It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything here.  I am still busy with social and environmental causes, however as a single mother my family has been the priority over the past few months.  Having said that there are several exciting things on the environmental front that I’d like to share.

On February 3, 2012 the transport license application for the steam generators expired.  That means that if Bruce Power wants to move forward with the nuclear steam generator transport and recycling project it must reapply for another transport license.  As Maude Barlow stated ” “This is an opportunity for the CNSC (Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission) to begin a needed shift in Great Lakes governance by genuinely listening to public input and consulting with First Nations.”.

Of course this doesn’t mean that Bruce Power won’t apply for another license.  But for now the radioactive steam generators remain tucked away in their tombs and stored in a nondescript warehouse near Kincardine.  And that is where they can stay for now.

I recall the first time I heard about this project.  I thought, “this can’t be real.  City Council won’t let them do this.”  Then as time went on I realized that City Council was going to let Bruce Power go ahead and it would likely happen if residents didn’t speak up.

I had recently moved to Owen Sound from Sauble Beach and I was happy not to worry about water issues.  While living in Sauble Beach my home was serviced by a municipal well.  During the days of the Walkerton Water Inquiry our water and the water to about 25 homes became contaminated with ecoli (different strain as in Walkerton).  Some children and adults became ill).  We were forced to boil our water for over 9 months.  It was a very difficult time.  I spearheaded a group of residents and we fought with municipal, health unit (Dr. Hazel Lynn) and Henderson Paddon officials to correct the problem.  Eventually the water system was repaired but it cost a lot of money and residents’ health.

What I learned during my experience in Sauble Beach was that residents need to mobilize early when faced with serious problems.  They need to be assertive, ask questions, find allies, and document, document, document.

That is exactly what we did in Owen Sound.  We contacted environmental groups and any groups we felt would have an interest in protecting the health of the Great Lakes.  We formed a group and named it CARGOS (Citizens Against Radioactive Generators In Owen Sound).  These groups mobilized and together we worked to get Public Hearings at the CNSC.  I asked for standing as an intervenor and was accepted.

I travelled to Ottawa and made my presentation to the panel.  Mayor Lovell Stanners and Dr. Stanners were there.  Mayor Lovell Stanners presented also.  She was terrific and represented Owen Sound welI.  We should be forever grateful to Mayor Lovell Stanners and Dr. Stanners for their support.  I was disappointed when she was defeated in the municipal election as she had taken a political risk opposing Bruce Power.  But she did the right thing for the city, the residents and the Great Lakes and she should be very proud.

At one point I was contacted by the Provincial Liaison Team of the OPP.  It was a random Tuesday night at a Tim Horton’s in Owen Sound. They wanted to talk to me about “peaceful protest” and assured me that I wasn’t on a “no fly list”.  Good to know if I can ever afford to go on a trip.

Yesterday I had a tour of the Western Waste Management Facility at Bruce Power.  (I’ll talk about that in another post) I saw the storage facility where the nuclear steam generators are stored.   Who could have predicted that I would be driving by them the very day the deadline passed?  What irony!  As we passed by I couldn’t hold back.  I said to my tour guide, “They won’t be going anywhere soon.”  Of course my comment was ignored.

A battle has been won.  David is triumphant for now.  I feel like I have kicked ass in fabulous black patent Doc Martens.


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