Council of Canadians to deliver more than 101,000 signatures to Dalton McGuinty urging him to stop nuclear waste on the Great Lakes

Media Release
September 29, 2011

In the critical days before Ontarians vote in a provincial election, the Council of Canadians is urging Ontario Liberal leader Dalton McGuinty to put a stop to Bruce Power’s planned shipments of nuclear waste on the Great Lakes.

Bruce Power has received a permit from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to ship nuclear waste on the Great Lakes to Sweden. The plan has drawn strong opposition from communities along the Great Lakes as well as internationally because of the threat it poses to the Great Lakes and other bodies of water. The shipments would pass through the waters of the United Kingdom, Denmark and Norway. The waste would be processed on the Baltic Sea.

More than 101,000 people in Canada and around the world have signed a petition addressed to the McGuinty government demanding that the Ontario government “stand up for the safety and protection of the public and our shared environment by banning all nuclear shipments on the Great Lakes.” The letter also says, “the Great Lakes are part of the global commons (a shared entity), a public trust and should be a protected bioregion.”  The petition has been signed by 8,582 Canadians, of which 3,645 are Ontarians. It has also been signed by 51,639 Americans and 41,589 people elsewhere worldwide.

“Dalton McGuinty did the right thing by agreeing to an environmental assessment for the Melancthon quarry just days before the provincial election was called,” says Maude Barlow, National Chairperson for the Council of Canadians. “Now we are calling on Mr. McGuinty to do the right thing again – by clearly stating his opposition to the shipping of nuclear waste on the Great Lakes so that voters know where he stands come October 6.”

The Ontario Liberal government had deferred responsibility to the federal government on the Bruce Power shipment and failed to call for an environmental assessment of the proposed shipment.

“Mr. McGuinty noted several times in the leaders debate on Tuesday night that Ontario needs to be a world leader in clean energy as well as a leader in water protection,” says Emma Lui, water campaigner for the Council of Canadians. “More than 101,000 people from around the world signed this petition calling for exactly this by demanding that McGuinty oppose nuclear shipments on the Great Lakes.

The Council of Canadians believes that allowing the nuclear shipments would undermine the Liberal’s proposed Great Lakes Protection Act and that any legislation about the Great Lakes should be based on a commons framework and the public trust doctrine.

The Council of Canadians will be delivering the petition at Queen's Park this Friday.