WENDAKE, QC, May 2, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ – As per stated in its position on Energy, the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL) reconfirmed today its firm opposition to radioactive waste transport and storage on First Nations ancestral lands. Ratsénhaienhs Chief Clinton Phillips, from the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake, joined other First Nations leaders today, in Lac Leamy, Quebec, to state that position on behalf of AFNQL.
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission recently approved the transport of 23 thousand liters (6,000 gallons) of radioactive liquid to be transported by a series of 100 to 150 trucks from the Chalk River reactor, northwest of Ottawa to an American site in South Carolina (a route of over 2,000 km). The Iroquois Caucus, the Anishinabek Nation, the Chiefs of Ontario and the AFNQL have joined efforts today to denounce such a plan that would allow hazardous material to cross the Anishinabek and Mohawk ancestral lands.
“Their plan is to remove to ‘old’ waste that has been stored on-site since it opened. There is also a plan to bury the waste deep beneath the surface. Unfortunately, the planned site is next to the Ottawa River, where the Chalk River Site is located. We are absolutely against this plan. We invite our peoples, political leadership and other groups to join the consensus to oppose such a potentially damaging plan made out without even consulting us. Just a few ounces of this material could ruin an entire city’s water supply. We will not let this happen”, declared Chief Ratsénhaienhs Clinton Phillips, who holds the Environment Portfolio on behalf of the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake.
“AFNQL Chiefs have made it crystal clear: nuclear waste storage and transportation is not an option for current generations, nor for future ones. Health, social and environmental costs would be too high. Only industries would benefit from such projects, leaving the population living with the impacts of their activities. We cannot afford to risk yet another disaster, as we believe in our responsibility as stewards of our lands”, said the Chief of the AFNQL, Ghislain Picard.
As per constitutional law and the principles of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, any development or project on First Nations ancestral lands must be approved by the concerned First Nation government.
About the AFNQL
The Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador is the political organization of 43 Chiefs of the First Nations in Quebec and Labrador. www.apnql-afnql.com