Smitherman challenges Tory: Stand up and vote

    TORONTO, April 10 /CNW/ - Deputy Premier George Smitherman has issued a
challenge to Conservative Leader John Tory: stand up and vote.
    Today, Ontario MPPs will vote on the McGuinty Liberal budget. But,
Conservative John Tory plans to skip out in a weak bid to avoid the vote.
    "This is a balanced budget that invests in Ontario children. John Tory
should stand in his place and vote on the budget," said Smitherman. "I
challenge him to show up to work and vote on the budget."
    Smitherman noted Tory's public schedule says he will be in Toronto,
flying out to Thunder Bay late this afternoon for a fundraising dinner.
    "This is a test of leadership. Will John Tory stand up at 1:30pm and vote
for Ontario children or will he instead hide out so that he can line his own
coffers?" said Smitherman.
    Last month when Tory was asked to name one initiative in the McGuinty
Liberal budget that he would reverse, Tory said, "I can't think of one I would
    "This is a good budget. We have a balanced budget that helps Ontario
children with a new Ontario Child Benefit, boosts investments in our schools,
our hospitals and our communities," said Smitherman. "To skip the vote is a
symbol of a weak leader who can't control his caucus. The Conservatives would
rather return to the days of cuts to public schools and public hospitals."
    All three parties have known for more than a week when the final budget
vote would occur.

For further information:

For further information: Christine McMillan, Tel. (416) 325-3670,

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