Conservative Leader John Tory launched an attack on Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty on Sunday, calling him the worst political promise-keeper in modern times.

Tory's comments were made during a press conference in Toronto, designed to highlight the pledge-keeping track record of the Ontario Liberals.

"Mr. McGuinty's track record in this regard has been pathetic,'' Tory said on Sunday.

"There has been no leader in modern times in politics in Canada, maybe even the world, I've suggested, who has this record of saying things.''

Among the most significant on Tory's laundry list of failed pledges, was McGunity's 2003 campaign promise to not increase taxes.

The Liberal government introduced the health-care premium in 2004, which has effectively cost each working Ontarian $900.

Tory labeled the tax as the "ultimate broken promise" and said if elected, his government would abolish the levy by injecting $8.5 billion into the province's system.

The Conservative leader said Ontarians need to believe that their leaders are true to their word.

"People want to know if you say you're going to do something that you're going to do it,'' Tory said.

"With each broken promise, he did far more than demonstrate his own lack of credibility, he also undermined the credibility of the office he holds and trust in our political institutions as a whole,'' he said.

Heading into the 31-day campaign period, McGuinty defended the tax saying his government needed to compensate for the $5.6-billion deficit it inherited from the previous Conservative government.

The Liberal leader said the province simply can't afford to do away with the health tax despite a running a surplus this year.

McGuinty chose to mark the eve of the Ontario election campaign by declaring public education his top priority.

"As the Premier of Ontario, my responsibility is to champion public education," McGuinty said on Sunday.

McGuinty made the announcement in Tory's riding of Don Valley West and took aim at the Conservative leader's controversial proposal to fund faith-based schools.

"When we win this riding and when we win this election, we're going to win more than just another government,'' McGuinty said.

"We're going to win the fight for public education.''

He said Tory's plan to bring religious schools into the public realm is ill-advised and a victory for the Liberals would be a victory for public education in Ontario.

Proponents of faith-based education contend funding only Catholic schools in the province amounts to discrimination for other religious communities.

"By not funding non-Catholic faith-based schools, there is going to be social unrest. This is discrimination against non-Catholics," Gila Martow of the Multi-Faith Coalition told CTV News on Sunday.

With a report from CTV's Chris Eby and files from the Canadian Press