Study shows community preference for referendum
Four months after beginning its community-wide consultations, the draft results of the South Bruce Willingness Study Report identified a public referendum as the preferred method to determine the willingness of the community to host the Nuclear Waste Management Organization’s (NWMO) Deep Geological Repository (DGR). Of the 229 South Bruce residents who participated in the public meetings (virtual and in-person) and online surveys, 136 confirmed a referendum as their preferred method. The study was conducted by GDH Consulting for the Municipality of South Bruce using funds provided by the NWMO.
“We are pleased to see the Willingness Study reflect our long-held position,” said Michelle Stein, Chair, Protect Our Waterways. “A binding referendum is the only legitimate way to determine willingness. It guarantees everyone a voice and respects both their choice and their privacy.”
Quotes from some of study participants are highlighted in the report include:
“Processes that do not provide an opportunity for input by all citizens cannot be true and full representations of community willingness.”
- “Ability to move on with lives after vote. Sooner the better. The people have a voice.”
- “All residents need a method to voice their willingness or unwillingness.”
Stein said, “Hosting the DGR will permanently change the character, reputation, and economy of our community. Every resident and business will have to live with the risks and any promised benefits for generations to come. Such a momentous decision cannot be made a small group of people, however well-intentioned they may be.
Stein said, “We urge the Mayor and Council of South Bruce to move quickly and include a binding referendum as part of the next municipal election in October 2022. Our community must be given the opportunity to answer a clear yes or no question on whether we want to host the NWMO’s DGR.”
A link to the published study is here.