Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Letter to the Editor Jackfish Journal

November 9, 2012

Letter to the editor,

This letter is in response to the article “CBC Fair and unbiased?” that was printed in the October 31st issue of the Jackfish Journal.

As someone who is opposed to the Nuclear Waste I found some of the claims in that article disturbing. According to Statistics Canada, there’s a total of 5600 Communities in our County. Out of all the communities only 21 chose to explore this idea. We are told the benefits will be amazing if we end up as the “Host” community, and yet 99.6% of Canada didn’t touch this “opportunity”.  

Mayor Morley and Willy, the Chairman of the CLC, are displeased with the negative slant that CBC took in their reporting. They claim CBC was unfair and biased against the process that Hornepayne is in. They are displeased that CBC didn’t ask any questions about the “potential economic development that could result from being the ‘Host’ community”. Mayor Morley had many “inspiring things to say about our community and our prospects for the future” but CBC was not interested and those comments were cut. I can say that for many of us, the “benefits” of this “opportunity” are not the focus.

The Chairman of the CLC states that “referring to this as a ‘dump’ is highly misleading.” What I think is misleading is the image that they want to portray to our Community: a “high end”, “prestige” place for the burial of Waste. It’s High Level Radioactive Garbage that the nuclear industry wants to plant in our clean land. It’s going to cost the industry 26 Billion dollars to bury it here. An expensive dump is still a dump.

When Willy was asked if the DGR project will be risky for the host community he immediately focuses the reader to the benefits that may come as a result. “Risk is what one perceives it to be” he says.  And he also states that we live with risk every day. But I don’t have to be an expert to conclude how bad this stuff is. They want to bury it 500 meters in the ground- that’s about CN Tower deep underground. What does that say about it? Nuclear Waste is solid therefore it can’t leak, but the waste contains High Level Radiation which is neither solid, liquid, or gas but it CAN leak and contaminate our environment. The DGR is going to be a man made barrier designed to keep the toxic poison from leaking into our land. This stuff will be active for 100,000 years. Have you known man to build anything that can withstand that amount of time? The risks are real and the benefits do not compare.

Mayor Morley was asked about public education to which he replied “That is the function of the LEARN MORE process…”. The CLC was created to help our town with the learning process. In their minutes dated May 3, 2012 it states:
"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."    

This reveals to me that NWMO is being permitted to filter the information that we receive in this learning process. I encourage you to get on the internet and do your own research. We need to learn more than what NWMO is releasing into our community. Do not rely on this one source. There are many different voices out there that have different things to say about this project.  (You can start your search and share your findings at

“In response to the question about the image of the community that will eventually host the repository Willy stated that; ‘The image of the host community will be something that all other communities will strive for. Keep in mind that the host community will be the only one of its kind in Canada.” This “opportunity” was extended to every municipality in Canada and again, 99.6% of Canada did not view this as something that would be good for their community.

Canada is adopting the same DGR model as Sweden. Sweden is further along than Canada. It was released last week that in their review of the plan, the Swedish review board has found some “Major Shortcomings”. Here’s a quote from the article:
The Swedish regulator has found that the Swedish industry’s nuclear waste burial plan is deficient in several key areas, and that it lacked the necessary information related to the long-term safety of the project and the protection of human health, and that further research may be required to address information gaps related to the long term integrity of the copper canisters that would be used to store the highly radioactive nuclear fuel waste.”
Yet we are continually reassured by our leaders that the proposed plan is “very safe” and the risks are minimal.

Willy states that “the nuclear industry is the safest most highly regulated industry in the world”. And this may be true but when there’s an accident, and there has been some, it’s considered a disaster. Three Mile Island in the United States, Chernobyl in the former Soviet Union, and most recently Fukushima in Japan are examples. The industry is run by humans who occasionally make errors and it’s done in a world that is not free of natural disasters. The facility that they want to build here is yet to exist anywhere in the world. Maybe Sweden will have their facility built before we do, but still we’re going to be the gunny pigs for this new technology. Have you known man to typically get everything right on the first try? Hornepayne’s future generations will be left with the consequences of our errors.  

The article concludes with, “According to our Mayor and the Community Liaison Committee chairman, all evidence indicates that that this is a very safe proposal and it will economically benefit the community of Hornepayne.” 

I think I’ll conclude with that statement too.

Bev Allen.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Don't take the bait

We're in the Nuclear Waste process because we chose to be. Actually, the community didn't choose, the leaders chose to throw our names into the hat. "It's a good opportunity for us to look into, and we're not obligated in any way", many say. We're in the "learning process" so if it comes down to a community vote we'll be "educated".

I learned last week that the committee that was set up a year ago to help educate the community is not working with NWMO but they are working under NWMO. They've allowed NWMO to filter all the information that the community receives. The committee has asked many questions over the past year yet they have agreed to stay away from releasing anything factual, and that includes any answers that NWMO has provided the committee. So far, answers to roughly 15 questions have been released to the community. There have been a few open houses where NWMO brought in their experts. Of course, we have been informed to direct all our questions to them.

We need to come out from under NWMO. We can certainly learn about this process without them. Wouldn't it be better to have unbiased sources of information? But, can we really eliminate them? What would it cost us at this point? Well, NWMO has already created a few jobs in our community and they have rented a house. Members of the CLC have gone on educational trips with all expenses paid by NWMO. We're not obligated in any way, BUT if we CHOOSE to turn our backs on NWMO today we would be left without any funds to educate ourselves, we would lose the jobs and our committee would lose their office.

It seems to me that Hornepayne is already taking the bait. It's true that we'll have the option to choose, but the longer we stay in this process the more it's going to cost us to say "no".

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Our True Identity

"The American people lost sight of our true identity and purpose as a nation. When identity is restored purpose is restored, and with purpose comes empowerment, and with empowerment comes a strong sense of direction! So there is a national shift happening that will affect our identity, purpose, power and direction. Within this national shift we will see a government and economic shift."

The above quote is a portion of a prophecy- it contains an important principal for us. Remember when the CAC did all those surveys and community forums? Before our community's direction could be determined they were trying to figure out Who Hornepayne is. As a community, what's our identity? What's our strengths and weaknesses and how can we use those things for our own betterment? When we know who we are then our purpose can be identified. Once we know our purpose we can create the steps to put it into action- thus we move forward. An action plan has already been created. You can get a copy at the HEDC.

Hornepayne is clean, pollution free. We're hunters and fishermen. We're lovers of the outdoors. Does Nuclear Waste fit with who we are? The only part of it that we're connecting to is the money. If there was no money involved we'd have absolutely no connection to it- None! Nuclear Power and Nuclear Waste is a normal part of other communities. They live among it. They're families work at the plants. They know Nuclear. This is not who we are.

Beware of this learning process. They want us to learn to be something that we're not. Saying things like Scientist and people with PHDs will join our community is a bribe that plays into our identity. "With Nuclear Waste Hornepayne will be a smarter community." And we want that as a part of our identity so we buy into it.

Be Aware of the messages that are being sent out. If it seems to good to be true, chances are it is.

Edit to Add:
I was just pondering this a bit more .

It's true that we all go off to college and learn something new. It's not that we can't learn new things and become better as a result. I'm talking about the person who, let's say was born loving kids and always wanted to be a teacher. It's great if that person goes to school and does that. It's a tragedy (IMO) if that person is motivated for more money and chooses a different path. Money does not bring true happiness. Maybe at first it will seem great, but it won't last because the real longings will continue to go unsatisfied. That person will always desire to be a teacher.

As a community I feel that we're doing this with Nuclear Waste.