Urgent action required for hunger strike against uranium mining

Sharon Howarth - Dec 11, 2007 - 416-604-5783

--Grandma from Ottawa on 65th day of a hunger strike

--provincial government declare a Uranium Mining Moratorium for Ontario

--12,000 hectares (30,000 acres) near Sharbot Lake, west of Perth, is marked for uranium exploration and open-pit mining

--radioactive uranium can contaminate both air and water.

--when released from the rock that encases it, 'radon gas' escapes into the atmosphere.

--the tailings possess elevated concentrations of radioisotopes and, from the proposed mine area, seepage water would end up in the Mississippi River watershed and ultimately in Ottawa, where it could filter into it's water supply.

Donna Dillman urgently needs your support. For 65 days, this 53-year old grandmother has not been eating, subsisting only on juices to draw attention to the issue of new uranium mines being opened up in Eastern Ontario. Premier McGuinty has not responded to her call for an independent public committee of inquiry into uranium mining before uranium mines are opened. The Legislature is about to close for Christmas this Thursday and will not reopen until February. Because she fears she will not last until February, Donna has taken the drastic step of escalating her hunger strike to water-only, in the hopes of bringing attention to the issue.

A water-only diet can be lethal within weeks, and Donna is no longer strong. There is also an urgency around the fact that the Legislature is about to close.

For Donna's safety, please write or call Premier McGuinty and ask your friends to join you. Help us flood his office with calls and emails over the next few days.

Ask for a moratorium on uranium mining in Eastern Ontario, and the creation of an independent public committee to look into uranium mining. A suggested letter and mailing instructions can be found at the end of this message.

Donna's is a very reasonable request. A provincial Royal Commission on Electric Power Planning recommended in 1978 that Ontario create an independent committee such as the one Donna asks for, because they recognized the serious and increasing health and environmental challenges associated with uranium mining. Such a committee has never been created. Premier McGuinty has a moral duty to create this committee before embarking on the opening up of more uranium mines. It's just common sense.

Nor is there any need to hurry into the creation of new uranium mines. Reserves in existing mines have 40 years worth of uranium remaining, and most of our uranium is exported. There is no need to rush into the destruction of yet another community from uranium mining.

Come to the march against uranium mining this Thursday

Thursday, December 13, 9:30 AM, Toronto CPT Office

(Steelworkers' Hall, 25 Cecil Street, Unit 307)

Join the call for a moratorium on uranium mining and for respect for Aboriginal land rights.

For more information on Donna Dillman's hunger strike and the facts around uranium mining, visit the site of the Canadian Coalition Against Mining Uranium (CCAMU): <>

Or visit the site of the Canadian Coaltion for Nuclear Responsibility (CCNR) here: <>

Also, see a video of Donna's latest announcement at Queen's Park here: <>

Below is a proposed letter to Premier McGuinty.

Please send email or fax, or call:

Premier McGuinty

Queen's Park

Room 281, Main Legislative Building

Toronto, ON M7A 1A4

Tel: 416-325-1941

Fax: 416-325-3745

Send a copy to Donna Dillman's assistant at

Lynn Daniluk

Sample letter:

Dear Premier McGuinty,

I'm writing to you today because I am concerned about the health of Donna Dillman, a 53-year old Ontario grandmother who is on the 66 th day of her hunger strike for a moratorium on uranium mining in Eastern Ontario. She has announced that she will move to a water-only regime today if her appeal is not met. As you must know, she cannot go many weeks on water-only. Her life is very much in danger.

Mr. Premier, Ms. Dillman's request for a full public inquiry into uranium mining is very reasonable. In September 1978, an Ontario Royal Commission on Electric Power Planning, recognizing the health and environmental problems associated with uranium mining and mill tailings, recommended the establishment of an independent review committee of "internationally recognized ecologists" to study the challenges of uranium mining. Such a committee has never been established. Donna is simply asking your government to follow recommendations that have been before it for almost 30 years before embarking on a course of action that could poison many Ontario communities.

There is no reason to rush ahead with mining. Canada already has uranium reserves that could last for 40 years. We export 85% of our uranium. On what possible grounds would you want to resist meeting her requests?

I ask you to do what's right and let Donna Dillman eat her Christmas meal with her grandchildren.



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