----- Will Amos winks at radioactivity concerns
During a zoom “town hall” by the LaPêche Coalition for a Green New Deal, September 8, I asked William Amos, MP Pontiac, if he would press his government to implement a National Nuclear Waste Management Strategy to bring Canada into line with international standards. Would he ask his government to “pause” the “Near Surface Nuclear Waste Facility” at Chalk River and the development of additional reactors?
He said he has been misrepresented as: “just sit back and let the Regulator carry out its process." But he has said little to refute the accuracy of this.
Mr Amos confirmed the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC)'s is responsible for assessing nuclear projects and that their mandate is to enforce the Environmental Protection Act against toxins; he implied that the EPA and the Commission can be trusted to protect public safety. He completely ignored the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)'s criticisms of the CNSC and its call for Canada to bring its sub-standard nuclear regulations up to international standards. He also ignored the CNSC's lack of impartiality in regulating the industry.
Clearly the CNSC fails to meet IAEA standards for nuclear disposal (eg. never beside important waterways, close to large populations!), and its pro-industry bias means every proposal gets approved. CNSC's President -- named by the Trudeau government -- promotes the industry openly and advocated for exemption of small nuclear reactors from any environmental assessment at all, even though they are already not required to plan for disposal of their wastes or the decommissioning of their facilities. Mr Amos has never explained why he thinks it okay that his government entrust SNC Lavalin and its US partners with Canada's waste management in the absence of a national strategy or adequate safety laws. He repeatedly implies the CNSC process will safeguard public safety and the environment, ignoring all these realities.
Mr Amos: why should citizens trust that a biased CNSC, operating in a weak regulatory context, will protect public health over the profitable proliferation of extremely dirty and costly energy?
Yes, citizens can submit their concerns to the CNSC; he encouraged us to do so and advised that the government provides financing to the Algonquin people and Ottawa River Keepers so they could do just that. But in a weak regulatory context, how likely is that to change the outcome? SNC Lavalin is stockpiling nuclear waste already at Chalk River, so sure are they of being approved, while Mr Amos' government and the CNSC turn a blind eye.
Mr Amos once again confirmed his position on this dangerous project--with the one proviso: you can write to the CNSC. There is a process in place and we should trust it. Forget the rest. He told us he’s okay with that.
Shouldn't we be concerned about such a stance?
(NOTE: Ms Giroux was the NDP's Pontiac candidate in the last election.)