In response to Mike Sterling's piece, "Science/DGRs DGRs and Earthquakes" in which he states:
"For another good summary of DGRs and the cycle of producing Nuclear Waste see the Assembly of First Nations Technical Backgrounder Part II
Notice that this is not a position paper by First Nations, but a backgrounder. This is the right way to approach the problem. That is, information followed by consultation, opinions and decisions. Without accurate information, planning is blind."
He is correct that the AFN did use the right approach to the problem, and it gives just that much more validity to the serious concerns raised in their dialogue and conclusions derived from their careful review. This can be found in the documents that are all organized on the AFN nuclear waste dialogue website: http://188.8.131.52/article.asp?id=2395 . Readers should not stop with the backgrounder information - all of the AFN documents are pertinent to the situation in Saugeen Shores. They show very similar concerns to those now being raised by the Saugeen Shores community.
One excerpt reads:
First, it must be clearly pointed out that the NWMO and AFN dialogues are not a proper consultation and therefore, the NWMO reports are invalid and not in good faith. The NWMO report fails to address all nuclear waste production issues and this also shows bad faith. Moreover, the NWMO report fails to provide any relevant public health information. The Working Group noted that there is no health or environment entity within the NWMO infrastructure to assist in this matter. The NWMO report seems to reduce Aboriginal knowledge to a series of “slogans” which indicates a misunderstanding and a misuse of traditional knowledge. Indigenous knowledge needs the proper recognition and application. The NWMO Advisory Council needs to incorporate First Nation members immediately if “traditional knowledge” is to be utilized.
Further review reveals additional similarities:
- Unrealistic timelines
- Biased and limited information
- Limited and controlled community involvement
- Environmental and Health risks
- Disrespect for community values (things you cannot quantify or put a monetary value on)
There is much evidence in the AFN documents, and from concerned residents, that demonstrate the NWMO is not prepared to fairly and respectfully address sitting communities with complete, unbiased information, and a process that allows for community engagement from the very beginning. Knowing that careful review of the background information only leads to a deepening of concerns (such as the case with AFN), why then would the council ever make the decision to continue with this process and prolong potentially for years this period of uncertainty, division, and turmoil in our normally quiet community. On May 14th they have the option to plunge Saugeen Shores deeper into the folds of this corrupt process, or to stop it all together, with a clear message to the NWMO that if they are serious about doing this right, then they need to radically change their approach.