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Don’t float nuke boat: Horwath to McGuinty

September 23, 2010

QUEEN’S PARK – NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is calling on the McGuinty government to halt planned shipments of radioactive waste through the Great Lakes.
Bruce Power is proposing to ship 16 radioactive nuclear steam generators from Owen Sound to Sweden for dismantling and recycling.
“Seventy Great Lakes mayors, dozens of environmental groups, and First Nations communities oppose this plan, which was not part of Bruce Power’s initial proposal and exceeds by 50 times international limits for radioactivity on a single ship,” said Horwath, citing the growing grassroots opposition.
“Why isn’t the McGuinty government taking action to prevent this unprecedented and unnecessary threat?” she asked Premier Dalton McGuinty during this morning’s Question Period.
McGuinty passed the question to his Energy Minister Brad Duguid who in the passed the concern to the Federal government, saying its under their jurisdiction
“The McGuinty government needs to stop passing the buck and show some leadership,” said Horwath.
“The Ontario government is responsible for protecting the Great Lakes. And the provincial government owns Ontario Power Generation (OPG) which owns and operates the radioactive waste site where the generators are stored.”
She implored McGuinty stop ignoring the obvious danger to Ontarians.
“The Premier should order OPG to slam the brakes on this hare-brained plan to ship radioactive nuclear waste through our Great Lakes,” said Horwath.

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Media Contact: Samuel Pane (416) 325-2765

LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF ONTARIO
Thursday 23 September 2010
ORDERS OF THE DAY
ORAL QUESTIONS
Nuclear waste
Ms. Andrea Horwath: My question is to the Premier. Seventy Great Lakes mayors, dozens of environmental groups and First Nations communities all oppose transporting 16 radioactive nuclear steam generators through the Great Lakes to Sweden. This shipment was not part of Bruce Power’s initial proposal, and it exceeds by 50 times international limits for radioactivity on a single ship.

Why isn’t the McGuinty government taking action to prevent this unprecedented and unnecessary threat to our great lakes?
Hon. Dalton McGuinty: To the Minister of Energy.

Hon. Brad Duguid: I appreciate the question from the member opposite. I understand that Bruce Power has applied to ship 16 decommissioned steam generators to Sweden via the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway.

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission is mandated to protect the health and safety and security of Canadians as well as the environment. I understand that this process that they are undertaking will allow Bruce to reduce the volume of waste that they have in storage by about 90%. That’s a pretty good contribution in terms of improving environmental circumstances here in this province and across the country.

But it is the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission that’s responsible for the these kinds of shipments. I think the member opposite knows that.
We know the member doesn’t support nuclear energy. The member should know that that’s 50% of our generation. That’s the workhorse of our system. We certainly will always be working with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to ensure that we’re providing that power responsibly—

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Thank you. Supplementary?

Ms. Andrea Horwath: This government and this minister keep saying that this is a federal responsibility, but the Ontario government is responsible for the protection of our Great Lakes. The government of this province owns Ontario Power Generation, which owns and operates the radioactive waste site where the generators are stored.

When will the McGuinty government finally stop passing the buck and order OPG to slam the brakes on this hare-brained plan to ship radioactive nuclear waste through the Great Lakes?

Hon. Brad Duguid: I understand the concern the member is raising, but it is the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission that’s responsible for these issues. We can’t rewrite the Constitution just because you want us to.

I think what’s at issue is here is, once again, the NDP is opposed to something. They’re opposed to everything. They’re opposing our investments in aging infrastructure. You’re opposing our measures that we’re taking to create jobs and create an—

...They oppose clean reliable emission-free nuclear power that generates half of our energy supply. They are opposing the modernization of our energy system. They’re opposing support for northern Ontario and helping them deal with energy bills. And they oppose the agreement with Samsung, which is creating 16,000 jobs in this country.

This is the member that has the gumption to get on her feet just a few weeks ago to talk about jobs. She wants—
The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Thank you. New question.