VIDEO: Tim Hudak grins his way through an excruciating election kick-off photo-op

VIDEO: Tim Hudak grins his way through an excruciating election kick-off photo-op

(Image: Global News/Screenshot)

That face in the image above is the face of a trapped man. It’s the face Tim Hudak made on Monday during a miscalculated photo-op at MetalWorks Group, a recording studio in Mississauga. Hudak had intended to talk about his “million jobs plan,” the Ontario PC party’s fairly self-explanatory election platform.

The plan aims to create a million jobs (though politicians, of course, can’t directly create jobs except by hiring government workers). Unsurprisingly, it involves lowering taxes and trimming the provincial bureaucracy.

Monday’s edgy, music-studio photo-op backdrop ended up working against Hudak, though, as reporters repeatedly questioned him about his party’s decision to vote against the Ontario Music Fund, a provincial grant program that benefits music companies like MetalWorks. Seemingly unable to think of an answer that would both satisfy reporters and please his music-industry hosts, Hudak was only able to keep his composure by resorting to generalities. “Look,” he said. “We voted against the 2013 budget because it increased taxes and put us deep in debt.”

The PC party opposes so-called “corporate welfare”—government handouts to businesses, given in the hopes of stimulating job creation—and so it’s not shocking that Hudak wouldn’t embrace the music fund. What is a little startling is his apparent lack of preparation for the inevitable questions about it. The photo-op was a painful start to the 2014 provincial election for Hudak, who already tends to score lower than the other major party leaders in popularity polls. The video, from Global News, is below.