Did I get your attention? It seems that what we thought was real was just an illusion. You know that heavy load permit that we were told was the only thing that Owen Sound city council had any control over in this whole Bruce Power nuclear steam generator shipment proposal. Well it was an illusion!
It turns out that Owen Sound city council (actually city staff) had no part in the signing of that permit at all. They never had. AND had city council done their research they would have known that, if in fact it is true. At this moment the Canadian Environmental Law Association and all the environmental advocates that I am associated with are researching the documentation that was handed down at the council meeting last evening.
CARGOS and city council were working under the assumption that a heavy load permit needs to be issued within thirty days of the shipment leaving Bruce Power Generating Station AND that only Owen Sound city staff had the authority to issue said permit.
Last night at city council we were informed that this was never the case. According to written statements from the council meeting of September 20, 2010
“The City Solicitor has spoken to Mr. Jamal, of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, Mr. Lavoie, legal counsel for the Commission and Mr. Schnur, legal counsel for Bruce Power, regarding this matter. Based on his discussion and research of the law, the City Solicitor has advised the City that the Federal Government has absolute jurisdiction over all matters related to atomic energy and they are considered as “occupying the field”. Therefore, the City’s By-law 1983-22 would not be applicable in this situation.”
So there you have it. The City waited to consult their lawyer about the heavy load permit and what they found out was that they never needed to apply for one because they have no say in this matter at all and never have. Had they done their research about this proposal from Bruce Power initially they would have known this. They needed to educate themselves about the health risks, the legal risks and the environmental risks from independent sources. But they didn’t. To this day, I don’t understand why. But a group of residents forced them to research the heavy load permit at last week’s city hall meeting and now we know much more. Owen Sound is being held hostage by Bruce Power.
I believe Bruce Power knew all along that they didn’t need this permit. The CNSC is supposed to be a body of excellence in research and technology. We are depending on them for the safety of this shipment. Do you think they didn’t have this information right from the start? And if they didn’t, how can we trust all the data and research information about the safety of this shipment that they are giving us? Is it accurate?
Bruce Power wants to go ahead with the project and if they need to get heavy-handed so be it. That’s a good corporate citizen.
As I see it we can do two things. City council can do exactly what they plan to do in the attached documents. They can outline all of the concessions they are requesting very politely. OR they can join the many groups and individuals already demanding more information and an independent environmental assessment before this project is even considered and fight for what is right.
I am going to Ottawa next week. I received the package of information today in preparation for the public hearings. Of the 79 submissions, only 11 were in favour of the project. Of those 11 submission they included folks who either work for Bruce Power or municipalities where Bruce Power employees live. It also included our own Health Unit.
There will be a few residents from Owen Sound there to support me that share my vision. We hope that Bruce Power will listen to the submissions and at the very least negotiate some alternatives.
Mayor Lovell Stanners will be there. She does not think this is a good idea and she is not afraid to say so. I respect that. It is not easy to take a stand such as this especially during an election.
The OPP liaison team told me they will be there also.
This is a very important time in Owen Sound’s history. This decision will shape how we use our harbour from now on. It will also impact how the world views the city of Owen Sound on a few days in September of 2010.