THUNDER BAY – Politics – Following up on a successful series of public meetings in South-Central and Northeastern Ontario, Thunder Bay-Superior North MP and Green Party Deputy Leader Bruce Hyer is launching public meetings across Northwestern Ontario on the issue of nuclear waste.
“Issues surrounding the storage and disposal of nuclear waste, more nuclear power plants, and limits on the liability owed to the public regarding nuclear accidents will affect taxpayers across Canada, including Northwestern Ontario citizens,” said Hyer. “Most of the permanent nuclear storage sites under consideration are in our region, and communities have been promised jobs and economic stimulus in exchange for hosting 50,000 tonnes of Southern Ontario’s nuclear waste.”
“The Nuclear Waste Management Organization has not chosen to consult adequately with all communities. Therefore, I am consulting with as many communities and people as possible,” noted Hyer. “I’m interested in hearing from local residents: do they think taking this radioactive waste will mean jobs, or a big risk? Should communities along the shipping routes for these nuclear wastes – whether shipped by road, rail, or on the Great Lakes – have a say?”
The federal government recently tabled C-22, the Nuclear Liability and Compensation Act, which sets an absolute limit of $1-billion liability for nuclear operators and liability thresholds of $30 to $40 million for energy companies and offshore shippers of nuclear waste. The bill has encountered controversy in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, which Japanese officials estimate will cost between $31 and $58 billion to clean up, and the $42 billion Deepwater Horizon offshore disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
Upcoming public meetings include:
• Terrace Bay Nuclear Waste Meeting: 7:00pm, Wed., March 19. Recreation Centre, 1 Selkirk Ave.
• Marathon Nuclear Waste Meeting: 7:00pm, Thurs., March 20. Zero-100 Motor Inn, 21 Peninsula Rd
• Nipigon Nuclear Waste Meeting: 7:00pm Friday, March 21. Community Centre, 138 Wadsworth Ave.
Constituents were also asked to provide input to questions in 1-page “Letter to Constituents” and newspaper survey which ran in the Saturday, March 15th edition of Thunder Bay’s Chronicle-Journal newspaper. Failing that, residents could send their comments directly to the MP at email@example.com.
Public meetings in Thunder Bay and Greenstone are upcoming.