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Feisty first debate

(PETERBOROUGH) Andrew Hoag left Tuesday night’s all-candidates debate worried for his family’s health, for the value of his property, for the eye sore that could be a wind turbine planted beside his home.
And dissatisfied with how these concerns were addressed by those vying to represent him at Queen’s Park.
Wind turbines were a recurring topic among the four main issues up for debate at Peterborough’s Lions Community Centre, where the first all-candidates meeting in the provincial election campaign was hosted by the local realtor and homebuilder associations.
“We’re not trying to stop anybody from having alternative energy in Ontario. We’re asking that it is implemented safely,” said Mr. Hoag, community member and wildlife artist.
He noted a lot of people will be affected if the plan is approved and says he is certain there will be adverse health affects.
“Our own Ministry of Environment (MOE) has stated that if they put the turbines in at 550 metres, there will be adverse health affects.
“The liberal Australian government just did their own independent health studies and their outcome was the turbine should not be any more than two kilometres from a house and five kilometres from a rural town. We’re only getting 550 metres,” he said.
When the microphones were open for a question period, Mr. Hoag relayed this information to Liberal incumbent Jeff Leal, asking his position.
He said he was disappointed when the Liberal candidate’s only comment was that the MOE looked it over.
“He simply did not answer the question.”
This was a common frustration at the Burnham Street meeting, resulting in angry objections and snide remarks from several attendees before the moderator firmly interjected that the October 6 election candidates may respond however they choose.
Other topics the candidates were asked to discuss included the land transfer tax rebate, renewal of the ecoENERGY Retrofit Homes program for improving energy performance of homes and the underground economy and illegal renovations.
Much of the two-hour meeting was allocated for fielding questions about issues such as the wind turbines, taxes, uploading costs from municipalities, pensions, jobs, unemployment rate, Wi-Fi in schools, commuter rail service and the Highway 407 toll road.
Mr. Leal noted there are some issues on which you cannot spend enough money.
The DBIA’s debate is next Tuesday (Sept. 20), at Showplace Peterborough, from 6:30 to 7 p.m.