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Press Releases 2004

For Immediate Release

November 8, 2004

Liberal Math:

Estimate of Actual Program to Keep Kids in School $100 million too low.

Toronto - Dalton McGuinty announced over the weekend that the Liberal government would soon announce its program to make schooling mandatory until age 18.

When first asked how much the program would cost the Premier said he didn't know.   He then passed it off to education minister Gerard Kennedy who stated that "the new requirement, to begin as pilot projects in January in a number of unspecified school districts, would cost about $70 million a year and affect more than 25,000 students, plus an additional $30 million for expanded apprenticeship programs." (Source Toronto Star Nov. 7/04)

What is really needed is a math lesson:   The finance ministry estimates that the cost per pupil of the program would be $7800.   This gives the program a cost of $198 million.   The Halton District School Board estimates that it costs them an average of $6900 per pupil for both primary and secondary levels.   If you apply the Halton discount the program would cost $172.5 million. Add in the additional $30 million for apprenticeship programs and the cost is a cool $200 million.  

That's double the $100 million Mr. Kennedy gave.

"The basic inability of the McGuinty Liberals to give accurate costs on their announcements is a grave concern to everyone in Ontario, PC education critic Frank Klees said.   "Just like the cost of the class size cap they have grossly underestimated the financial impact - they are becoming the tax and spend Liberals of old."

"When people have had a chance to think this through, they will realize that this is just one more example of McGuinty 'spin-over-substance' politics, Klees added .



For more information please contact - Terry Ross at 416-325-7316