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The Hamilton Spectator
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Tuesday October 2, 2007
Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory will, if elected premier, allow a free vote in the Legislature on his controversial plan of funding for religious schools.

Tory, whose election campaign has been hindered by the proposal, made the announcement during a speech at the Economic Club of Toronto on Monday afternoon.

Tory said his plan to spend $400 million to bring private religious schools under the public umbrella will only proceed after "extensive public consultation and support from Ontarians through their elected representatives."

"MPPs will be allowed a free vote so that they are at liberty to vote with their conscience and represent the wishes of constituents," he said.

While Tory still strongly supports his idea because "it is a matter of fairness to all voters," he said the issue has become too divisive, and he had to address the public's concerns.

His proposal has been widely unpopular among voters and even created divisions within his own party ahead of the Oct. 10 election.

Earlier Monday, Tory held a conference call with all of the party's candidates, many of whom have complained about how much voters dislike the idea. Source.

Tory backtracks on vote for religious school funds
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