Final Hearing on the Chalk River Megadump – Thursday, August 10, Commission hearing, 9am to 12 noon
Gordon Edwards, 9 Aug 23
Thursday, August 10, from 9 am to noon – CNSC will be conducting its final public hearings on the planned “megadump” at Chalk River — a gigantic mound of radioactive and non-radioactive toxic wastes, five to seven stories high, about one kilometre from the Ottawa River. About two-thirds of the radionuclides in the listed radioactive inventory have half-lives in excess of 5000 years. To tune in to the live webcast, visit http://cnsc.isilive.ca
Thursday’s hearings will be for the sole purpose of allowing the Algonquin communities of Kebaowek and Kitigan-Zibi to make their final presentations to the Commissioners. The Chalk River site is situiated on the unceded territory of 11 Algonquin communities. The Commission will not allow the Algonquin representatives to appear in person, they must make their case by zoom. The Indigenous leaders are explicitly forbidden from introducing any new evidence, they are asked to simply summarize the evidence that has already been presented to the CNSC.
Although the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) states that hazardous materials cannot be stored or disposed of on Indigenous land without the free, prior, informed consent of the Indigenous people whose land is affected, and although the Government of Canada acknowledges that it has a duty to consult with Indigenous Peoples, the Algonquins were not brought into the process until after all the major decisions had been made, including the site for the megadump (euphemistically called a Near Surface Disposal Facility NSDF).Keboawek Ashinbeg Nation, and Kitigan-Zibi Nation, do not consent to the project. They particularly object to the siting of these very long-lived highly toxic wastes so close to the Ottawa River.
All the key decisions about this project were made by a consortium of multinational corporations headed by SNC-Lavalin — a Quebec-based company that the Prime Minister has been eager to protect from criminal prosecution in the past. SNC-Lavalin was banned for 10 years from bidding on any international projects funded by the World Bank because of a proven record of fraudulent practices in many countries. In Quebec, SNC-Lavalin corporate executives went to jail for fraudulent practices connected with a “Super-Hospital” and a major Bridge, and for an elaborate corporate scheme to funnel illegal donations to political parties while hiding the true facts in its duplicitous corporate ledgers using an elaborate coding system.
The consortium, operating under the name “Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL)”, was originally hired under the Harper administration but with a premature renewal of their contract by the Trudeau administration. CNL has been receiving close to a billion dollars a year in taxpayers money since the consortium was hired.
All Canadians should be concerned that long-lived human-made post-fission wastes are about to be permanently “disposed of” (i.e.placed in a gigantic glorified landfill) without the consent of the Indigenous people or of the 174 municipalities (including the City of Montreal) that have strongly objected to the project. Apparenlty, the convenience of the nuclear promoters with the complicity of a captured nuclear regulator over-rules the wishes of Canadian citizens or the long-term protection of a major river from unnecessary ultimate contamination.
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