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Press Releases 2004

 

FRANK KLEES, M.P.P.

Oak Ridges

For Immediate Release

                                                                                                                              October 28, 2004

MPP ACCUSES EDUCATION MINISTER OF IGNORING HEALTH THREATS TO KIDS

(Queen's Park) - Oak Ridges MPP, Frank Klees today took the proposed York Region Hydro One corridor debate to the floor of the legislature.

Citing warnings of potential health risks to the 530 children and staff at the St. Monica Catholic Elementary School, Klees accused Education Minister Gerard Kennedy of abdicating his responsibility by ignoring appeals for help by concerned parents.

"Why have you consciously and repeatedly washed your hands of any responsibility for the health and safety of those children?   You have been confronted with the potential health risks of electromagnetic fields resulting from Hydro One's plans to increase the voltage capacity of the transmission lines adjacent to the school, and the best you can do is to say it's not your responsibility," challenged Klees during the legislature's Question Period.

Klees referred to studies of childhood cancer by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which classified EMF as "possibly carcinogenic."   He pointed out that a recent UK survey found that young children living within 100 metres of high voltage power lines have twice the risk of developing leukemia.

Kennedy refused to answer, choosing to refer the question to Energy Minister Dwight Duncan who avoided the health issue altogether.

Kennedy also refused to agree to Klees' demands that the minister register a formal objection to the Hydro One proposal as part of the Environmental Assessment process, and refused Klees' request that he meet with parents at the school.

"This Minister of Education can find the time to micro-manage the vending machines in our schools, to appoint himself Ontario's Official Parent, and he considers installing security cameras in every school a priority, but he is not willing to advocate for the health and safety of the children and staff at this school," said Klees after hearing the minister's response.

Klees exercised his rights under the legislature's Rules of Order to demand a separate debate on this issue, claiming that he was not satisfied with the minister's response.

Klees has also tabled 7 specific questions on this issue in the legislature to which the Ministry of Education is required by parliamentary rules to respond to in writing within 24 sitting days.

Klees will be posting the responses on his website at www.frank-klees.on.ca .

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For further information:

Contact Terry Ross

(416)-325-7316

Attachments: Orders and Notices - Ministry of Education