| Jan 31, 2008

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Feature Article - January 31, 2008 John Tory remains defiant By Jeff Green

Last October’s Ontario election was anything but kind to Progressive Conservative Party leader John Tory, but he remains a defiant critic of the McGuinty government.

During a tour of Eastern Ontario last week, he granted a telephone interview to the News, and in it he sounded more like someone on the first day of an election campaign than the embattled leader of a cranky opposition party.

In discussing rural issues, he said, “There really is no economic strategy for rural Ontario. There really is no plan and you can see the communities drifting into a slow decline. They really are an afterthought for McGuinty, whose focus seems to be on the big cities.”

He made reference to what he called “silly exercises cracking down on food sold at farmers’ markets, to requirements with respect to water.”

Although he acknowledged that it was the Conservative Harris government that was responsible for municipal downloading that has led to large increases in municipal taxes over the past 10 years, he chastised the McGuinty Liberals for delaying the release of a report on changes to municipal funding until May.

“That means the report will come in after the provincial budget, so it will not do anything for another year. He came to power four years ago saying he will do something about downloading. He’s done very little, not nothing, but very little,” Tory said.

John Tory also said he will press the government on their education funding policy, which he described as unfair to rural and northern schools.

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