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Ontario Votes 2003

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Election Day: Oct. 2, 2003   

Party Platforms: Rural
by Paddy Moore

Here are the highlights of the rural platforms from the Liberal, New Democratic and Progressive Conservative parties:

Liberal Rural Platform                                 [top]
Invest in rural roads and bridges, and fast-track provincial support for improved rural water and sewer infrastructure.
Provide $177 million to rural schools, putting a moratorium on closure until the funding formula addresses the particular needs of rural education.
Prohibit unionization on farms.
Improve safety net for farmers.
Improve agricultural markets, in part by demanding use of bio-diesel and ethanol in gas.
Help farmers pay for improved "nutrient management."

New Democratic Party Rural Platform         [top]
Fund water and sewage, roads, arenas and community centres by replacing Ontario Small Town and Rural program with Rural Infrastructure Action Fund.
Provide $50 million to stop closing rural schools.
Create venture capital program for farms and small rural businesses.
Revamp commodity-pricing system to make sure farmers get a fair price for food they grow.
Establish independent pension fund for farmers.
Support farmers moving to organic, non-genetically modified methods.
Support production of crops for alternative fuels.
Defend and support supply management system.
Introduce minimum response times for emergency services in rural Ontario and provide support where needed.
Increase access to high-speed and broadband Internet.
Provide economic opportunities for young people.

Progressive Conservative Party
Rural Platform                                               [top]
Support agricultural fairs, 4-H clubs, rural arena projects, and snowmobiling.
Take back responsibility for rural bridges.
Ban unionized workers on family farms.
Guarantee farmers' access to funding before nutrient management rules are changed.
Develop unused Crown lands.


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