From the editor, Lily Ryan
I feel I owe Pontiac MP William Amos an apology. In early May, I wrote an editorial in reaction to the impressive waters rushing at Aylmer in the Ottawa River. At that time I felt even more optimistic about the future of Hydro Quebec, an electric car network owned by all Quebecers, and a future with clean energy.
With the backdrop the near-surface nuclear waste disposal facility proposed for Chalk River, the risks for everyone downstream from Chalk River seemed exaggerated in relation to the benefits, and this is what came to play in my writing. I was called to task about several points in the editorial by a reader, Jaro Franta of Montreal, published in the subsequent edition of the Bulletin.
But the apology to Mr Amos is for my comments in an editorial note to Jaro Franta’s letter. I unfairly characterized William Amos as someone who was inactive, when it was I who was impatient in regard to the proposed waste site. Knowing the environmental studies and hearings are in the hundreds, it is entirely normal for the process to take time.
Mr Amos went on record numerous times, in the Bulletin and other local publications, to invite as many people as possible to be involved in the studies and especially to bring forth technical expertise. This is quite the opposite to him asking constituents to be quite, and I retract this. The following is an excerpt of a 2017 letter by William Amos on the subject of the proposed nuclear waste facility:
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Pontiac MP William Amos addresses Chalk River Nuclear Waste Proposal
The Commission is undertaking a transparent public process that allows citizens to voice their opinions and preoccupations. Pursuant to applications for participant funding, groups such as Ottawa Riverkeeper, the Canadian Environmental Law Association, and indigenous organizations, such as the Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation Tribal Council, have sought and obtained a portion of the $100,000 dedicated to ensure that technical evidence may be advanced by non-governmental entities. […]
My job is to encourage all interested Canadians to share their views on the proposed project through this official process. All comments are posted on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry for public review. All observations, including those related to the adequacy of the information presented by the proponent, will be considered and addressed by the Commission. Should it be determined that further information is required, the backer will be requested to re-submit until federal officials are satisfied with a final environmental impact statement.
Following receipt of a final environmental impact statement, commission staff will prepare an environmental assessment report (made public 60 days prior to the public hearing process) to inform the decision process. Public participation in the public hearings will be offered through the submission of written and/or oral interventions.
So, let’s get the facts on the table and build a critical and open dialogue through the official process. It’s the best way to responsibly address the many health, safety and environmental concerns that ultimately stem from an historic nuclear waste problem we cannot ignore.
MP for Pontiac