this morning. The Ontario PCs demanded an apology from MPP Ann Hoggarth who suggested small businesses, in particular one Barrie butcher shop, should close their doors if they can’t afford the reckless increase to the minimum wage. 

During a media avail with Ontario Labour Minister Kevin Flynn, Hoggarth said, “If you’re going to go out of business on the backs of your employees because you can’t afford to pay them this, perhaps you should reassess your business plan and whether you should be an employer.”

“A member of this government thinks struggling business owners should just shut up and close their doors,” said Ontario PC Labour Critic John Yakabuski.

“Is that the official position of this government? Or will the Premier insist the member from Barrie apologize to all struggling business owners across the province?” he asked the Premier during Question Period.

Hoggarth also accused a local butcher shop of closing his doors because he was a member of the PC Party, saying “the gentleman was one of the nominees running for the PCs. You don’t see other butchers closing.”

Lawrence Vindum was forced to declare bankruptcy, lay off his staff, and close the doors of a long-time Barrie butcher shop. Mr. Vindum blamed skyrocketing hydro rates as one of the largest reasons he was closing down his shop.

“His valued employees are out of a job weeks before Christmas. It’s disrespectful and shameful,” added Yakabuski. “It’s clear, Liberal policy is to tell business in Ontario to kick rocks and take a hike. They don’t care about these jobs. They don’t care if businesses close.”

“Mr. Vindum deserves an apology and an explanation.”