Plan to ship nuclear waste along Lake Ontario stinks

A Town Crier Community Column

If truckloads of radioactive waste were scheduled to go through your neighbourhood, you’d probably have something to say.

But what if the nuclear waste was being transported by ship, right along Toronto’s front door — Lake Ontario? You should speak up now if that concerns you, because in spite of growing objections, that’s exactly Dalton McGuinty’s plan.

The radioactive waste will start its journey near Owen Sound, close to the Bruce Power nuclear reactor that is also $2 billion over-budget. From there, it will travel through the Great Lakes, past Sarnia and Windsor, through the Welland Canal and south of Toronto before entering the St. Lawrence en route to Sweden.

We have guidelines for things like this, of course. And of course, each shipment exceeds the maximum allowable amount of radioactive material to be shipped through the Great Lakes on any one ship.

Welcome to Liberal Ontario; a place where we protect water by ignoring guidelines about radioactive material sailing through the world’s biggest freshwater system.

Naturally, the McGuinty Liberals wash their hands of it all, saying approval is up to federal regulators. It is too much to ask, apparently, that they oppose it and join the thousands of citizens along the route, deeply concerned. And why not, after a summer that included the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The mayors of Sarnia and Montreal have spoken out against these shipments. Their objections, and those of many others, are ignored by the McGuinty Liberals, who pass the buck to Ottawa. Incredibly, the waste will travel on provincially owned roads before being loaded onto the ships scheduled to pass by our city.

The Liberal transport minister says her department is cooperating with all the other agencies involved, as if this is positive. If, like me, you think this crazed idea is unwise, you should let Kathleen Wynne know it’s time to stop cooperating and start protecting our lakes instead. Radioactive waste should stay in storage and not be shipped out on the Great Lakes.

Worse, I discovered in November that Ontario Power Generation—which is owned by the provincial government—turned ownership of this radioactive waste to Bruce Power, knowing full well that they were going to take it out of waste storage to ship through the Great Lakes. When asked, the energy minister had little to say.

I hope you’ll have something to say and you will add your voice to the many appalled at the Liberals’ plan to ship radioactive waste by our city’s front door.

About this article:

By: Peter Tabuns
Posted: Nov 16 2010 12:03 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto