Nipissing First Nation – Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee says “The Anishinabek Nation stands behind the Saugeen Ojibway Nation opposing the Joint Review Panel’s recommendation to proceed with a plan to bury nuclear waste deep under Bruce County”.
Madahbee agrees with Saugeen Chief Vernon Roote that First Nations are concerned about a possible leak and the impact on future generations.
“The uncertainties and risk are too great for the Anishinabek Nation and Ontario citizens to consider,” said Grand Council Chief Madahbee. “The Anishinabek Nation passed a resolution and we have informed governments before that ‘the Anishinabek Nation will stand united and oppose any deep geological nuclear waste repositories within the Anishinabek Nation territory’.”
Ontario Power Generation proposes to bury 200,000 cubic metres of low- and intermediate- level radioactive waste from its nuclear power plants in a thick layer of limestone 680 metres below ground –about a kilometre from Lake Huron. The company says the rock is so solid and stable it will contain any possible leakage of harmful radioactivity.
Chief Roote has concerns about the future. “If something were to happen with the disposal or the leakage of nuclear waste I wouldn’t want to be drinking the water downstream,” says Roote. “That means the balance of Lake Huron, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario and also anyone drinking from those lakes, even into the U.S.A.”
According to the United Nation Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, to which Canada is signatory: States shall take effective measures to ensure that no storage or disposal of hazardous materials shall take place in the lands or territories of indigenous peoples without their free, prior and informed consent.