In a response to a request form one of our funding organizations, Michelle Stein prepared a detail report of POW activities since our group was formed in Feb 2020. You can read the report. In addition to Michelle's report I was requested to provide a current view of the situation in South Bruce . Below is my condensed version of that report;
First of all thanks for your donation. It was much appreciated and useful in our fight against the Nuclear Waste Management Organization's plans to bury 70,000 tons of highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel 500 meters below ground in our community.
This is an experimental project called Deep Geological Repository (DGR) that has never been implemented anywhere in the world after 60 years of research. This mine will eventually be abandon and forgotten. Our future generations will be left to deal with the potential issues and clean up costs for something that has been of no benefit to them. Only a potential risk to their environment and a liability.
The NWMO is a slick Marketing organization who are spending over $200 M annually and have now spent nearly $1 Billion dollars since it's incorporation in 2002 . The NWMO sole purpose is to convince a community that they are informed and a willing host for their DGR project which will solve a problem created by the Nuclear industry that has been in the existence for over 60 years.
The current situation is as follows;
In November of 2022, the NWMO informed the world that they needed to defer the site selection decision from late 2023 to late 2024. Their rationale was that more time was needed in their communications with the communities because Covid had restricted their ability to have face to face meetings with the residents. This is the 3rd time the NWMO has changed the site selection decision and in our view if they feel that a negative answer to their proposal will occur either with the communities or the First Nation people they will delay the decision again.
Also in November 2021, prior to the NWMO deferral of the site selection, the South Bruce council reluctantly agreed to conduct a referendum on the NWMO proposal but decided not to hold such a vote coincident with the Oct 2022 election. Since Jan 2020, Protect our Waterways(POW), has been requesting that the residents of the community needed to have a voice on such an "forever decision" by means of a referendum and that it should occur with the Oct election. We were disappointed by the decision of the South Bruce council to delay the referendum until sometime in late 2023 or early in 2024 and to be held as a By-Election.
As part of our strategy to ensure the new council elected in Oct 2022 would honor the decision to hold a referendum, we made this a fundamental issue with the Oct election campaign. We wanted a commitment from the candidates running for a council position and the Mayor seat that they would indeed honor the decision by the previous council. We were successful in achieving that outcome.
The new Council passed a resolution at a late November 2022 South Bruce council meeting called a "framework for developing a hosting agreement" which will result in a Hosting Agreement between South Bruce and the NWMO for the project. The framework activities would occur over 3 phases during 2023 and would included a referendum once all the studies had been completed.
The NWMO will continue to send money to the South Bruce municipality to fund the activities associated with the project. This funding will permit the municipality to continue the employment of 3 dedicated employees who are helping the NWMO to sell their project to the residents as well as funding a lawyer to work on developing a hosting agreement with the NWMO prior to the end of 2023. The new funding agreement is between $2 to 3 Million annually for 2023 and 2024. NWMO has already provided over $9M to the South Bruce Administration.
POW is currently engaged with the Ignace team in circulating a joint petition against the concept of a DGR and the NWMO project. It is our plan to secure over 5000 paper signatures and have a number of members of the Ontario Government present the petition to the Ontario Legislature sometime in 2023. If you or members of your community are interested in signing the petition, I will forward it to you