MASSE LETTER TO PM AND MINISTER ON PROPOSED DEEP GEOLOGIC REPOSITORY

Follow Former PM Joe Clark's Advice to US

December 10, 2014

 

Right Honourable Stephen Harper

Prime Minister of Canada

House of Common

Ottawa, ON    K1A0A6

 

Honourable Leona Aglukkaq

Minister of Environment

House of Common

Ottawa, ON    K1A0A6

 

Honourable John Baird

Minister of Foreign Affairs

House of Common

Ottawa, ON    K1A0A6

 

Honourable Greg Rickford

Minister of Natural Resources

House of Common

Ottawa, ON    K1A0A6

 

Dear Prime Minister Harper, and Honourable Ministers,

 I write today with a sense of concern and urgency over the proposed Deep Geologic Repository (DGR) for low and intermediate level radioactive waste proposed by Ontario Power Generation.  I understand that the hearings on this project by the Joint Review Panel have closed and a decision by the Government of Canada may be made as soon as May 2015. 

 Minister Aglukkaq, I do appreciate your response to my September 29, 2014, letter where you responded with the consultation and decision process, but I do want to ensure that before your government makes its final decisions on this matter, you carefully consider the concerns of everyone potentially impacted by this decision.  This includes our American neighbours and citizens living throughout the Great Lakes region who are expressing great concern and opposition to this project.

 To date, there have been 136 resolutions passed in opposition to this project from communities in both Canada and the United States.  This represents approximately 16.3 million people who live in these respective communities.  Many American legislators have been very vocal in their opposition to the proposal including Michigan State Senator Phil Pavlov who most recently released his concerns with the project publicly (attached). 

 I agree with Senator Pavlov that the Government of Canada should “follow its own standard” and respect the precedent set by the Right Honourable Joe Clark when in 1986 he released the attached statement in response to the proposed US Nuclear Waste Repository Program.  Most importantly, on behalf of the Government of Canada, Mr. Clark stated,

 “I and several of my Cabinet colleagues have made it clear to our US counterparts that this Government opposes any development that could present a transboundary threat to the welfare of Canadians or the integrity of the Canadian environment.”

Despite OPG steadfast assurances that the DGR will not pose any threat to human health or the environment, and regardless of any future recommendations by the Panel, it is very clear that American legislators and their constituents have already decided that the DGR poses a serious transboundary threat to Americans and their environment. For this reason, I urge you to carefully consider the words of the Right Honourable Joe Clark when considering the effect that this project, if approved, could have on cross-border relations with our United States counterparts. 

 Finally, I urge you to carefully consider that the potential risks the DGR poses to the Great Lakes environment, ecosystems and drinking water relied upon by millions of Canadians and Americans (including the 16.3 million represented by resolutions opposing the DGR) need not be taken.

 Again, please do not hesitate to contact me should you require any further information on this matter.  It is vital that your government do the right thing and consider all of the evidence and testimony in opposition to this project.  I look forward to your responses.

 Yours truly,

 Brian Masse MP

Windsor West

  Attach. (2)

  

 CC:         Chris Charlton MP – Official Opposition Critic, Natural Resources

                Paul Dewar MP – Official Opposition Critic, Foreign Affairs

                Gary Doer, Canadian Ambassador to the United States

                Bruce A. Heyman, United States Ambassador to Canada              

                Megan Leslie MP – Office Opposition Critic, Environment

                Honourable Thomas Mulcair – Leader of the Official Opposition