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Nuclear waste at Chalk River: “A disappointing decision for Gatineau” according to Bélisle

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Jan10,2024

Nuclear waste areas in Chalk River: “A disappointing decision for Gatineau” according to Bélisle

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The mayor of Gatineau, France Bélisle. (Archive photo)

Radio-Canada

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Gatineau Mayor France Bélisle calls Canadian Nuclear Laboratories' (CNL) decision to authorize the construction of a nuclear waste management facility at Chalk River, northwest of Ottawa, “disappointing.” along the Ottawa River.

In a statement published on the social network X (formerly Twitter), France Bélisle mentioned that the decision raises critical concerns about the drinking water safety of millions of residents.

The mayor of Gatineau suggested that we will continue to insist [on the importance] of adequate measures to minimize the risks for our citizens along the Ottawa River.

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The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission authorizes a nuclear waste management facility at Chalk River, despite criticism. (Archive photo)

Invited to comment on the decision, the federal Liberal MP for Pontiac, Sophie Chatel, mentioned from the outset that she was reassured to know that there will be no negative impacts on the Ottawa River, which was the priority of the people who live there.

Sophie Chatel, however, did not hide her disappointment with the approval given by the Commission, which is, remember, independent of the government. The elected official calls for full transparency with the population, environmental groups and indigenous peoples.

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There is a certain deficiency [regarding] the legislation. We consulted on a very specific project, but there were not really any substantial conversations on alternatives to this project. I think it's in the law itself. We are asking the Commission to look at a project, not the alternatives, commented the one who entered the House of Commons at the end of the 2021 federal elections.

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Sophie Chatel succeeded William Amos as federal MP for Pontiac. (Archive photo)

On the Government of Canada website, we recall that the Commission's decision only applies to the construction of the IGDPS project.

The authorization to operate the IGDPS will be the subject of a future hearing and decision by the Commission regarding the granting of a permit in the event that CNL submits an application in this regard, it is specified.

France Bélisle and Sophie Chatel are not the only elected officials to have expressed their dissatisfaction with the adoption of this project .

Tuesday afternoon, the prefect of the MRC of Pontiac, Jane Toller, struggled to understand why the federal government had accepted this, when it is perfectly aware of the United Nations Declaration [on the rights of indigenous peoples ], according to which no storage of nuclear waste should take place on [indigenous] lands.

Kebaowek Chief Lance Haymond also strongly condemned the decision of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, calling it unacceptable. He called on Ottawa to act quickly and to affirm the suspension of the project without delay.

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Lance Haymond calls for federal government intervention. (Archive photo)

Radio-Canada learned earlier this year that researchers at the Canadian Museum of Nature were opposing to this project because of the risks for two freshwater species that are already threatened, including the Hickorynut. The project led by SNC-Lavalin would be located just one kilometer from the Ottawa River.

Several First Nations communities also have multiple occasions, expressed their concerns regarding this project.

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my natasha@thetimeshub.in 1-800-268-7116

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