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McKenna to decide on nuclear waste dump on Lake Huron on March 1, 2016


Maude Barlow at Lake Huron

Maude Barlow asks you to defend Lake Huron by e-mailing the environment minister and expressing your opposition to the proposed nuclear waste dump.

The Council of Canadians has been calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to reject a plan to bury 200,000 cubic metres of low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste near Lake Huron.

Now the news tells us that the Trudeau government will decide on a nuclear waste dump on the shores of Lake Huron on March 1, 2016.

The Detroit News reports, “The Canadian government will delay its decision on whether to move forward with a controversial nuclear waste storage facility that would be sited near the shore of Lake Huron. On Friday [Nov. 27], the Minister of Environment and Climate Change announced it will issue a decision on the deep geologic repository project March 1, 2016. That decision had been expected early next month.”

A federal panel approved the nuclear waste dump in May 2015.

They reportedly accepted testimony that Lake Huron would be large enough to dilute radioactive pollution should a leak from the repository occur.

The proposed waste site would be located on the traditional territory of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation. They have not given their free, prior and informed consent to the project.

There has also been significant opposition to the plan in the United States. The Detroit News adds, “Earlier this month, a dozen members of Michigan’s congressional delegation wrote to Trudeau, urging the new prime minister to deny the construction permits necessary for the storage facility to be built.”

While the Liberal platform this past election promised “the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples”, to “renew our commitment to protect the Great Lakes” and asserted that “government should base its policies on facts, not make up facts to suit a preferred policy”, it’s not clear McKenna will reject the nuclear waste dump.

If the Trudeau government approves the controversial project, nuclear waste that is considered hazardous for hundreds of thousands of years would be stored just hundreds of metres from the Great Lakes, the source of drinking water for about 40 million people in two countries.

To express your opposition to the nuclear waste dump, please e-mail the minister responsible at Catherine.McKenna@parl.gc.ca.