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NEWS: Bloc Québécois opposes nuclear waste shipments on the Great Lakes

A LavalNews.ca article reports that Bloc Québécois MP Robert Carrier said, “The Bloc Québécois formally opposes the decision by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to allow the transport of radioactive waste through the St. Lawrence Seaway. That is why we are asking the Harper government Harper to reverse this arbitrary decision. Quebec is in no way responsible for the nuclear waste produced by Ontario.”

The nuclear waste shipments would cross the Great Lakes and travel the St. Lawrence River on their way to Sweden. The article notes that, “Laval is located in the hydrographic basin of the St. Lawrence River and that any transportation accident with this waste could affect us in a major way, said Carrier (the MP for Alfred-Pellan).” Carrier adds, “It’s by ignoring the environmental risks to the rich and fragile ecosystem of the Saint Lawrence that the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission gave the green light to Bruce Power Inc. The government has shown us that it could override the decisions of the CNSC when it wants to; let’s remember Chalk River.” He says, “We are asking the Conservative government to intervene once again with the commission, this time to uphold the rights of Quebec, by suspending the license given to Bruce Power Inc. The Harper government must recognize that the provinces that chose nuclear must also take responsibility for the consequences and deal with their own waste.”

NDP MP Nathan Cullen has also indicated his party’s opposition to the shipments on the Great Lakes. He has organized to have House of Commons Natural Resources Committee hearings on the issue on March 8 and 10. The Council of Canadians will be presenting to those committee hearings.

We have not seen public statements from the Liberal party yet, but we will be contacting Montreal-area Liberal MP Francis Scarpaleggia (who holds the party’s water portfolio) to ask for their position.

An earlier campaign blog noted that the Montreal Gazette reported on February 7 that, “City of Montreal officials have joined critics from across Quebec and Ontario in condemning a decision to allow a huge shipment of radioactive waste to travel through the St. Lawrence Seaway. …’If ever there was a time to go back to the drawing board, it is now,’ Alan DeSousa, vice-chairman of Montreal’s executive committee, said Sunday in condemning the commission’s decision (that Friday). In October, DeSousa said, Montreal city council passed a resolution unanimously opposing the shipment because of the risk it presents not just to Montreal but to communities all along the St. Lawrence River and around the Great Lakes. …Exposing that water system to the risk of an accidental spill of radioactive material cannot be underplayed, DeSousa said…”

The Gazette has also highlighted that, “The Montreal-based Canadian Coalition on Nuclear Responsibility (said) the shipment should stay put, where it poses no safety risk, ‘until this issue has been fully debated and Canada has set a policy on nuclear radioactive waste, its transport and exportation’…”

The Laval News article is at http://lavalnews.ca/article/radioactive-waste-transportation-190304.