On March 21, 2011 Emma Lui and Mark Calzavara from the Council of Canadians paid a visit to Grey Bruce. Emma hails from Ottawa and is the National Water Campaigner. Mark is from Toronto and is the Regional Organizer. I first met Emma in Ottawa in September 2010 when we attended the CNSC hearings. We also “meet” regularly by email and conference call.
While here they drove to the Bruce Power Generating Station and followed the proposed transport route that the trucks will take to bring the steam generators to Owen Sound harbour.
I then met them at a local coffee shop and we were joined by David Walton the local Council of Canadians representative. We talked about World Water Day which was the next day, March 22. Conversation soon turned to the steam generator issue which we were all concerned about and involved with. It was agreed that the community of Owen Sound needs to be more engaged in the campaign to stop the transport of the steam generators. Owen Sound has much to offer such as Summerfolk, Otherfolk, a winning hockey team and a community college. However it appears that it may be the youth and First Nations who are the most interested and concerned. That makes sense, because it is their future and resources we are gambling with.
We also talked about the OPP liaison team that had been in touch with us and how “privacy” is really just an illusion.
The group also discussed the upcoming Darlington hearings which I am presenting at in early April and of course the current events in Japan.
Then we left the coffee shop and headed down to the harbour to see where the steam generators would be loaded onto the cargo ship if the project is given the seal of approval.
It was a windy and very cold March day as we walked quickly through downtown. Since I often have out-of-town visitors I have a “pitch” about how great Owen Sound is, because let’s face it…Owen Sound is great! I pointed out that our downtown is truly a destination for people to shop, do business and have a meal or a cup of coffee. This was evident by the amount of traffic.
I also noted that the Owen Sound Attack were doing well this year. This was obvious by the “GO ATTACK!” signs in the store front windows. David noted the flower boxes on the bridge and told Emma how beautiful the flowers are when they are in full bloom in the summer.
Then we walked past the Chi Cheemaun. I told Mark and Emma how important the ferry is to the area and what a trip on “The Big Canoe” is like. Of course I encouraged them to take a ferry ride some day.
We took some photos and video down by the water and while there we discussed the new Family Health Clinic that is under construction.
We then headed to a coffee shop and warmed up. Emma and Mark said goodbye but before leaving Owen Sound they drove by our water treatment plant. The planned loading site for the generators is too close to the water treatment plant to guarantee the safety of our drinking water as documented by many experts.
Emma is off to Europe soon to meet with the Nuclear Free Local Authorities in Brussels. On behalf of the Council of Canadians she asks everyone to write to the Ontario Ministers of Energy, Environment and Transportation. Here is the link to the Action Alert she is speaking about.
Our guests were impressed by the city. Owen Sound IS a place I want to live. But it ISN’T a place I want to become known as nuclear garbage depot. That is what it will be if the Bruce Power steam generator project proceeds.
I enjoyed the day with these young people. They are intelligent and motivated. It is refreshing to see them work. Their agenda is simply to do the right thing for the environment and the people they serve. They are inspiring and it’s an honour to know them.