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Response to March 26/08 Port Dover Maple Leaf: Mayors of Norfolk and Haldimand write Premier urging nuclear plant for Nanticoke

Port Dover Maple Leaf: Janet Fraser (Grand Erie Energy Quest) April 2, 2008

As a resident of Haldimand I would like to comment on this recent article.

One very important point that is 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 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 www.energyquest4nanticoke.ca 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.

Although there were a few public meetings last spring about energy issues, these were initiated by interested citizens as well as our MPP Toby Barrett. There has been no request for public input from our councils. Following the Energy Symposium sponsored by Toby Barrett last June, the symposium survey results indicated that only 2.3% of respondents favoured pursuing the construction of a nuclear plant.

There needs to be more 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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