Ontario Chamber cranks up fight for fairness - Provides voters direct mail to leaders

    TORONTO, Sept. 11 /CNW/ - Ontario voters no longer have to wait for
voting day to send a clear message to federal party leaders about the lack of
fairness in federal funding for the province. The Ontario Chamber of Commerce
(OCC) has just made it much more immediate and easier with the launch of a
grassroots campaign called ActNowForOntario.com.
    "Federal funding for vital services is not distributed fairly in this
country. This is an issue that affects every man, woman and child in Ontario.
It affects every person who uses healthcare services, who accesses training or
unemployment insurance, who arrives as a new Canadian in Ontario, who drives
on our roads or takes our transit, who votes for a federal representative,"
explains Len Crispino, President & CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. "We
want to send a very strong and clear message that Ontario can no longer afford
to subsidize services in other parts of the country at a level higher than our
    ActNowForOntario.com provides compelling testimony to the unfair level of
federal funding and federal representation for Ontario and how that directly
affects every Ontarian. Facts are provided in videos on five issues:
healthcare, unemployment insurance, immigration, representation and
infrastructure. Each video ends with an invitation to endorse an email message
to all the federal party leaders.


    FACT:  Ontario gets 700-million less than its fair share in federal
           healthcare funding each year.
    FACT:  With that - we could hire 14-thousand more full-time nurses.
    FACT:  Federal infrastructure funding for Ontario falls 1 billion short
           of fairness.
    FACT:  A billion dollars would build a 4 lane highway from Sudbury to

    "Ontarians have always put Canada first and we're not asking them to do
any different now," adds Crispino. "The fact is that as long as Ontario
continues to receive less federal funding than its fair share, it will
continue to become weaker, roads will continue to deteriorate, and vital
services important both for quality of life and for the attraction of business
investment, will continue to suffer. As the economic engine of this country,
it's simple: A strong Canada needs a strong Ontario."
    An open letter demanding fairness for Ontario has been sent to all five
federal party leaders and the OCC is gathering allies from across the province
to raise awareness about the grassroots campaign including the network of
local chambers of commerce and boards of trade, which together speak on behalf
of 60,000 businesses across Ontario.
    Crispino emphasizes, "For too long Ontario has shouldered more than its
share. It's time to Act Now for Ontario."
    The campaign can be found at www.actnowforontario.com

    The OCC represents over 60,000 businesses through 160 local Chambers of
Commerce and Boards of Trade, and has been Ontario's business advocate since
1911. Its advocacy and policy initiatives focus on six areas key to the
economic well-being of the province: health; education; energy; finance &
taxation; transportation & infrastructure; and border issues.

For further information:

For further information: Amy Terrill, W: (416) 482-5222  ext. 241, C:
(416) 605-8205, amyterrill@occ.on.ca

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