Issue is far more than jobs and money (December 2012)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 2:15:38 EST PM


Editor:

Our Town Council voted on November 26, 2012 to move Saugeen Shores to Step 3 of the NWMO process towards accepting a Deep Geological Repository or “nuclear dump” for all of the highly radioactive nuclear spent fuel from all of the nuclear power plants across Canada.

The process that the NWMO has created in order to locate this dump is fatally flawed. It is undeniably undemocratic. Locating the most toxic poison humans have ever created – beside our Great Lakes – defies common sense. Allowing this decision to be made by the residents of a small Ontario town completely ignores the rights of 40 million people who use the fresh water of the Great Lakes for their drinking water.

This issue is about far more than jobs and money for our town. It is about protection of our precious natural resource – the water of the Great Lakes – from potential contamination from lethal nuclear waste from a nuclear waste dump located anywhere in the Great Lakes Basin.

Our Mayor, our Town Council, and many of our citizens have failed to recognize that this is not an issue that is even remotely appropriate for Saugeen Shores residents to decide.

It is very important for all of us to put this issue in perspective. This is not a Saugeen Shores issue. Nor is it a Bruce County issue. It is not even an Ontario issue. This is a national issue. In fact, this is an international issue, with serious ramifications. The crux of this issue is about the protection of our Great Lakes.

As this issue gains national exposure, we will come to see that the process of potentially allowing the people who live in this town to decide the location of a DGR for all of Canada’s high level nuclear waste, and to make the decision for 40 million people who use the Great Lakes for their fresh drinking water, will be unacceptable to the Canadian and American people. All of the acrimony, destruction of friendships, and division amongst family members that has taken place in our town are extremely regrettable, and will be for naught. It is unlikely that the Canadian and American public will permit the location of a nuclear waste dump close to the Great Lakes.

The question that remains is this: What actions should we, the people of Saugeen Shores, take – as honorable, trustworthy, caring Canadians – to provide a shining example of responsible leadership, and responsible stewardship for the Great Lakes? We can and must think beyond our own interests – of profit, of jobs and money – and make our children, our grandchildren, our families, our neighbours, and our fellow Canadians proud.

As our Canadian National anthem heralds, we pledge to “stand on guard for thee”, Canada. Standing up and for that which is our duty to protect – the Great Lakes – is within our reach.

 Beverly Fernandez
Saugeen Shores

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