Wednesday, October 31, 2012

What it's like to live in Hornepayne

I remember a popular saying when I was young, "What happens behind closed doors stays behind closed doors." I think we all grew up with this deeply rooted into our being. Yesterday the "Let's Rebuild Hornepayne" Facebook Group was changed to a closed group. The reason behind it is not being disclosed but my hunch is that the admin wants to keep what is happening in our town behind closed doors.

Here's a peak of what it's like to live in Hornepayne.

A new subdivision was built in the 1970s. Our "Mall", which was boarded up 2 years ago was built in the late 70s and opened in 1980. For 30 years people went about their business. Our population decreased by almost half from then to now. A few years ago, being forced by the Government, we built a new water treatment plant which has turned out to be a money pit. We used to pay $400.00 a year for water and we now pay $1200.00 a year. The closure of our "Mall" left a huge tax deficit and it left the town without many services. In 2010 after the new Council was elected they passed a resolution to stop all donations from the Township because their money problems were that desperate. It's so bad that they can't afford to pay for an interact machine for the office. Many have asked about applying for grants so we can rebuild our community, but again we're told that we need money to apply and we don't have any.

In comes NWMO.

Hornepayne was one of the first communities to enter into the Nuclear Waste process. We are currently in a learning process so we can learn all about this before we make a decision. The NWMO has set up a Committee that was supposed to release information so we could be educated, but as it was seen in yesterday's post, they don't have much freedom in what they can share.We have been told repeatedly that we will have the option to choose if we want this or not. So far we don't have any other choice and I don't see that changing any time soon. Those who are for Nuclear Waste can't see that we will have a future without it and those who are against it can't see that we will have a future with it.

It's been 2 years of yearning to rebuild our town but we can't seem to move forward. People continue to move and just this week another business has closed. After 5 or 10 years of this I'm sure we'll all be ready to sell out to Nuclear Waste. They say we'll have a choice.

A Message to Hornepayne

To move forward we have to let NWMO go. As long as they are here we will NEVER move forward. It's 10 or 15 years away and we're going to be kept in this state so we finally choose Nuclear Waste. It's just like being lost at sea; you know drinking the salt water isn't good but when you're thirsty who can resist? Well, after 10 years of this kind of Hornepayne living will you be able to resist? Rebuilding is going to take A LOT of work. Jody and I have been trying to build a business and the amount of hours has been crazy, so I know it's a lot of work. We're not going to find the desire to do this hard work within our community if a much easier option is perceived to be in our future. Our vision is being blocked by Nuclear Waste. It's a hindrance to our progress. It's deceptive in the fact that all their promises make you think we're getting somewhere, but we're not.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Some Red Flags

The Nuclear Waste topic has been hot the last few days on the "Let's Rebuild Hornepayne" Facebook Group.

I've always claimed to be on the fence concerning this issue. These past few days have been a real eye opener. I don't believe we're being told the full truth and for that reason I'm not for this anymore. Where there's lies and secrets there's stuff being concealed and hidden. I don't think this is good for Hornepayne or the North.
We're being forced into this because it's the only visible option we're being given for a better economy. There is no other choice being presented to the People of Hornepayne. We're made to think that if we want jobs, population increases, businesses, ground studies, scientist, paved roads, traffic lights, this is the answer and we'll never have those things without Nuclear Waste. It's the only answer to everything we want. When it comes to our future our choice is Nuclear Waste or what we have now (Nothing), and many rather have nothing than have Nuclear Waste buried in our back yard. I said right off the bat, I want options. If Hornepayne can have everything we desire without choosing Nuclear Waste who would consider it? Other communities grow by developing and following a strategic economic plan. They create a vision and they take steps to get there. We're not doing this because we have one thing in our site- Nuclear Waste. It's easy. It's free. Our leader can reap without lifting a finger. We're already seeing the $$$ flow into our Community.

Another thing is the community was told that the liaison committee would be made up of people who are both for and against this. We were told that both sides would be represented.  Are both sides evenly represented? It doesn't seem to be and that's a BIG RED FLAG for me. I would have liked to see a Councillor for and against, but instead the two most zealous men on Town Council sit on the committee.  

Not much info is being released about the committee's activities. To know anything we're told to attend meetings and no questions are answered unless we send in specific questions. I asked the other day what the worse case scenario is. That's a question that I would have expected the committee to have already asked and the truthful answer made public. I would have expected our Town Council to have asked that question before they even chose to explore this option.

The website is there but it's a skeleton IMO. It doesn't give me much information about the committee's activities. If I have to attend meetings to obtain information, I'll go without. I thought the liaison committee was appointed to find stuff out and release the info into the community. I've sent an email to the office asking what questions the committee has forwarded to NWMO so far. I await that reply. Surely the committee has asked a lot of questions in the last year and yet our computer screens are not flooded with answers.

Some would like us to pull out now because they know the longer we stay in this process the longer NWMO has to sway people away from what they believe. We're being promised the world and it's going to get harder and harder to stay "no" to all of it.

This article is a real eye opener. A Must read.

by Pat McNamara September 25, 2012

I found this stated in their own minutes. It seems to me the NWMO liaison committee is not permitted to release whatever they want to the public and yet I thought the committee was put together for that reason alone. It seems to me that they want to encourage transparency but  they're governed by the NWMO. Yikes.
"Committee voiced concerns that we are not keeping our committee activities public and visible enough. The question was asked what can the committee publicize, what will be the procedure and process to release information to the community? The CLC would like to be able to publish on a local level the activities of our committee. The publishing of upcoming events and information about our committee activities, which will continue to engage the community, reassure transparency and foster trust between the community and the CLC. The committee will publish only information and activities of the CLC staying away from factual information. The committee will continue to send all published material to NWMO."    
The following was a question that was asked by the committee to NWMO. I's true that Nuclear Waste is not a liquid or a gas. But, it's not nuclear waste that we're concerned about- it's the High Level Radiation that comes attatched to the waste that the question was referring to. Radiation is not a solid, liquid, or gas and yet it CAN leak into the environment. In my opinion their answer was deceptive.
Question # 11..... What if there is a leak? Do we know how to deal with it? What will happen to our health and to our community IF that happened?
A. Nuclear fuel waste is not a liquid. It is not a gas. It does not leak. It cannot explode. Canada’s plan for managing used nuclear fuel relies on multiple man-made and natural barriers to isolate and contain used fuel over the long term. If one of the barriers fails, there are multiple other barriers to isolate and contain the material. In order to obtain licences to construct and operate the deep geological repository the NWMO will have to demonstrate its safety to the satisfaction of citizens and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. The repository will be monitored and the used fuel will remain retrievable for an extended period of time."

November 8th, 2012
In the original blog post I made this statement:

"I know from applying that each applicant had to state if they were for it or against it in their application letter. Was anyone selected that stated they were not for this?"

It was pointed out to me that the above statement is untrue as the advertizement did not require the applicants to make that statement. For that reason I have taken the comment out.

Please note that it was made clear to the community that the CLC would be made up of people who are both for and against. This statement remains.

Please accept my apologies.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Get Real about Nuclear Waste

Wow! I can't believe it's been a year since my last post.

The Nuclear Waste project has been receiving some media attention lately. Our local debate started on Facebook (Let's Rebuild Hornepayne, Group) in the spring/summer of 2011. Our town is split for obvious reasons. The case for the project has been made. Canada needs a solution and there's billions of dollars waiting for the community who takes on the problem. The case against hasn't been so clearly stated. The best case scenario is out there but the worst case scenario is still quite mysterious.

The first time I heard about this topic was at the Candidates nights during the 2010 Municipal election. A question was asked about our position regarding this issue. Not knowing anything about it, all I could do was state my values:
  1. Healthy People  
  2. Healthy Economy
The economy is very important, but the lives of our children are more so. Since the beginning I've waited for a balance of information. Are the risks worth the rewards? What exactly are the risks? So far it is being said that this is safe. In fact we hear very little negative reports. Why are we not hearing anything negative? And I don't just mean locally. There's nothing negative being said nationally. This is bigger than small northern communities, this is international news but you would hardly know it. Are voices being silenced? Where's all the scientists who are against this project? Where's the educated people who can spot the flaws in this design? It's nuclear waste, surely someone has some red flags to raise.
What is the worst case scenario? What would a leak look like at 500 M below ground? How long will it take to detect it and what can be done about it? Will the majority of our town have cancer before it is detected?

The silence makes me nervous. I want all the true facts. I want an honest debate. I want to hear 2 sides- not just one. So far it seems lop sided and I hope it's not going to even out after the waste is planted in our ground. The case for it has been made, now let's hear the case against it. Presenting the worst case scenario would be a good place to start IMO.