Nuclear commission blasts Lunn over letter

THE CANADIAN PRESS: - Jan 08, 2008

Gary Lunn's letter to Linda Keen

Linda Keen's letter to Gary Lunn

The president of the Nuclear Safety Commission is accusing Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn of improper interference with the agency.

And in a letter to Lunn, Linda Keen warns that she'll fight in the courts any attempt by the minister to have her fired.

Keen says Lunn's letter threatening her termination for refusing to follow a ministerial directive will send a "chill" through quasi-judicial agencies that are supposed to be at arm's-length from government.

The nuclear watchdog says she has asked the privacy commissioner and the RCMP to investigate how Lunn's letter came to be leaked to the media.

Keen came under fire late last year when she insisted the 50-year-old nuclear reactor at Chalk River remain closed until a backup safety system was installed.

Lunn, and the prime minister, pressured the agency to reopen the reactor, eventually bringing in emergency legislation to overturn the watchdog's decision and restart the reactor.

Mark Lutes

Policy Analyst, Climate Change and Energy

David Suzuki Foundation

@ The Centre for Social Innovation

215 Spadina Ave, Suite 421

Toronto, ON M5T 2C7

Tel: 416 644-1032

Cell: 416 473-5919

Fax: 416 644-0116

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