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An election is no time for serious issues

October 2007
What a pathetic lot we will be if Ontarians reject John Torry’s Conservatives just because of the political land-mine he laid with private school funding. Are you, my fellow Ontarians, telling me that you’d rather keep the Fiberals in power; the ones who foisted up on us the biggest tax increase in Ontario’s history; the ones who reneged on most of their campaign promises from the last election; the ones who sit on a huge surplus (ironically equal to the total collected from the health premium), while cities are cash starved? Those ones??

This election was pretty much a one issue election, which is sad given that there were so many more important issues that took a back seat, such as the poor state of public education, a lack of proper funding for health care, the downloading of social services onto municipalities and the Caledonia situation, just to name a few.

That said, I’m glad to hear that John Torry has decided to take a step back on this issue and instead hold a free public vote on the issue in the Legislature, giving his MPPs the opportunity to vote their conscience or the wish of their constituents.

Some are claiming that he is flip-flopping on this issue, but I strongly disagree with that insinuation. John Torry is simply acknowledging that he hears what the public wants; that being that they don’t want full funding of religious schools, and is simply acting on their wishes. WOW!!! A politician that actually listens to the general electorate.

I support the principal of full funding, but there are a lot of issues within it that need to be clarified and resolved.

Whether Torry is doing this willingly or just to save his party from being roundly trumped in the election is irrelevant. Although it is a big risk to backtrack on a major policy issue like this, Torry had no other choice. Win or loose, as long as Torry isn’t forced from the leadership, it will give him the time and opportunity he obviously needs to better explain why this would benefit Ontarians, not segregate us or destroy public education.

Ironic isn’t it, but maybe Kim Campbell was right after all; an election is no time to discuss serious issues.

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

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