Citizen input needed on power plant; Response to: Nuclear Ambitions - March 19, 2008 Hamilton Spectator

The Hamilton Spectator: Janet Fraser (Grand Erie Energy Quest) - March 25, 2008

As a resident of Haldimand I would like to comment on the recent article by Tyler Hamilton, Energy Reporter from the Toronto Star, which appeared in the Hamilton Spectator under the front page headlines "Nuclear Ambitions: Haldimand and Norfolk want Premier Dalton McGuinty to choose Nanticoke as the site for the province's next nuclear power plant, generating as many as 1000 new jobs for the area."

There is one very important point that Tyler Hamilton has failed to mention the fact that there has been no public consultation by the councils of Haldimand and Norfolk around this issue. The two Mayors and councils have acted alone, in writing their letters to the Premier asking that our communities be considered to host a nuclear power facility. Bruce Nuclear has courted Haldimand and Norfolk councils over the past months with presentations, private meetings, and a tour of the Bruce Power Plant. The local councils are understandably excited about the possibility of high paying jobs in the area, but at what cost? This is not a decision, which can be made as lightly. The very small councils of Haldimand and Norfolk represent thousands of citizens in a very large and very rural geographic area, who have been entirely left out of the decision making process.

Representatives from Bruce Nuclear have stated that they will only build a power plant in a willing host community. Well, Haldimand /Norfolk citizens are not willing to host a nuclear power plant without educating themselves about the many controversial issues surrounding nuclear power _including the unresolved issue of nuclear waste, risks related to release of tritium into Lake Erie, health impacts of radioactivity into air and soil in an agricultural area, risks of accidents or terrorist attack, insurance issues, property values, to name a few.

A citizens' group called `Grand Erie Energy Quest' has formed and has created a website to provide a forum for citizens of Haldimand and Norfolk and the surrounding areas to educate themselves about energy issues, discuss these on the blog, and read many letters, reports and explore related websites. Communities must be well informed before a decision to host a nuclear facility can be made. There needs to be public meetings, workshops, and symposiums on all the alternatives for Nanticoke, including a truly green alternative energy plan.

The future of this beautiful area of Canada will be impacted for thousands of years by this decision. It is the citizens who must decide what kind of future we want for our children.

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