Too many unanswered questions ~ MRC Pontiac opposes Chalk River nuclear dump

Added: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 11:06pm
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Allyson Beauregard

CAMPBELL’S BAY – During the Council of Mayors meeting, October 3rd., the MRC, Pontiac, after much criticism, took a stance on Canadian Nuclear Laboratories’ proposal to store radioactive waste in an above-surface mound a kilometre from the Ottawa River in Chalk River.
Only five mayors voted against the resolution that states the MRC opposes the project as currently presented, but their position can be reconsidered if all of the
concerns and those of residents, citizens groups, and other parties are adequately addressed by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC). Those who voted against the resolution were: Winston Sunstrum (L’Isle-aux-Allumettes); Jim Gibson (Rapides-des-Joachims); Gaetan Graveline (Fort-Coulonge); Terry Murdock (Thorne); and David Rochon (Waltham). 
During a Plenary Committee meeting a week prior, Kari Richardson, MRC Environment Coordinator, presented Council with a collection of information on the project, including various submissions to the CNSC.
Both Sunstrum and Murdock said they voted against the resolution because more information is needed before they can take a position. “There’s an ongoing process in place … We only saw a collection of input on the project, which anyone can submit,” said Sunstrum, who suggested the CNSC and Pontiac MP Will Amos be invited to address the Council.
“I’ve been told the CNSC is a rubber-stamper. We need to have them here so
they can respond to that allegation [and other concerns],” added Sunstrum.
However, this same lack of information and many unanswered questions about the health and environmental implications of the project are what Warden Raymond Durocher said drove the majority of mayors to oppose the project as
currently presented.
Jim Coffey, the owner of Esprit Rafting, is pleased the MRC has taken a stance on the issue after he urged Council to abandon the “wait and see approach” and officially state their position during September’s Council meeting.
Both the CNSC and Amos will be invited to address the mayors in the future.