The north is not the south’s garbage dump (Elliot Lake)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011 3:30:32 EST PM, Elliot Lake Standard

I was appalled to see on the front page of The Standard (Nov. 2) that William Elliott, of the regional association for business development (ELNOS) is proposing that the storage of spent nuclear fuel rods would be a boon to those people who are looking for jobs.

Certainly jobs, good, well-paid jobs are very important, but are we so desperate that the only industry this group can think of is to store spent nuclear rods along with uranium. This has a cynical ring to it.

Is the north of Canada useful only for storing the garbage from the south that is not wanted in their own backyards? Just because the area has a history of mining (a dangerous operation at any time; just look at the monument to the miners in Elliot Lake). Those men who died or were injured are heroes, but is working for one’s daily bread an activity that should require heroism? I do not think so. There are many other ways to create employment.

In the same issue of The Standard there was a description of using solar panels in the new solar project for the Town of Blind River’s community centre. This, as it should be, is aided by a substantial government loan and will employ local residents.

Prime Minister Harper appears to be interested in developing the north and that is a good thing since most of Canada is the north with its more fragile ecosystem; and the government should move carefully so as to improve life for all northern people.

Our undeveloped north is a treasure we should not thoughtlessly squander.

Indigenous people in the north of Canada have used the north for sustenance for up to 30,000 years without destroying it. Who are these latecomers who, between spent nuclear rods and increasing the mining of powdered uranium?

Jobs, yes. That should be a top priority, but surely the government can think of something safer and more creative than having northerners distinguishable by the fact that we glow in the dark.

Glenna L. Will,

Elliot Lake