Flaherty wants Hudak's job: Duncan 0
Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty left and Ontario Minister of Finance Dwight Duncan chat during a press conference held at London City Hall in this undated photo. (QMI Agency)
Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan smacked two Tories with one quote Wednesday, suggesting Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak is the target of backroom plotting by federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.
"I'm thinking back to the (2010 election) campaign and I've never seen a more inept opposition," Duncan said of Hudak.
"He's not a leader obviously. Jim Flaherty wants his job - that's becoming clearer and clearer with each passing day."
Duncan insisted Hudak "ran out of fuel a long time ago" and effectively shot himself in the foot by refusing to enter into budget horse-trading with the minority Liberals.
He likened Hudak to Monty Python's Black Knight, who continues to fight even when all his limbs have been severed.
But Duncan saved the bulk of his criticism for his old rival Flaherty - who served as provincial treasurer under former premier Mike Harris, and who has delighted in disparaging Ontario's economic performance under Duncan.
"Even his own boss has had to tell him to smarten up," Duncan said of a report Prime Minister Stephen Harper has ordered Flaherty to stop running down the province.
"He's obviously more interested in his own leadership ambitions than in doing what's right for the country. I'm glad the prime minister called him to task on it."
Flaherty ran twice for the provincial PC leadership, losing to Ernie Eves and John Tory.
"Dwight Duncan should worry about implementing a plan to deal with the province's deficits and debt," Chisholm Pothier, Flaherty's spokesman, said in an e-mail.
PC Deputy Leader Christine Elliott - who's Flaherty's wife - said Hudak has his party's enthusiastic support.
"(Duncan)'s entitled to his opinion but we stand behind our leader Tim Hudak," Elliott said.
"We think he's made the right decisions with respect to not being able to support the budget. It didn't contain any of the things that we were expecting to see in the budget to cut the size and cost of government."
And she said her husband is also backing Hudak.