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Press Releases 2005

January 27, 2005

For Immediate Release

 

KLEES:  BROKEN PROMISE CAUSES RURAL SCHOOL CRISIS

 

(Queen's Park)              Frank Klees, M.P.P., Conservative Education Critic today accused the McGuinty government of breaking yet another promise.   This time to rural Ontario by reneging on funding to rural schools, forcing many to be closed.  

Following a press conference held by People for Education at Queen's Park, during which Executive Director Annie Kidder referred to rural and small schools in the province as being "in crisis", Klees pointed out that during the 2003 election campaign McGuinty pronounced that he would be the 'Education Premier', and that he promised $177 million to keep rural schools open.

"Dalton McGuinty stated clearly that the source of the funds to fulfill this promise would come from repealing the Equity in Education Tax Credit and cancellation of the Property Tax Credit for seniors." said Klees.    "He certainly cancelled the education tax credit, in fact retroactively, and he certainly repealed the senior citizens tax credit.   Where is the money for rural schools?"

McGuinty promised, on September 17, 2003 to introduce a new funding formula to "recognize the unique characteristics of small schools in a rural community".   Klees also questions why the current Education Minister has failed to deliver on this promise as well.

Klees commended the work of People for Education in having prepared what he referred to as "a practical and reasonable set of recommendations for the government".

"I have always maintained that our schools should be seen as a focal point of our communities.   This is especially true in rural Ontario.   They are struggling on so many fronts today.   When you take away their school, you're cutting at the heart of their community.    I believe the recommendations proposed by People for Education captures the essence of that focus." said Klees.

"We continue to hear rhetoric from the Education Minister about peace and stability in our schools.   That rhetoric is wearing thin on many fronts.   To hear Ms. Kidder refer today to a 'crisis' in our small schools, to hear yesterday of principals expressing concern for the safety of students in our schools because of job actions, to hear record strike mandates across the province does not translate into either peace or stability," Klees stated.

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For further information:

Frank Klees, MPP

905-707-3160