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Ontario Votes 2003
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Election Day: Oct. 2, 2003   

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Letters from Sept. 2

Ontario is finally going to the polls! Thank goodness! Personally, I'll be voting for the Liberals but I'll vote for anyone if it means the Tories don't get either a majority or a minority win. Our province needs change.

Our schools need help, as does our healthcare system. And finally, the city of Toronto deserves a lot more than … it's been getting from this current government. We are (whether the rest of Canada or the rest of Ontario likes to admit it or not) the city of this country. When Toronto suffers Canada suffers. We are the economic engine that drives Canada.

-Mara,
 Toronto 
(proudly voting for the Liberal party on October 2, 2003)


In recent years both the Liberals and Conservatives have proven they are capable of governing Ontario. The key factor is the leader. At this moment in time, the Liberals appear to lack the persona that can handle the premier's office. Dalton McGuinty doesn't appear to have "the right stuff" required to be tough, disciplined and measured while stewarding Canada's largest economy. I think the safe bet for voters is to return Ernie Eves to office.

-John Meeuwisse,
 Keswick, Ontario


As part of their election platform, it seems rather odd that the Ontario PCs are demanding municipal politicians hold a referendum every time they want to a raise taxes. This would imply that the PCs want politicians to be more accountable to their constituents and act according to their wishes.

This seems to be a rather far-fetched stand considering that when the amalgamation of Toronto was put to a referendum and 70 per cent of the residents rejected the idea, the Harris government ignored the results.

I suppose, like many other public services, accountability is just one more that the PCs can download to municipalities.

-Councillor David Wood,
 Mildmay,Ontario


While I tend to lean a little to the right, I believe in this era of politics, there are few practical differences between the Conservative and the Liberal parties and I believe that most Ontarians feel the same. What most people want is great leadership and god knows we will not get it from Dalton McGuinty. Let's hope that reality sinks in and we all vote with our brains not our hearts.

-Bryson,
 Ottawa


I am a teacher and have experienced firsthand how cuts to education have created havoc in our education system. I have seen beautiful large kindergartens reduced in size to fit the formulas of square footage calculated by the government. Students are crammed into classrooms and deprived of important learning opportunities because classroom spaces cannot accommodate equipment and materials that all children benefit from. There is simply no room when classrooms must be overcrowded to fit the funding formula.

Educational assistants are less and less common. Outdoor education centres have been closed. Dance and music studios in schools technically cannot be used because they do not meet the "classroom" funding criteria set out by the government. Librarians have been cut. Specialty teachers such as music teachers and phys. ed are few and far between. Students have lost the opportunity to gain quality instruction in these areas from specialists. Swimming pools have been closed. The list goes on and on.

We have, unfortunately, lost a quality education system under the current government. It is shameful that a society such as ours, a rich province in a first-world country, does not have a quality education system. I know who I am voting for and it is not Ernie Eves. If this government is thrown out I am having a party. If they get back in I am leaving the province to teach elsewhere.

-Deborah Phillips


The Tory's promise of no teacher strikes during the school year is purely a ploy to get votes. What many people don't know is that this same government legislated away the binding arbitration process, under the Hospital Disputes Arbitration Act, from workers working with developmentally challenged individuals.

Groups of these workers did not have the right to strike because the Labour Relations Board had determined that their work was essential to the lives of these disabled individuals. These workers feed, administer medications, bath, and provide complete care for the clients they serve.

This was changed by this government, and now if they reach an impasse in bargaining they must strike, and the clients loose, just like patients would loose if the nurses' only option was to strike.

I don't know how not having school can put the students' life at risk.

-Brock Suddaby


Beware of candidates who make an issue out of same-sex marriage. In the context of an Ontario election this would be a "red herring."

-Kenn Chaplin,
Toronto


I am interested in the stance of the various parties on the Ontario Municipal Board. Basically, it has turned into a tool for developers to get around local zoning requirements.

Will the Liberals, NDP or Conservatives, for that matter, consider its abolishment?

-Bob Adams,
 Toronto


I am disappointed in the Ontario government's lack of concern for children, and the lack of education funding for new school buildings in Toronto. Prohibitive-to-Repair funding was suppose to address this issue eight years ago, but this funding was only promised to school boards and no actual monies were invested.

Since January 2003, the Ministry of Education has undertaken a comprehensive review of all schools, using sophisticated building analysis software. This sophisticated analysis is flawed because it does not even take into consideration portables. It fails to address the needs of the most vulnerable of students, those who are being taught in shacks out in field!! It's a disgrace!! Where is the Rozanski money?

My children attend Nativity of our Lord Catholic School in Etobicoke. Portables have been used at this location for 40 years, [currently] there are 10 on site, and the site is not secure. There are only two washrooms for the use of 600 children, and only two sinks! The school is overcrowded, plumbing and heating is outdated, gym is too small, rusting staircases, asbestos tiles and ceiling, no playground ever, etc.

I am looking forward to this election because my school trustee, Rose Andrachuk, a trustee who voted to lock out the teachers at the TCDSB last May, who voted to close 20 schools in Toronto and who thinks there is nothing wrong with Nativity of our Lord, is running for the PCs.

It is amazing to me that someone with such a lousy public trustee record would have the nerve to seek a provincial seat. This is an outrage!! Not to mention that MPP Chris Stockwell had promised that he would secure the funds to rebuild Nativity, but of course, as he resigned, his telephone went off the hook!

-Murielle Boudreau,
 Etobicoke


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