Re: Haldimand County Seeks Nuclear Plant Assessment: Council sends McGuinty letter of support for Nuclear Assessment (Dunnville Chronicle, Wed. May 9/07)

It appears that Haldimand Council has, after a rather short courtship with Bruce Nuclear's extremely well paid salesman, Duncan Hawthorne, decided that Haldimand County would like to host a Nuclear Power Facility. Writing a letter to the Premier, requesting a costly environmental assessment is as much as saying, the community has already agreed to hosting this facility (and possibly hosting the 1.9 million bundles of nuclear waste, which are in need of a home). The decision to send this letter was made by four people on council, and could be the most serious decision ever made in Haldimand, with grave long-term consequences. This decision has been made without public consultation and without the community having had the benefit of Public Information meetings in all communities to present all sides of the issue and alternative strategies to meet our energy and employment needs. Until we have an informed public that supports having a nuclear facility in Haldimand, the council had no right to send this letter on our behalf. Congratulations to Marie Trainer, Lorne Boyko and Don Ricker, who voted against sending this letter.

One might argue that an opinion poll, which was paid for by Bruce Nuclear, suggested that the majority of residents were open to discussing nuclear options for Nanticoke. However the poll also revealed that only 11 % of the people polled felt that they were very knowledgeable about nuclear power or nuclear technology issues. When it comes to such a serious matter, the public must be well informed. "Somewhat knowledgeable" is just not good enough.

It is well established that the wording of the questions, the order in which they are asked and the number and form of alternative answers offered can influence results of polls. On some issues, question wording can result in quite pronounced differences between surveys. This poll asked no questions about how people felt about renewable energy, conservation, or nuclear waste.

Haldimand Council should do the right thing

-Retract the letter to Premier McGuinty and admit that it was premature to assume that the community is in favour of a Nuclear Facility

-Ensure that every community in Haldimand and Norfolk have an opportunity to have public information meetings with balanced presentations both proponents and opponents of Nuclear Energy, including alternative energy solutions.

-Once the public is informed, a plebiscite should be held to determine how much support there really is for a nuclear power facility.

The incredible natural areas of Haldimand and Norfolk are the greatest legacy we can leave to future generations. Any decision affecting the future of our ecosystem and health and well being of our children's children cannot be made lightly.

Janet Fraser

Cayuga, ON

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