Uranium fight on rise - Green leader May joins battle against 'hazardous' mining

Ottawa Sun: AEDAN HELMER, SUN MEDIA - September 22, 2007

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May has joined the growing chorus calling on the federal government for an immediate moratorium on uranium mining in Canada.

"Canada must stop mining and refining uranium," May said yesterday following a presentation by the Community Coalition Against Mining Uranium.

"The uranium extraction process is extremely hazardous to the environment and to the health of mine workers and the public."

The coalition presented an environmental impact assessment on a proposed uranium mining site north of Sharbot Lake, prepared by Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility president Dr. Gordon Edwards.

Native protesters have blockaded the entrance to the site and closed down portions of Hwy. 7 last month -- actions supported by Edwards.

"The brave men and women who are blockading the Sharbot Lake site are not only protecting their own land, they are also protecting the Ottawa River and the entire Ottawa region from radioactive contamination," Edwards said.

He said uranium ore bodies are "among the deadliest mineral deposits on Earth," warning that mining unleashes large quantities of radioactive "decay products" into the environment.

Added May: "Radioactive particles carried downwind and downstream have the potential to poison thousands of Eastern Ontarians through the air they breathe and the water they drink."

May was critical of Premier Dalton McGuinty's $40-billion proposal to build more nuclear power generating stations as a solution to the province's energy needs.

She also called on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to abandon his "not-so-hidden" nuclear agenda, calling nuclear power "environmentally damaging, economically unsound and inextricably linked to nuclear weapons proliferation."

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