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Ontario Votes 2003
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Election Day: Oct. 2, 2003   

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Letters from Sept. 17
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I voted Conservative for the past two provincial elections. I will be voting Liberal this time around.

While I didn't always agree with Harris' plans, I did feel that he was doing what he believed was the correct thing for the province. And he admitted mistakes, for example, that they had cut health care and education funding too far.

However, Eves doesn't seem to have a clue, or a backbone. Take as examples: the hydro un-deregulation fiasco; the reversal on his reconciliatory approach to educators and medical workers; the same-sex flip-flop; ignoring public concerns regarding education and health care in favour of tax breaks (the one for private schools in particular really annoys me).

Eves is also insisting on balancing the budget this year, even with the unexpected disasters of SARS and mad cow (at the expense of education and health care again!).

While I strongly support fiscal responsibility, there are times where other alternatives need to be seriously considered.

- Victoria Turner Shoemaker
 Kingsville


As a parent of a school age child, there is no question regarding whom I will not vote for. I cannot vote for the Conservatives. Since Senior Kindergarten my daughter has never had a class size lower than 30 students, the highest was last year with 36 in Grade 4.

Conservative education policy has been a disaster and appears to cater to a segment of the population that has decided to breach the unwritten intergenerational social contract—those older than you pay taxes for your education, and in turn you do so for the next generation. However, there is a segment in Ontario society who feel thus: "My kids are grown, why should I have to pay for education?" or "You decided to have children, why should I have to pay to educate them?" And many of the people who feel this way are Conservative supporters.

While this issue is close to my heart there are other reasons why I cannot vote Conservative: the hydro mess, Walkerton, allowing corporations loopholes in following health and safety regulations, and releasing the budget outside of the legislature, to name a few.

But, which other party will I vote for?

That is not an easy question. The party that has run the best campaign is the NDP. I may not agree with all of their platform, but there are several planks that I wholly support, such as provincial auto insurance. Unfortunately, it is not appealing enough to take a risk on splitting the vote and let the Conservatives remain in power.

It would be wonderful to have the Conservatives out of power and a Liberal government with the NDP as the official opposition.

- Neil Jamieson-Williams
 Hamilton


The mentally ill have been disenfranchised for so long we have come to accept it. Often those who have suffered, or continue to suffer, just need to be allowed sufficient income (and the resultant self-esteem) to get back into the mainstream.

You have so many people who have not recovered because of the financial and emotional stresses they must continue to suffer when they have insufficient money to purchase critical medication and decent food to allow the body and mind to heal.

The Ontario program to "support" the disabled seeks out ways to disqualify applicants not help them.

These bureaucrats do not even realize that some women need help even if husbands are bringing home a pay cheque. Often these women are abused because of their illness and are not party to sharing these funds, thus continuing the poverty for these women.

A little research and compassion would go a long way.

- Linda Selkirk


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