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NEWS: ‘Collaboration agreements’ sought by mining companies in northern Saskatchewan

Pinehouse Lake by Pinehouse, Saskatchewan

Pinehouse Lake by Pinehouse, Saskatchewan

The Saskatoon Star-Phoenix reports on uranium giants Cameco Corp. and Areva and their plans to establish mines near Pinehouse, “a largely Metis and First Nations municipality of 1,000 people located about 400 kilometres north of Saskatoon”.

The newspaper highlights, “Some Pinehouse residents point to several clauses in the draft agreement that would force Pinehouse to support the companies to regulators, investors and the public. The agreement would prohibit Pinehouse from criticizing the companies now or in the future, a measure that amounts to an indefinite ‘gag order’, said Pinehouse resident Fred Peterson. …(The) clause obliges leaders to ‘make reasonable efforts to ensure Pinehouse members do not say or do anything that interferes with or delays Cameco/Areva’s mining’. (The deal also reportedly would state that) Pinehouse agrees to not make any future financial requests or claims against the companies.”

“Gary Merasty, Cameco’s vice-president of corporate social responsibility, said ‘collaboration agreements’ are being negotiated with Pinehouse and several other northern Saskatchewan communities. …Pinehouse Mayor Mike Na-tomagan lauded the deal. He said he wasn’t worried about the clauses obligating him to support Cameco and Areva because they are good companies.”

“(The deals) could be signed by the end of December. …The Cigar Lake mine, expected to be the world’s largest, is scheduled for initial production in 2013, with full production in 2017. The Millennium mine project was expected to begin initial engineering this year.”

Pinehouse is also grappling with the possibility that it could become a ‘host’ community for an underground nuclear waste storage facility, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=15111.

The Council of Canadians will continue to follow this issue. Our next major conference/ annual general meeting will be held in Saskatoon on October 25-27, 2013, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=17599.