Letter to the Editor
To be elected -- say No to Nuclear Waste
The following statistics should demonstrate to municipal candidates across the region that it is in their best interest to publicly say no to nuclear waste.
In 1997 Thunder Bay held a plebiscite asking its citizens if they favoured the burial of nuclear waste in “The City of Thunder Bay area”. Perhaps not surprisingly, Thunder Bay citizens voted 91% against it (36,163 to 3,309). Of course, city residents know that all truck, rail, and water transportation of nuclear waste through their midst would be an ongoing, long term, threat.
On a wider front, and background to that plebiscite, a regional petition had requested public hearings before the burial of nuclear waste in the region. The petition gathered some 24,000 signatures in a NW Ontario population of about 240,000 people. Quite a feat in that this grass-roots petition was accomplished in the 1970’s -- well before digital communications.
As a result of these public statements Atomic Energy and Ontario Hydro withdrew their efforts to bury their wastes here in the ‘remote’ Northwest.
So here we are again. Despite some changes in the details of the containers, and the underground layout, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (the current voice of the nuclear industry) is pitching the same plan. This would be to bury and then to abandon the most toxic and long-lived waste humankind has ever produced.
In carrying out their plan it should be plainly obvious to us all that the NWMO is spending millions of dollars of rate-payers’ money to ‘influence’ who they have defined to be a “willing host”. What a democratic travesty that the community of Ignace gets to decide, for all of Canada, this incredibly risky and globally untried plan!
With elections in the offing, and with the awareness of the past petition and plebiscite mentioned above, I would strongly suggest to all aspiring municipal politicians to let citizens and voters know where you stand.
Peter Lang, Nuclear Free Thunder Bay, and We The Nuclear Free North