McGuinty Steps Up Battle To Defend Publicly Funded Schools

    Vows Ontario Liberals Will Protect The Education Of Two Million Kids

    MARKHAM, ON, Sept. 17 /CNW/ - Premier Dalton McGuinty took the fight to
protect publicly funded education directly to students today, telling St.
Augustine's Catholic High School why he's convinced it's the right thing to
    "We've worked hard and we've worked together to get our schools back on
their feet - and there's no way I'm cutting half a billion dollars from public
education," the Premier said.
    "We're not going back to cuts. And we're not going back to conflict."
    In an impassioned speech, McGuinty explained why he believes that
publicly funded education must come first for Ontario, above all
considerations. He acknowledged that his late father, who also served in the
Legislature, took a different view.
    "I've wrestled with this, from every angle, for a long time," he
    "I have a responsibility to do what is in the public interest."
    There are historic and constitutional reasons for the publicly funded
system Ontario has now, McGuinty said.
    "But, for me, the overriding principle here is an ethical one," he told
the students.
    "Our publicly funded schools went through a great deal of turmoil for
more than a dozen years - under the NDP, who reduced spending in tough times,
and the Conservatives, who decided to take on teachers and school boards, even
in good times. It would be unfair, to the two million kids in our publicly
funded schools today, to put you through what they went through.
    "And that's what would happen if we diverted half a billion dollars out
of publicly funded schools and gave it to private religious schools."
    While the Conservatives would take Ontario backwards with more disruptive
cuts to funding, Ontario Liberals will "focus our resources, and our resolve,
on improving our publicly funded schools."

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: Ontario Liberal Party Media Relations, (416)
961-3800 Ext. 386

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