Agriculture and tourism are the key economic drivers in Northumberland-Peterborough South.
It’s a little more than 3,000 sq. km in size, made up largely of rural farmland.
Some 107,000 people live in this riding, which stretches from Clarington to Brighton, along the lakeshore, and north to Norwood.
The townships of Asphodel-Norwood and Otonabee-South Monaghan are new to this riding, formerly known as Northumberland-Quinte West, while the City of Quinte West has been removed.
The riding has been Liberal red since 2014, when Lou Rinaldi returned to Queen’s Park for his second term.
Rinaldi is back as the incumbent. David Piccini, formerly of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, is the Progressive Conservative candidate. Jana Papuckoski, a union member and activist, is running for the NDP. Jeff Wheeldon, a real estate agent, is the Green party candidate.
“Health care and education seem to always be the front-runner. We have an aging population here. The older we get, the more we need the service that people deserve,” Rinaldi said.
“They’re concerned by the skyrocketing hydro bills, tax increases and businesses are leaving. We’ve lost 350,000 manufacturing jobs (in Ontario). We need to create a competitive and friendly economy to attract business,” Piccini said.
“Hydro and health care (are the main issues). Not enough people have doctors. Long waiting lists for long-term care. Home care is a mess,” Papuckoski said.
“The big issue is trust in our political system. A lot of people feel the system has let them down. A lot feel this election is more about what they don’t like than what they do,” Wheeldon said.
Also running in this riding are Paul Cragg as an independent. Derek Sharp is running for the Trillium party and John O’Keefe is a Libertarian.
The Ontario election is June 7.