Letter: A Standing Ovation to the Saugeen Ojibway Nation

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Dear Editor,

On January 31st, the Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON) overwhelmingly voted down the Deep Geologic Repository (DGR). Of those casting ballots, 85% said no to a DGR on the shores of Lake Huron. This despite the fact that Ontario Power Generation, a crown corporation tried to buy them off, to the tune of $150 million dollars. The municipalities of Saugeen Shores, Huron-Kinloss, Arran-Elderslie, Brockton and Kincardine sold us out for a mere $35.7 million dollars, as reported by an NGO called Stop The Great Lakes Nuclear Dump.

It does not take a genius to realize it’s a bad idea to bury nuclear waste, from 18 Candu reactors, next to Lake Huron, where 40 million people from Canada and the United States get their drinking water.

You do not have to be an expert to know that nuclear power plants are never completely safe, case in point: Fukushima, Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and of recent, the emergency alert at Pickering Nuclear Station. In fact, the Canadian Federal Joint Review Panel that approved the DGR in May 2015 accepted testimony that Lake Huron was big enough to dilute any radioactive pollution that might leak from the DGR. Clearly, they lacked confidence in the DGR, that would bury the nuclear waste next to Lake Huron, underneath the second largest nuclear power plant in the world.

The three big lies of the nuclear industry are slowly being exposed. It’s not clean, it’s not safe, and it’s anything but cheap. Our indigenous brothers and sisters have seen right through these lies and saved us and future generations, for now, from a toxic legacy on the shores of Lake Huron. It’s about time we gave them their due, and accepted that we are a Metis Nation. This is not the first time they have saved us from our colonial mind set and it probably won’t be the last.

Andy Elliott