Conservative Candidates Revolt on John Tory's private school scheme

    TORONTO, Sept. 24 /CNW/ - Today John Tory tried to dismiss Bill Murdoch
by calling him a "jack in the box" who will "pop" at any time. While that kind
of reaction tells you something about John Tory, ten of his candidates have
come out questioning his judgment and his private school scheme.

    1)  Bill Murdoch (Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound): "Now, make no mistake, this
        issue is important. As a matter of fact, I didn't realize exactly how
        sensitive and divisive the issue would be when it was first
        introduced... Last week I spoke with John Tory by phone, followed by
        a letter requesting that he agree to either a referendum or free vote
        on the issue... I am convinced that the majority stand against faith
        based funding... you have my word that should this come before the
        legislature, as it stands today, with the majority of my riding
        opposed, I will vote against it." (Owen Sound Sun Times,
        September 24, 2007)

    2)  Rob Morley (Huron-Bruce): Last week the Conservative candidate said
        "he isn't in favour (of funding religious schools), thinks it's been
        given too high a priority and feels all faiths should be funded under
        one roof. 'We should take it all back to one system... one system for
        everyone, that's the message I'm thinking." (Kincardine News,
        September 12, 2007)

    3)  Garfield Dunlop (Simcoe North): He told the Packet and Times that
        public funding of private religious schools is "the thing I'm hearing
        most". The newspaper goes on to say: "Many Tory MPPs did not know
        religious funding would be part of the campaign," said Dunlop. "In a
        way, it caught us by surprise." (September 19, 2007)

    4)  Norm Miller (Parry Sound-Muskoka): Questioned John Tory's private
        school scheme saying: "I would say this is not something that would
        be popular." (Parry Sound North Star, August 1, 2007)

    5)  Joe Tascona (Barrie): "It's my job to listen to the views of my
        constituents and... represent those views with respect to any
        government policy... If they don't share the government's policy,
        than that's something that I would be following in terms of
        representing them." (, August 2, 2007)

    6)  Bill Vrebosh (Nipissing): Backed away from Tory's scheme saying "if
        the people of Nipissing don't agree with the (private school) policy,
        he won't either" (, September 13, 2007) and he "readily
        admits he wasn't enthused about the proposal when he first heard it
        saying: 'I'm really in a quandary here.'" (Parry Sound North Star,
        August 8, 2007)

    7)  Ted Arnott (Wellington-Halton Hills): Expressed concerns to the
        Fergus-Elora Express saying it was the wrong priority and there would
        be conditions on his support (September 13, 2007). He has previously
        said, "If we start funding private religious schools, that means less
        funding available to the public system which is open to all
        students." (Kitchener Waterloo Record, November 20, 1999)

    8)  Kevin Ashe (Ajax-Pickering): Told the Toronto Star that he is getting
        a lot of "pushback" at the doors on the issue of John Tory's
        questionable private school scheme.

    9)  Ron Swain (Algoma-Manitoulin): Said that he "doubts the notion (of
        funding private religious schools) would have any traction in...
        towns like Manitouwadge and White River." (Thunder Bay Chronicle
        Journal, September 11, 2007)

    10) Bob Runciman (Leeds-Grenville): Acknowledged that "It's not playing
        well. I am not hearing from people (who are) supportive, by and
        large." (Canadian Press, September 13, 2007)

For further information:

For further information: Ben Chin, (416) 961-3800 ext. 412,

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