SK 800 kilometre Walk Heats Up Nuclear Waste Controversy

SK 800 kilometre Walk Heats Up Nuclear Waste Controversy

Postby Oscar » Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:52 am

Saskatchewan: 800 kilometre Walk Heats Up Nuclear Waste Controversy

From: Gordon Edwards
Sent: Monday, August 01, 2011 6:38 PM

Background:

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is owned and operated by the three utility companies that run nuclear power reactors in Canada: Ontario Power Generation (OPG) with 22 reactors, Hydro Quebec with 1 reactor, and the New Brunswick Power Corporation with 1 reactor.
These three provincial government-owned corporations are responsible for producing almost all of Canada's high-level radioactive waste in the form of irradiated nuclear fuel. (Smaller amounts are produced by research reactors at Chalk River, Ontario, owned by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), and by reactors at various universities -- notably McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.)
NWMO is currently courting some of the economically deprived communities in Northern Saskatchewan, hoping to find a town whose leaders will accept with open arms the nuclear garbage from power reactors that light up the cities in Southern Ontario and other less disadvantaged places.
The nuclear industry regards radioactive waste as a serious public relations problem that threatens to impede the expansion of the industry; thus NWMO has a built-in conflict of interest – the desire to make it seem as if the radioactive waste has gone away and will no longer pose a threat to the ecosphere for millions of years to come.
Despite the seductive lure of "economic development" and the unremitting pro-nuclear propaganda that accompanies it, despite the one-sided and partial explanation of long-term nuclear waste management that routinely omits any discussion of plutonium extraction or the health effects of chronic radiation exposure, a courageous group of people from Northern Saskatchewan are walking 800 km to express their opposition to a nuclear waste dump in Saskatchewan.
Citizens of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and other parts of Canada and the world have an opportunity to express their solidarity with these brave marchers.
Send messages of support to Jim Harding: hardingd@sasktel.net , with a copy to me at: ccnr@web.ca
Jim will relay those messages of support to the leaders of the march, and I will ensure that those same messages reach our political representatives in Ottawa.
Gordon Edwards, President
Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility
www.ccnr.org

= = = = = =

800 KM WALK HEATS UP NUCLEAR WASTE CONTROVERSY

BY Jim Harding
For publication in R-Town News chain – August 5, 2011

Much has happened since the Forum for Truth on Nuclear Waste Storage was held in Beauval June 2nd. Organized in two weeks by the newly-formed Committee for Future Generations, the forum was attended by 200 people, most from ten northern communities. Within a few weeks committee members had organized a second forum, held in Pinehouse July 26th. The next day thirty northerners left Pinehouse to begin a twenty day, 7000 Generations Walk Against Nuclear Waste, which will end up at the Regina Legislature.
The 800 km walk will pass through twelve communities, with rallies in Prince Albert on August 3nd, Saskatoon on August 8th and Regina August 15th. On August 16th the walk will go down The Green Mile along Albert Street to present petitions to the Wall government. Organizers are encouraging supporters to join in the walk wherever they can and for however long they can. Several carloads are expected to join the walkers at Lumsden the morning of August 15th.
This is no small feat and walkers are bound to be tested by this summer’s extreme weather. First Nations, Métis, environmental and ecumenical networks are providing lodging, food and support along the route. This is an unprecedented event, with northerners calling for southern support to win a nuclear waste ban.
The mainstream media is finally reporting the growing opposition to a nuclear dump in the north. Provincial politics is heating up and the nuclear waste controversy may yet become a fall election issue. The NDP, which has a policy against a nuclear dump, has now indicated it will support the walk. We will see whether this resonates with the voting public or is seen as getting on the band wagon late in the game. Organizers want support from any and all groups that are willing to help; it’s a politically non-partisan action.

NWMO’S RESPONSE

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO), which has been promoting a nuclear dump In the north, appears to have changed its approach since the success of the Beauval forum. On July 21st, a week prior to the July 26th Pinehouse forum, NWMO’s Communications Director, Jamie Robinson, contacted the Committee for Future Generations, the Coalition for a Clean Green Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Environmental Society (SES). It invited members to come on an all-expense paid tour “to a waste management facility at a nuclear generating station in South Ontario where used nuclear fuel is currently stored on an interim basis.” NWMO said it wanted to “hear their concerns and questions and to provide a briefing about our activities.”
These tours are regularly given to political officials and business groups to try to get them onside. The timing of this invitation to opponents of a nuclear dump is most interesting, for it came after the NWMO declined to send anyone to the Beauval forum. This was the largest, broadest-based discussion of nuclear wastes to occur in the north to date, and would have been an opportune time for them to hear “concerns and questions”. (The forum organizers wanted the industry view presented and when no one turned up they bent over backwards and played two NWMO videos at the beginning of the meeting.)
NWMO’s invitation could have created divisions, but on July 25th the Committee simply responded “we are unable to attend at this time as we are extremely busy with our forum in Pinehouse and our 7000 Generations Walk to the legislature in Regina.” We’ll have to wait and see whether the offer to take people opposed to a nuclear dump here, to Ontario, where the wastes are produced and should be stored, still stands after the summer’s activities.

TRANSPARENCY REQUIRED

The Committee for Future Generations has been calling for more transparency from NWMO; they want to know what money is going into the north as part of its promotions. A July 27th Star Phoenix story sheds some light on this, reporting that “Resources of up to $75,000 per community were made available for expenses incurred at this stage of the selection process…” The story fails, however, to mention the $1,000,000 that went to the FSIN or the $400,000 that went to the Métis Nation.
The Committee has also been asking NWMO what payments have been going to the hand-picked elders that are “advising” it. When pushed on this, NWMO’s Toronto-based spokesman, Michael Krizanc, admitted they received “a per diem that would be several hundred dollars a day”. That means that when NWMO-appointed elder, Jim Sinclair, for example, goes to any community forum to try to convince people to consider a nuclear dump, he is getting paid. Such monetary inducements completely go against the meaning of “duty to consult” and “informed consent”.
There’s a lot of twisting of words in this controversy. Pinehouse official Glen McCallum suggests that the community is “just interested in gathering information”, yet village officials haven’t contacted people outside the industry, and it took forming the Committee for Future Generations to get an open public forum in the community. It’s hard to accept that “there is no coercion” going on behind the scene. Industry spokesperson Krizanc says NWMO wants an “informed and willing” community to display its willingness in a “compelling” way, but then adds “we haven’t defined what a compelling way is yet”. What is compelling is the growing opposition to a nuclear dump!

MANIPULATION EXPOSED

Those working behind the scene may be getting nervous. Pinehouse spokesperson, Vince Natomagan, had an op ed in the July 28th Star Phoenix, just the day after the 7000 Generations Walk left his community. He attacked the June 2nd Beauval forum as sending a “fear-based, short-sighted message”, while failing to say anything about the opposition to a nuclear dump expressed at the July 26th Pinehouse forum . Natomagan tried to make the SES sound like it supported his position, without mentioning that the SES supports a ban on nuclear wastes in Saskatchewan. Natomagan supported Jim Sinclair, who was heckled at the Beauval forum, without mentioning that Sinclair was actually applauded when he started his speech by opposing a nuclear dump. Sinclair then flip-flopped and ended up supporting a dump as if that was the way to help the next generation avoid addiction, suicide and prison. Many present were aghast!
Such manipulation of the deep concern about the social crisis in the north may be backfiring. One of the founders of the Committee for Future Generations, retired RCMP officer, Max Morin, told the Star Phoenix he “was invited to be part of an elder’s summit focused on problems of death and addiction among the community’s youth. Two hours in, the meeting turned out to be a presentation on nuclear waste storage set up by those working with NWMO.”
Northern Saskatchewan remains the second poorest region in all of Canada in spite of the uranium mining “boom”, and bringing 20,000 truckloads of highly radioactive nuclear wastes to the north will not change the highly inequitable pattern of mal-development. A new, sustainable path will need to be charted. Natomagan talks rhetorically about “standing up straight and making an informed decision”. The northerners walking from Pinehouse to Regina are not only standing up for the future of the north but for the future of the whole province.
Jim Harding is a retired professor of environmental and justice studies who is active with Kairos and the Coalition for a Clean Green Saskatchewan.

Other articles:
http://jimharding.brinkster.net

- - - - - -

7000 Generations Walk Against Nuclear Waste

MORE INFO:
http://www.cleangreensask.ca/

= = = = = = = =

Spread the word! Join us! Bring a friend!

7000 Generations Walk Arrives in Prince Albert Media Release

The 7000 Generations Walk arrives in Prince Albert on Tuesday August 2.
The Committee for 7000 Generations has organized an 820 kilometre march against nuclear waste storage and transportation in Saskatchewan. On August 3 the walkers and supporters will gather at 9:30 a.m. Food ‘N Fuel at the Nordale corner and walk to City Hall where they will be welcomed to the city from 12:00 pm-2:00 pm. A social, featuring Leonard Adam, Violet Naytowhow and Liza Brown, will take place at the Union Centre at 7:00 P.M. the same day. The 7000 Generations Walk will continue on August 4 to Duck Lake and Batoche and will arrive in Regina on August 16.
The 7000 Generations Walk seeks to raise awareness among Saskatchewan citizens about the planned nuclear waste dump as proposed by the Nuclear Waste Management Committee (NWMO) The NWMO, a nuclear industry controlled committee, is working with three communities in northern Saskatchewan in an attempt to find a “willing host” for a site that will store high level radioactive nuclear waste which is being produced in nuclear reactors located in New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario.
The storage and transportation of high-level radioactive waste presents huge environmental and health risks to the community that may be the site of the nuclear waste dump and to all communities that are on the transportation route. As such, the storage and transportation of nuclear waste is an important issue not only for northerners, but for all Saskatchewan people.
In an attempt to counteract the lack of information being made public on this issue, the Committee for 7000 Generations hosted a Forum on Nuclear Waste Storage in Beauval on June 2nd, 2011. Over 200 people from 12 northern and 8 southern communities participated in this forum, which passed a resolution to send a strong message to the Saskatchewan government to “BAN NUCLEAR WASTE STORAGE AND TRANSPORTATION OF NUCLEAR WASTE INTO, OUT OF AND THROUGH SASKATCHEWAN”. The Mayors of La Loche and Ile-a-la-Crosse have taken a stand against nuclear waste, leading by example with courage and vision.
However, the Committee for 7000 Generations needs the support of ALL Saskatchewan citizens to send this message to government. We cannot sit back and assume that our leaders will do the right thing for the people. The Committee for 7000 Generations will be collecting signatures on a petition requesting the Saskatchewan Government to legislate a ban on the storage and transportation of nuclear waste in Saskatchewan. – 30 -

Prince Albert Contacts:
Rick Sawa (Council of Canadians)—961-7894
Jim Bahr (Council of Canadians)—763-1963
Steve Lawrence (Renewable Power Intelligent Choice)—922-1062
Bryan Lee (MN-S Local 108 Fish Lake)—982-4576

= = = = = = =

ITINERARY: 7000 Generations Walk Against Nuclear Waste
Pinehouse to Regina

Please call Max to register Walkers: 306-865-9299 Dates are Targets
WALKERS: BE PROUD OF YOUR CROWD!
FLY A BANNER WITH YOUR COMMUNITY NAME!

Date Communities Distance km Sections*/km Total Km Total Days
July 27 - Pinehouse to Beauval - 107 4 - 27 107 1
July 28 - Beauval to Green Lake - 103 4 - 26 210 2
Joined@ Beauval Forks by NorthWest communities
Joined @ Green Lake by Meadow Lake
July 29 - Green Lake to Cowan - 29 -- 239 3
July 30 - Cowan to Big River - 48 2 - 24 277 4
July 31 - Big River to Debden - 38.3 2 - 19 315 5
August 1 - Debden to Shellbrook - 49.6 2 - 25 365 6
August 2 - Shellbrook to PA - 45.1 2 - 22.5 387.5 7
August 3 - Noon gathering @ Prince Albert City Hall Memorial Square - Musician LEONARD ADAM 8
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Prince Albert to Saskatoon - 174.4 km
August 4 - PA to Duck Lake - 57.6 3 – 19.2 445.1 9
August 5 - Duck Lake to Batoche - 23 -- 468 10
August 6 - Batoche to Osler - 62 3 - 21 530 11

7000 generations walk stop in Osler

The 7000 generations walk will pass through the town of Osler on Aug:06 on its way from Pinehouse and Beauval to Regina. Osler Mennonite Church is offering camping space, billets and supper to the walkers August 6th. There is a public event at the church, starting at 7.30 p.m. with a welcome from the town’s mayor, Ben Buhler. This will be followed by a shared meal, and some "circle time" in which walkers and others can share and listen to the stories of each others' communities.
(A number of Osler people experienced and resisted the nuclear industry's attempt to move into their community in the late 1970s with the proposal for a uranium refinery just down the road by Warman. Others who were involved in the campaign against the refinery would be particularly welcome.)
Walk leader Max Morin wrote to Osler Mennonite Church: “We are humbled for your kind and generous offer. We will be leaving Prince Albert on August 4 and camping in Duck Lake. We walk from Duck to Batoche on August 5, Batoche to Osler on August 6, and Osler to Saskatoon on August 7th. We are gathering water from every community, river, and stream that we walk past, and we would be more than happy to collect your water from Osler. This symbolizes that we are all connected by water. We would then pour this water into a jar of all the water collected along the way and Osler. We list every place that water is taken from.” Ben Buhler will present some of Osler’s water to the walkers.
Everyone welcome. Some food will be provided, but feel free to bring more and share it.

---------------

August 7 - Osler to Saskatoon - 25.2 -- 555.2 12
Joined by Lloydminster/North Battleford
August 7 - Evening of Entertainment in Saskatoon, Ave H & 20th Street 13
August 8 - Noon Gathering @ Saskatoon City Hall Grounds
Musician CHESTER KNIGHT
---------------------------------------------------------------------

Saskatoon to Regina - 260 km

August 9 - Saskatoon to Dundurn - 41.9 2 - 21 597 14
August 10 - Dundurn to Kenaston - 40.34 2 -20 637.3 15

August 11 - Kenaston to Davidson - 34.1 -- 671.4 16

August 12 - Davidson to Craik - 30 -- 701.4 17

August 13 - Craik to Chamberlain - 30 -- 731 18

August 14 - Chamberlain to Lumsden - 58 2 - 29 788.4 19

August 15 - Lumsden to Regina - 34.6 - 823 20


August 16 - March the Green Mile to Saskatchewan Legislature,
arrive @ noon 21
- Musician Andrea Menard tentative.

August 17 - Depart for home 22

*Sections are walked concurrently

= = = = = = = =

PETITION: The Committee for Future Generations

http://www.cleangreensask.ca/

Scroll down to Northern Saskatchewan Says No To Nuclear Waste and Click on Links in article…..

The Committee for Future Generations has launched a petition calling on the Saskatchewan Government to permanently ban nuclear waste storage & transportation into, out of & through Saskatchewan.
Read the Open Letter to the People of Saskatchewan & share widely.
The Committee is planning an 820 km walk from Pinehouse to Regina this summer to raise awareness of this issue. They will be collecting petitions calling for a legislated ban on nuclear waste. Stay tuned or contact the group for more details.
The Committee is encouraging the formation of chapters in other communities to demonstrate solidarity to Say No to Nuclear Waste.
Post on the Facebook page or send an email to

committeeforfuturegenerations@gmail.com

= = = = = =

Make a donation to support The Committee For Future Generations "7000 Generations Walk"
The Committee For Future Generations needs your support to make this summer's historical walk to Regina a huge success.

Donate by cheque made out to "Committee for Future Generations" to:

Royal Bank of Canada
130 Centre Street, P.O. Box 728
Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan Canada S9X 1Y5

DONATE (PayPal):

http://www.cleangreensask.ca/Home/learn-more/
nuclear-waste/northerners-say-no-to-nuclear-waste/make-a-donation

Donations to the Coalition for a Clean Green Saskatchewan for the 7000 Generations Walk will be forwarded. Once you have filled out the donation amount on Pay Pal, you will see "Add Special Instructions for Seller". Simply make a note indicating your wish to support the walk.
Oscar
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8697
Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 3:23 pm

Northern communities walk against nuclear waste

Postby Oscar » Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:56 am

Northern communities walk against nuclear waste

(Online version)

SARAH ROLLES HERALD STAFF July 27, 2011

A committee of concerned citizens from Saskatchewan’s northern communities has begun walking to help spread awareness against the storage of nuclear waste in our province today.

The group, which began its 820 km trek in Pinehouse, will continue for the next few weeks and pass through various Saskatchewan communities, including Prince Albert, until they reach their final destination at the legislature of Regina on Aug. 16.

“We would love to have hundreds of people join us,” said Debby Morin, media relations for the recently formed committee, Committee For Future Generations. “Especially because when people see a group they feel a need to find out what is going on. So the more of us that are walking the more our goal will be accomplished of people becoming aware of the situation. And from awareness people move to wanting to do something about it.”

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization’s (NWMO) in 2007 devised a plan for long-term management of nuclear waste called Adaptive Phased Management, which is a nine-phase process that involves the development of a large infrastructure project in an “informed and willing” host community.

But the Committee For Future Generations was formed on May 16 after Beauval and Pinehouse residents became aware and were concerned of the possibility that various northern communities including Pinehouse were considering to become one of those host communities.

“It’s a bad idea,” said Max Morin, the committee president. “And a person who is educated about it doesn’t have to think twice that it’s a bad idea.”

But in that attempt to educate and unite the province, the committee has created a petition they will carry with them into each community. And upon entering Regina it’s hoped that the petition will help convince the province to pass legislation to permanently ban nuclear waste storage and transportation of nuclear waste into, out of, and through Saskatchewan.

On Aug. 2, the group will reach Prince Albert. On Aug. 3, the walkers and supporters will gather at 9:30 a.m. at the Food n Fuel at the Nordale corner and walk to City Hall where a rally runs from 12-2 p.m. And at 7 p.m. the same day, Leanord Adam, Violet Naytowhow, and Liz Brown will also provide entertainment at Union Centre.

“It’s good that the people from the north are standing up and speaking for themselves they don’t want nuclear waste from other people stored on their territory,” said Rick Sawa, spokesman for the Council of Canadians Prince Albert Chapter.

“It is a provincial issue and no matter where that waste is going to be stored it is going to be driven through the province. And people from Prince Albert know we are called the Gateway to the North, so if they are going to be trucking stuff up north they are going to be going right over our bridge and right through our city. And so that should concern Prince Albert citizens more then the rest of the province.”

The 7,000 generations walk against nuclear waste group will arrive in Prince Albert on Aug. 2. But on Aug. 3, they will regather at the Nordale corner and walk to City Hall where they will hold a rally from noon to 2 p.m.
Last edited by Oscar on Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
Oscar
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8697
Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 3:23 pm

Travelling protest marches through Prince Albert

Postby Oscar » Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:05 am

Travelling protest marches through Prince Albert

http://saskatoon.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/
20110803/sas-nuclearwalk-110803/20110803/?hub=Saskatoon

CTV Saskatoon Date: Wednesday Aug. 3, 2011 1:48 PM CST

A travelling protest marched through Prince Albert Wednesday morning, fighting against a proposal to store nuclear waste in this province.
Many of the marchers started the journey at Pinehouse Lake, nearly 400 kilometres northwest of Prince Albert, and organizers say about 100 people have joined them for the walk to Prince Albert city hall.
The protesters want the provincial government to pass legislation banning the importation and transportation of nuclear waste in Saskatchewan. The march is scheduled to go through Saskatoon and end at the legislature in Regina on August 16.
Debbie Morin, one of the organizers, says the marchers are united in their efforts. "Our premier has stated that they are not interested in storing nuclear waste but the last three words are ‘at this time.' Well, at this time we would like our government to legislate a ban on nuclear waste."
Oscar
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8697
Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 3:23 pm

7000 Generations Walk - several articles

Postby Oscar » Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:28 am

7000 Generations Walk - several articles

WATCH: Protest over nuclear waste


http://saskatoon.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/
20110727/sask-sas-nuclear-protest-110727/20110727/?hub=Saskatoon

CTV Saskatchewan Wednesday Jul. 27, 2011 6:40 PM CST
A group plans to march 800 kilometers from the northern village of Pinehouse Lake to Regina, to protest a proposal to store nuclear waste in northern Saskatchewan.
About 30 of them kicked off the march with a rally Wednesday morning in Pinehouse.
Fred Peterson was one of them.
"The forests that we have," said Peterson, "the living we have with trapping, fishing, and hunting, its so beautiful, why do they want to destroy this?"
The village of Pinehouse Lake is exploring the possibility of having a nuclear waste storage facility in the region.
They've been talking with the Nuclear Waste Management Organization – a body that is trying to find a permanent home for spent nuclear fuel produced in Canada. [ . . . ]

- - - - - -

Group begins trek to legislature - Industry defends its plan

http://www.thestarphoenix.com/technology/
Group+begins+trek+legislature/5164350/story.html

BY JEANETTE STEWART, THE STAR PHOENIXJULY 27, 2011
Seven semi-truckloads of nuclear waste per day, every day for 20 years, trucked into Saskatchewan's north en route to a storage facility deep underground - that's the scenario a group of people walking 800 kilometres from Pinehouse Lake to the legislature in Regina say they are trying to prevent.
The walkers will leave Pinehouse Lake this morning and plan to arrive in Regina Aug. 16.
The nuclear industry is searching for a permanent home for the waste accumulated since Canada's nuclear power program began in the mid-1970s. The used fuel is stored at the reactor sites in an "interim" storage situation. Reactors in Ontario, New Brunswick and Quebec have created about two million used fuel bundles, each the size of a fireplace log.
The nuclear industry says the used fuel is toxic, radioactive and must be isolated from humans and the environment forever.
Some northern residents say the nuclear industry is bribing elders and leaders in their community to support the controversial project. [ . . . ]

_____________________________________________

Northern protesters begin 820-km walk

http://www.thestarphoenix.com/technology/
Northern+protesters+begin+walk/5170779/story.html

BY JEANETTE STEWART, THE STAR PHOENIX JULY 28, 2011
Fourteen residents of northern Saskatchewan have now begun an 820-kilometre walk from Pinehouse Lake to Regina to protest nuclear waste storage in Saskatchewan.
The 7000 Generations Walk Against Nuclear Waste is organized by a group called the Committee for Future Generations. The group plans to travel from the community of Pinehouse Lake to Regina, where it will present a petition against a proposed nuclear waste storage site in northern Saskatchewan.
The walk will take more than 20 days and participants will stop in more than 12 communities along the way before arriving in Regina on Aug. 16. The group will hold rallies in Prince Albert on Aug. 3 and in Saskatoon Aug. 8. The rallies will be held in each city at City Hall at noon. Participants hope to raise awareness along the way and invite more people to join the group as they travel south.
"We speak for the children of the next 7,000 generations. As long as there's one margin of error, it's unacceptable," said Debby Morin, a spokesperson for the Committee for Future Generations and a resident of the northern community of Beauval. [ . . . ]

_______________________________________________

Informed choice should be made on nuclear waste

http://www.thestarphoenix.com/news/
todays-paper/Informed+choice+should+made+nuclear+waste/5170792/story.html

BY VINCE NATOMAGAN, THE STAR PHOENIX JULY 28, 2011
Natomagan is the lead spokesperson for the northern community of Pinehouse on issues related to the Nuclear Waste Management Organization.
- - - -SNIP - - -
I had the pleasure of meeting a gentleman from the Saskatchewan Environmental Society. I was delighted to meet him because he was so honest and straightforward about my current situation - about how the world is outstripping resources, about the true energy needs of the entire planet.
But most of all, he agreed that an underground repository for nuclear waste is the most viable option. For the first time, I heard a balanced story and it was refreshing. We both agreed not to prematurely oppose something, based on fear and misinformation. The only caveat he had was: "If the nuclear waste people can assure me of technical competence and safety with minimal risk to the environment, then you and I would be on common ground."
To be or not to be?
I aspire to be a man who can stand up straight and make an informed decision without someone whispering paternalistic euphemisms in my ear. For the record, I haven't made up my mind.
I have years to keep learning without making a commitment. When I have learned substantially about the NWMO project on its own merits, based on all the facts, only then I will make my decision.
It is up to each individual who feels strongly enough to "pick a side" to make that decision based on relevant arguments.
© Copyright (c) The StarPhoenix
Oscar
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8697
Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 3:23 pm

Stand up for entire province

Postby Oscar » Fri Aug 05, 2011 11:21 am

Stand up for entire province

http://www.thestarphoenix.com/news/
todays-paper/Stand+entire+province/5202914/story.html

BY JIM HARDING, THE STAR PHOENIX AUGUST 4, 2011

Thirty northerners left Pinehouse on July 27 on the 7000 Generations Walk Against Nuclear Waste.

Participants in the 22day, 800-kilometre walk through 12 communities, with rallies in Prince Albert, Saskatoon and Regina, will present petitions to the government.

Indigenous, environmental and ecumenical networks are supporting this unprecedented action, with northerners calling for southern support to win a ban on nuclear waste storage. The controversy should become a fall election issue. The NDP, which has a policy against a nuclear dump in the province, has indicated it will support the walk.

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization has changed its tack in light of the growing opposition to a nuclear dump in the north. Its communications director, Jamie Robinson, contacted the Committee for Future Generations, the Coalition for a Clean Green Saskatchewan, and the Saskatchewan Environmental Society (SES) to invite members to an all-expenses-paid tour "to a waste management facility at a nuclear generating station in South Ontario."

NWMO said it wanted to "hear their concerns and questions."

The timing is interesting, for NWMO declined to send anyone to the June 2 forum at Beauval. This was the largest, broadest based northern discussion of nuclear wastes to date, and would have been an opportune time to hear "concerns and questions." Forum organizers wanted the industry view presented and, when no one turned up, they played two NWMO videos at the start of the meeting.

The northern committee has called for more transparency on NWMO's spending. A July 27 Star-Phoenix story reported that: "Resources of up to $75,000 per community were made available for expenses incurred at this stage of the selection process." The story doesn't mention the $1 million NWMO gave to the FSIN or the $400,000 for the Métis Nation.

The committee has also asked what payments go to the hand-picked elders "advising" NWMO. Agency spokesman Michael Krizanc admitted they receive "a per diem that would be several hundred dollars a day." That means when an NWMO-appointed elder such as Jim Sinclair attends any community forum to try to convince people to consider a nuclear dump, he is paid for it. Such monetary inducements undermine informed consent and the duty to consult.

Pinehouse official Glen McCallum suggests that the community is "just interested in gathering information," yet village officials haven't contacted people outside the industry. It took the Committee for Future Generations to have an open public forum in the community. It's hard to accept that "there is no coercion" occurring; a private Pinehouse NWMO meeting talked of the need to "sugar-coat" nuclear wastes.

Krizanc says NWMO wants an "informed and willing" community to display its consent in a "compelling" way. He adds, "We haven't defined what a compelling way is yet."

What is compelling is the growing opposition to a nuclear dump. [ . . . ]
Oscar
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8697
Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 3:23 pm

A RUDE AWAKENING: THE NORTHERN WALK TO REGINA FOR A NUCLEAR

Postby Oscar » Mon Aug 22, 2011 4:02 pm

A RUDE AWAKENING: THE NORTHERN WALK TO REGINA FOR A NUCLEAR WASTE BAN

For Aug. 26, 2011 R-Town papers

BY Jim Harding

On August 16th several hundred people walked the green mile along Regina’s Albert Street, taking their call for a provincial nuclear waste ban to the government. They want an end to the industry group, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO), negotiating with northern communities to “host” a nuclear dump without the people of Saskatchewan having any say.

This was the completion of a 20-day, 820 km walk started July 27th from Pinehouse. Along the way walkers made new friendships and networks that bring the north and south closer together. At the front of the colourful parade was a big, blue balloon “earth” encircled by cutouts of the world’s children holding hands. There was much magic as I watched, over the heads of the block-long string of people in front of me, as “the earth” bobbed up and down as its carriers led the way.

And then I remembered a similar walk, thirty-two years ago, on February 22, 1979. Then, walkers carried a huge white elephant, made of paper-mache, to symbolize what they thought of the government’s uranium policies of the day. How much longer, I thought, will it take for us to learn the hard lessons about the toxic economy and start to seriously make the shift towards sustainability?

THEN AND NOW

The 1979 walk occurred as the Blakeney NDP ramped up for a nuclear power “boom”, which would increase demand for Saskatchewan uranium fuel. Nuclear power was deceptively promoted as the answer to ever-more expensive oil, even though it was mostly cheap coal that was used for electrical plants. The high-grade uranium at the Cluff Lake mine was already being mined and lakes at the even-bigger Key Lake mine were being drained, even before an environmental assessment. The Blakeney government was also initiating discussions with “the feds” to have a uranium refinery near the Mennonite town Warman, out of Saskatoon; and, as we found out later, was secretly laying plans to introduce nuclear power to the province.

The nuclear expansion never occurred. Widespread opposition stopped the Warman refinery in 1980. And in the wake of growing public opposition to nuclear power, especially after the 1979 Three Mile Island melt-down, Blakeney shelved plans for nuclear power.

Blakeney lost badly to the Conservatives in 1981. He and his mandarins miscalculated. The uranium royalties turned out to be even smaller than the lowest projections, and in 1988 Grant Devine’s Conservatives privatized the uranium crown corporation, the SMDC, which become Cameco. After huge public infrastructure investments, Cameco went on to rake in profits, as the more cheaply-recoverable, higher-grade uranium made Saskatchewan the world’s largest producing region.

BACK TO THE FUTURE

Blakeney’s vision of uranium-wealth trickling down to northern communities never materialized. While some individuals got high-paying jobs, overall, northern Saskatchewan remains the second poorest region in Canada. And stories multiply of increased sicknesses and cancers among some of those who worked the mines.

Now it’s back to the future, with the Wall government initiating its own nuclear expansion plan by appointing the Uranium Development Partnership or UDP. That group included the very companies that would profit, and predictably it recommended we “go nuclear”. This didn’t just include building nuclear power plants (UDP member, Ontario’s Bruce Power, was already promoting two plants along the North Saskatchewan River), but bringing nuclear waste here from Ontario.

Though the Wall government ultimately had to abandon Bruce Power’s unpopular, uneconomical plan, which turned out to be tied to projected tar-sand expansion, the industry continued working “under the radar” to try to convince an impoverished northern community to “host” a nuclear dump.

OPPOSITION GROWING

In October groups within the Coalition for a Clean Green Saskatchewan (e.g. the ecumenical group KAIROS, the Council of Canadians and the Greens), met in Fort Qu’Appelle to discuss a nuclear waste campaign. In November province-wide Coalition members met in Saskatoon to hammer-out policy. (Go to www.cleangreensask.ca for details). In December the first community forum was held, in Wynyard, along the Yellow Head route likely if nuclear wastes ever come from Ontario. In February two Fort Qu’Appelle KAIROS members set out in a winter blizzard to attend community forums along the route, in Prince Albert and La Ronge, with “a detour” for a forum in Saskatoon, the headquarters of the nuclear industry in Saskatchewan. Many hundreds attended.

But this was still southerners expressing opposition to a northern nuclear dump. Those supporting the industry could play this off as “southerners depriving northerners of jobs.” Meanwhile NWMO was busy buying its way into northern communities like Pinehouse and Paturnak. There have been big payments to provincial Indigenous organizations and self-appointed “elders” getting per diems. There were meetings purportedly to discuss the northern youth crisis that turned into NWMO promotions. Outrage at such manipulation has grown.

FUTURE GENERATIONS

Things changed when the new Committee for Future Generations sponsored the first northern community forum June 2nd in Beauval. Two hundred people, mostly from ten northern communities, attended. After hearing “both sides” they voted against a nuclear dump. NWMO talks glibly of northern consultation, but refused to attend the forum, so organizers played NWMO videos so that the industry voice was fairly represented.

Another community forum occurred July 26th in Pinehouse. The next day 30 walkers set out for Regina. Within three short months a northern voice opposing the dump had formed, spread and come all the way to the province’s capital.

A RUDE AWAKENING

It is quite a feat to walk 820 km; the walk was far longer than ones led by Gandhi in the nonviolent struggle for India’s independence. But when the walkers and their supporters arrived at the Legislature August 16th there was only a government staffer present. He said nothing! There was no Premier and no Deputy Premier! No official welcome, even though they were informed prior to this marathon walk starting.

I heard some people comment that it was rude for the Premier to not greet the northern walkers, if for no other reason than to acknowledge their endurance. Their message, that sustaining the environmental heath of northern people is more important than toxic jobs, says a lot about character and vision. One banner on one of the trucks accompanying the walkers said, bluntly, “We don’t want your death money.”

ONE SASKATCHEWAN/ONE WORLD

The walkers emphasized “one Saskatchewan”. They gathered water from along the way and mixed it with Regina’s water to symbolize our natural unity. I participated in the circle water ceremony at Lumsden where I joined the walkers. This message of “one Saskatchewan”, coming from northerners who have endured uranium mining since the 1950s, is a message that needs to be heard by politicians of all stripes.

When southerners speak of “one Saskatchewan” it’s often seen as government and industry needing northern resources for revenue and profit. And there are usually some northern spokespeople available to promote the trickle-down of a small amount of the wealth to the north. These same people are now supporting northern Saskatchewan taking Ontario’s nuclear wastes, as though this is a way to provide jobs for their growing youth. Such promotion of a toxic economy makes past colonialism seem benign.

It’s to the credit of the official opposition, the NDP caucus, that it sent its Environmental Critic, Sandra Morin, to welcome the walkers. And Morin was clear that an NDP government would not allow a nuclear dump in the north. This took its own form of bravery, for if the NDP opposes a dump, then how will it continue to justify mining the uranium that turns into nuclear wastes after being used as reactor fuel? Or, that turns into the dangerous radioactive contamination still spreading after the melt-downs at Japan’s Fukushima’s reactors, which import uranium from here?

This raises many moral and political questions which I’ll explore next time.

Posted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:52 pm Post subject: SK 800 kilometre Walk Heats Up Nuclear Waste Controversy

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Saskatchewan: 800 kilometre Walk Heats Up Nuclear Waste Controversy

From: Gordon Edwards
Sent: Monday, August 01, 2011 6:38 PM

Background:

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is owned and operated by the three utility companies that run nuclear power reactors in Canada: Ontario Power Generation (OPG) with 22 reactors, Hydro Quebec with 1 reactor, and the New Brunswick Power Corporation with 1 reactor.
These three provincial government-owned corporations are responsible for producing almost all of Canada's high-level radioactive waste in the form of irradiated nuclear fuel. (Smaller amounts are produced by research reactors at Chalk River, Ontario, owned by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), and by reactors at various universities -- notably McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.)
NWMO is currently courting some of the economically deprived communities in Northern Saskatchewan, hoping to find a town whose leaders will accept with open arms the nuclear garbage from power reactors that light up the cities in Southern Ontario and other less disadvantaged places.
The nuclear industry regards radioactive waste as a serious public relations problem that threatens to impede the expansion of the industry; thus NWMO has a built-in conflict of interest – the desire to make it seem as if the radioactive waste has gone away and will no longer pose a threat to the ecosphere for millions of years to come.
Despite the seductive lure of "economic development" and the unremitting pro-nuclear propaganda that accompanies it, despite the one-sided and partial explanation of long-term nuclear waste management that routinely omits any discussion of plutonium extraction or the health effects of chronic radiation exposure, a courageous group of people from Northern Saskatchewan are walking 800 km to express their opposition to a nuclear waste dump in Saskatchewan.
Citizens of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and other parts of Canada and the world have an opportunity to express their solidarity with these brave marchers.
Send messages of support to Jim Harding: hardingd@sasktel.net , with a copy to me at: ccnr@web.ca
Jim will relay those messages of support to the leaders of the march, and I will ensure that those same messages reach our political representatives in Ottawa.
Gordon Edwards, President
Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility
www.ccnr.org

= = = = = =

800 KM WALK HEATS UP NUCLEAR WASTE CONTROVERSY

BY Jim Harding
For publication in R-Town News chain – August 5, 2011

Much has happened since the Forum for Truth on Nuclear Waste Storage was held in Beauval June 2nd. Organized in two weeks by the newly-formed Committee for Future Generations, the forum was attended by 200 people, most from ten northern communities. Within a few weeks committee members had organized a second forum, held in Pinehouse July 26th. The next day thirty northerners left Pinehouse to begin a twenty day, 7000 Generations Walk Against Nuclear Waste, which will end up at the Regina Legislature.
The 800 km walk will pass through twelve communities, with rallies in Prince Albert on August 3nd, Saskatoon on August 8th and Regina August 15th. On August 16th the walk will go down The Green Mile along Albert Street to present petitions to the Wall government. Organizers are encouraging supporters to join in the walk wherever they can and for however long they can. Several carloads are expected to join the walkers at Lumsden the morning of August 15th.
This is no small feat and walkers are bound to be tested by this summer’s extreme weather. First Nations, Métis, environmental and ecumenical networks are providing lodging, food and support along the route. This is an unprecedented event, with northerners calling for southern support to win a nuclear waste ban.
The mainstream media is finally reporting the growing opposition to a nuclear dump in the north. Provincial politics is heating up and the nuclear waste controversy may yet become a fall election issue. The NDP, which has a policy against a nuclear dump, has now indicated it will support the walk. We will see whether this resonates with the voting public or is seen as getting on the band wagon late in the game. Organizers want support from any and all groups that are willing to help; it’s a politically non-partisan action.

NWMO’S RESPONSE

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO), which has been promoting a nuclear dump In the north, appears to have changed its approach since the success of the Beauval forum. On July 21st, a week prior to the July 26th Pinehouse forum, NWMO’s Communications Director, Jamie Robinson, contacted the Committee for Future Generations, the Coalition for a Clean Green Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Environmental Society (SES). It invited members to come on an all-expense paid tour “to a waste management facility at a nuclear generating station in South Ontario where used nuclear fuel is currently stored on an interim basis.” NWMO said it wanted to “hear their concerns and questions and to provide a briefing about our activities.”
These tours are regularly given to political officials and business groups to try to get them onside. The timing of this invitation to opponents of a nuclear dump is most interesting, for it came after the NWMO declined to send anyone to the Beauval forum. This was the largest, broadest-based discussion of nuclear wastes to occur in the north to date, and would have been an opportune time for them to hear “concerns and questions”. (The forum organizers wanted the industry view presented and when no one turned up they bent over backwards and played two NWMO videos at the beginning of the meeting.)
NWMO’s invitation could have created divisions, but on July 25th the Committee simply responded “we are unable to attend at this time as we are extremely busy with our forum in Pinehouse and our 7000 Generations Walk to the legislature in Regina.” We’ll have to wait and see whether the offer to take people opposed to a nuclear dump here, to Ontario, where the wastes are produced and should be stored, still stands after the summer’s activities.

TRANSPARENCY REQUIRED

The Committee for Future Generations has been calling for more transparency from NWMO; they want to know what money is going into the north as part of its promotions. A July 27th Star Phoenix story sheds some light on this, reporting that “Resources of up to $75,000 per community were made available for expenses incurred at this stage of the selection process…” The story fails, however, to mention the $1,000,000 that went to the FSIN or the $400,000 that went to the Métis Nation.
The Committee has also been asking NWMO what payments have been going to the hand-picked elders that are “advising” it. When pushed on this, NWMO’s Toronto-based spokesman, Michael Krizanc, admitted they received “a per diem that would be several hundred dollars a day”. That means that when NWMO-appointed elder, Jim Sinclair, for example, goes to any community forum to try to convince people to consider a nuclear dump, he is getting paid. Such monetary inducements completely go against the meaning of “duty to consult” and “informed consent”.
There’s a lot of twisting of words in this controversy. Pinehouse official Glen McCallum suggests that the community is “just interested in gathering information”, yet village officials haven’t contacted people outside the industry, and it took forming the Committee for Future Generations to get an open public forum in the community. It’s hard to accept that “there is no coercion” going on behind the scene. Industry spokesperson Krizanc says NWMO wants an “informed and willing” community to display its willingness in a “compelling” way, but then adds “we haven’t defined what a compelling way is yet”. What is compelling is the growing opposition to a nuclear dump!

MANIPULATION EXPOSED

Those working behind the scene may be getting nervous. Pinehouse spokesperson, Vince Natomagan, had an op ed in the July 28th Star Phoenix, just the day after the 7000 Generations Walk left his community. He attacked the June 2nd Beauval forum as sending a “fear-based, short-sighted message”, while failing to say anything about the opposition to a nuclear dump expressed at the July 26th Pinehouse forum . Natomagan tried to make the SES sound like it supported his position, without mentioning that the SES supports a ban on nuclear wastes in Saskatchewan. Natomagan supported Jim Sinclair, who was heckled at the Beauval forum, without mentioning that Sinclair was actually applauded when he started his speech by opposing a nuclear dump. Sinclair then flip-flopped and ended up supporting a dump as if that was the way to help the next generation avoid addiction, suicide and prison. Many present were aghast!
Such manipulation of the deep concern about the social crisis in the north may be backfiring. One of the founders of the Committee for Future Generations, retired RCMP officer, Max Morin, told the Star Phoenix he “was invited to be part of an elder’s summit focused on problems of death and addiction among the community’s youth. Two hours in, the meeting turned out to be a presentation on nuclear waste storage set up by those working with NWMO.”
Northern Saskatchewan remains the second poorest region in all of Canada in spite of the uranium mining “boom”, and bringing 20,000 truckloads of highly radioactive nuclear wastes to the north will not change the highly inequitable pattern of mal-development. A new, sustainable path will need to be charted. Natomagan talks rhetorically about “standing up straight and making an informed decision”. The northerners walking from Pinehouse to Regina are not only standing up for the future of the north but for the future of the whole province.
Jim Harding is a retired professor of environmental and justice studies who is active with Kairos and the Coalition for a Clean Green Saskatchewan.

Other articles:
http://jimharding.brinkster.net
Oscar
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8697
Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 3:23 pm


Return to Uranium/Nuclear/Waste

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron