Fact Check: Conservatives on the North

    QUEEN'S PARK, ON, Aug. 23 /CNW/ - This morning, John Tory released his
'strategy' for Northern Ontario. However, what he conveniently failed to
mention was that Northern Ontario is still recovering from the eight years
that his Conservative party was in power.

    Remember, the Conservatives:

    -  Didn't have a single Minister of Northern Development that was
       actually from the North;
    -  Cut northern highway spending by $20 million dollars - 17.2% - upon
       taking office;
    -  Closed 42 Ministry of Natural Resources offices in the North between
       1995 and 1999 - more than half of all the offices they closed were in
       Northern Ontario;
    -  Moved thousands of government jobs from Northern communities to
       Southern Ontario - the same jobs they say they'll move back now - and
       did little to help create new ones;
    -  Cut Northern health care: they closed hospitals, fired nurses and did
       little to locate more doctors in the North - 20 more Northern
       communities were designated as underserviced under their watch; and,
    -  Closed 25 of the North's schools.

    On the other hand, in four short years, Ontario Liberals have:

    -  Improved Northern highways by investing more than $1.8 billion over
       five years in highway expansions and improvements through the Northern
       Ontario Highways Strategy;
    -  Invested over $262 million since October 2003 through the Northern
       Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, that has leveraged over $835
       million for job creation in the north. So far, this has created or
       sustained over 8,000 jobs; and,
    -  Made more than $1 billion in assistance available to the forestry
       industry over five years.

    The Ontario Liberal Party is the only party that understands the needs
and concerns of Northern Ontarians.

For further information:

For further information: Bill Mauro, MPP, (807) 673-9237; Michael
Gravelle, MPP, (807) 345-3647

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