Ontario is still rejecting John Tory's weak judgment and private school scheme

    TORONTO, Oct. 2 /CNW/ - John Tory's weak judgment and his scheme to rip
$500 million out of publicly funded schools for private religious schools is
still being rejected across the province.

    Tory flip-flop a desperate move

    "What on earth was he thinking? That's the question that must be on the
minds of just about every Progressive Conservative strategist, most candidates
in next week's election and many voters tempted to vote PC but turned off by
John Tory's stance on funding...Even though it's rather late in the game, the
Tories might want to craft a new strategy in a big hurry, since their leader
has just committed the mother of all flip-flops and broken a key election
promise even before election day. Whatever the case, the Tories clearly made a
massive miscalculation about the extent to which Ontarians are uncomfortable
with this idea... This is a bad idea because it will fracture public
education, and could result in a form of educational segregation that would
not serve the majority of Ontarians... For John Tory and his party, it's hard
to imagine how this move will appear anything but desperate and indecisive.

        -  Howard Elliott, Hamilton Spectator, October 2, 2007

    John Tory's missed opportunity

    "Sorry John, that's not going to do it. PC leader John Tory's promise of a
free vote on faith-based school funding will do little to defuse the
controversial issue... The promise of a free vote doesn't change the channel,
it just blurs the picture. Now voters don't know what they will get if they
elect a PC government. Would Tory's party members vote for the issue, or
against it? The simplest solution for those who don't want to bring these
schools into public education is still to vote for a party that's against the
idea. "

        -  Randall Denley, Ottawa Citizen, October 2, 2007

    Knives out in Conservative quarters as Tory backs down on faith-based

    "Within hours of Mr. Tory's announcement, the knives were out in some
Conservative quarters. One long-time Tory said the decision 'reinforces' the
impression among some that Mr. Tory has bad judgment. 'The rest of his
policies are all so mushy,' said the source. 'It didn't give him any place to
go when he came forward with the faith-based thing. Here's one big policy and
the rest is all so vague and mush that he didn't have an escape hatch.' 'All
anyone's ever talked about is this faith-based school thing. They don't even
turn the page on it.' Some Conservatives are already talking about leadership
successors to Mr. Tory, in fact."

        -  CanWest News Service, October 1, 2007

    Free vote won't solve Tory's problem

    "How does Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory's latest promise to
hold a "free vote" on whether to publicly fund non-Catholic faith-based
schools help him, exactly? People still don't know whether electing a
Conservative government means there will be funding or not...Time is running
out. With nine days left until the vote, people are still talking about Tory's
stand on funding for faith-based schools...
    "Tory's announcement yesterday means the issue will continue to dog him
for several more days, particularly since last week he rejected a free vote,
saying it was a matter of principle... Tory's even bigger problem, in my view,
is what his handling of this issue says about his political judgment, none of
it good. Clearly, he had no idea the issue would blow up on him and his early
prediction voters would come around hasn't happened... Tory chose the policy
that gave McGuinty an opening and couldn't defend it. Now it may cost him the
election and his own bid to unseat Education Minister Kathleen Wynne in Don
Valley West."

        -  Lorrie Goldstein, Toronto Sun, October 2, 2007

For further information:

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

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