98 The Beach

98 The Beach

Thursday, February 20, 2020

DGR Protesters At Bruce County Council

Bruce County | by Robyn Garvey  

Bruce County councillors defer vote on motion to affirm support for DGRs.

Bruce County has deferred voting on a motion to affirm support for the ongoing DGR process. This after 40 South Bruce residents gathered in front of the Bruce County Administration Building this morning expressing their opposition to a South Bruce DGR.

The Nuclear Tank No Thanks (NTNT) group was out in full force this morning at the Bruce County Administration Office.

The group was recently created following news that the Nuclear Waste Management Organization had entered into a combination of purchase and option agreements with eight South Bruce farms totaling 13 hundred acres.  (northwest of Teeswater)

NTNT Spokesperson Michelle Stein says safety is their number one concern especially when it comes to potential leakage and contamination of ground and surface water.

Stein says DGR’s have not been proven safe, and worries that storing Canada’s high-level nuclear waste and spent nuclear fuel in a farm community so close to the Teeswater River, which feeds into the Saugeen River, which flows into the Great Lakes is a huge mistake.

Stein questions the transparency of the entire process, she says many locals were alarmed to discover that the NWMO had entered into purchase and option agreements with South Bruce farmers prior to a selection site being announced.

NWMO Regional Communications Manager Becky Smith says a final site has not yet been selected, noting that the South Bruce land agreements are for the purpose of allowing further studies on the site.

Smith says there are currently two potential host communities: South Bruce and the northwestern community of Ignace.

Smith says over the next three years the NWMO will advance technical site evaluations and social studies in both Ignace and South Bruce.

She says the project will only proceed in an area with informed and willing hosts, including Indigenous and municipal communities, working in partnership to implement it.

Smith says they expect to identify a single, preferred location for the deep geological repository by 2023.

Because the potential host site in Ignace is located on Crown land, the NWMO agreements made with landowners was only necessary in South Bruce.

Saugeen Shores Mayor Luke Charbonneau penned the motion that was deferred by County  today.
Charbonneau says his resolution that was deferred was not supporting a specific location for the DGR, but rather just affirming the need to complete the process.

South Bruce Mayor Robert Buckle says there is more information coming forward for residents including further consultation with scientists.

He says the final decision is a few years away providing South Bruce with time to decide whether or not it will be a willing host community.  

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