------ Aylmer directly in the line of fire
Bulletin readers will already know that a private consortium was given a contract to “dispose” of Canada’s nuclear waste stockpile as cheaply and quickly as possible by Prime Minister Harper. Harper turned over to SNC-Lavalin and several American corporations (Texas) the challenge – carrying a billion-dollar price tag for Canadian taxpayers.
The project was announced for Chalk River, alongside the Ottawa River, up-stream from Aylmer, Ottawa Valley, Gatineau, Ottawa, and all downstream – well over 60 municipalities. They have all objected (except Ottawa city council). Citizen outcry was so severe, the corporations were sent back to the drawing board.
Their proposal was innovative – so innovative it broke international standards for nuclear waste disposal/storage. The international body, IAEA, said that, basically, a big landfill at the surface, covered with an untested “fabric”, along a major waterway, on an active fault line, is unacceptable.
These corporations aren’t going to drop this Cash-for-Life opportunity! Prior to Christmas, they brought out a revised Environmental Impact Statement and claim to have answered the widespread criticisms. The public watchdogs studied the changes and replied that the modifications are largely claims, for example that the waste now will not contain high-level radiation. But the firms admit they have no way to guarantee what goes into this waste – especially that shipped by truck and rail through innumerable Canadian communities from Manitoba, Quebec, and further. Multiple disasters-in-waiting?
Be clear: no one is arguing against nuclear research, nuclear medicine, nuclear power – but does Aylmer want seven football fields of nuclear waste sitting upstream on the Ottawa River? Nuclear waste must be addressed – but safely, where the geology, especially, is favourable.
Bulletin readers may be wondering why this is even an issue – yet they may be surprised to learn that the federal government plans to continue ahead with the Harper-SNC scheme and that government MPs representing ridings directly in the path of this disaster-in-waiting have refused to issue anything more than the most pious and butt-covering of remarks. Is this how they defend their constituents when the chips are down?
Pontiac’s MP Will Amos has been appointed secretary to “Science & Innovation” – perfect! Except My Amos has been missing in action on this file.
So it comes down to MP,Greg Fergus. Aylmer-Hull is directly in the line of fire for any disaster at this facility. Apart from wars and natural upheavals, the world’s greatest disasters have been nuclear. Mr. Fergus, do we want this in our back yard? Are you willing to stand up for your riding (even when against your party)? One of Mr Fergus’ most recent challengers supported the nuclear dump – and was soundly defeated.
Over to you, Greg Fergus, our most-honourable MP!