DGR Saugeen Shores lawyer John Mann asks Review Panel to recuse themselves


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Lawyer, John Mann, from Saugeen Shores presented his submission at the Joint Panel Review (JPR) in Kincardine on Tuesday, September 17th.

The panel was established to review Ontario Power Generation's (OPG) proposal for a deep geologic repository (DGR) for low and intermediate radioactive waste.

Mann has presented several deputations to his local (Saugeen Shores) Town Council and, at the Review Panel asked several questions of those presenting submissions.

When it was his turn to present a submission, Mann was very vocal in his criticism of the appointed panel and went so far as to recommend that they recuse themselves and accused the Chair, Dr. Stella Swanson of having a conflict of interest.

"Golder Associates," said Mann, "did several reports on nuclear matter and you (Swanson) were an employee of Golder at one point.  Any reasonable person would find it a conflict and it creates an appearance of bias or actual bias."  He also pointed out that the Chair's resume also indicates experience in Environmental Assessments for OPG.  "You also worked on high level nuclear waste for Atomic energy in the 1990s.  You are sitting as an impartial member and people might wonder ... is that a conflict?"

The Chair retaliated saying that Mann should have raised any concerns during the preliminary.  "If I had any concerns about being able to be independent," she retorted, "I would not have accepted this position.  Those of us in this field have resumes that are similar to mine.  I have a very broad and non-biased view."

 Mann said that he was asking for the panel's recusal.  "It is not neutral or unbiased..  I started sending emails in 2012 to the Joint Panel Review until February 22, 2013.  Then I got a phone call from your co-manager asking me not to send any more."

At this point, the Chair interjected explaining that a 'spam' ruling had been made public by Environment Canada and was clear on the spamming issue.  Mann kept on with his issue on spamming until the Chair finally told him that if he did not stop on a subject that had been dealt with, he would have to leave.


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Mann came back saying that the JPR's lawyer had sent him a letter asking for clarification of any motions.  "This is the same person who is Senior Council for both the CNSC.  Therefore, he represents both the CNSC and you as an independent tribunal, with the CNSC presenting to you."

"Mr. Mann," said the Chair, "we are temporary commissioners so it is common to have the same lawyer advise us."

"I got involved in this issue 10 years ago," said Mann.  He then went on to raise several more issues, including a high level DGR.  "Why don't we just have one DGR?  Why can't we have a high level DGR and just throw everything in it?"  Eventually, the Chair said his time was up.

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013