Katharine Fletcher’s Open Letter to William Amos
Bravo Katharine Fletcher for this bold step. We salute her for her principled position defending the environment and our beautiful Ottawa River. As an environmental lawyer, Mr William Amos (MP Pontiac) must also know that he needs to protect the Ottawa River. We, at Old Fort William Cottagers’ Association, repeat our request that Mr Amos join our opposition to CNL’s proposal to dispose of one million cubic metres of radioactive waste only one kilometre from the Ottawa River.
CNL’s so called Near Surface Disposal Facility (NSDF) is actually a municipal landfill. An above-ground mound (at least 5 storeys high) does not comply with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) standards for the disposal of low-level radioactive waste and certainly not intermediate-level.
In July, Old Fort William Cottagers’ Association (OFWCA) adopted a new resolution which opposes CNL’s entire proposal. OFWCA remains strongly opposed to any additional radioactive waste coming to Chalk River from any outside location. In addition, this new resolution opposes both the location and the type of facility proposed by CNL. Great care must be taken of Chalk River’s legacy waste, but it must not be stored one km from the river. A state-of-the-art facility must be designed which is in adherence with IAEA standards and it must be located at least 25 km away from the Ottawa River. More jobs will be required and the Valley will benefit economically.
Mr William Amos suggests that we take a wait and watch attitude — that we should let the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) do its job. If only this were a reasonable request. But mistrust of the CNSC is widespread. The CNSC is biased and must not be the regulator for the industry it also champions.
We cannot do as Mr Amos wishes, as this could mean the approval of CNL’s plans, and it will be too late for a reversal. We call on the Federal Government to halt this current environmental assessment process regarding CNL’s proposal until new environmental laws have been adopted. All the recommendations of the Federal Government’s expert panel should be adopted and particularly the creation of an independent impact assessment authority. Only then can the environmental assessment process be trusted.
Many of Mr Amos’ constituents, now including Katharine Fletcher, are joining forces to oppose CNL’s current proposal. We ask Mr Amos to lead Pontiac County. Mr Amos must not ask us to wait until it is too late. The Ottawa River needs the protection of all of us.
Old Fort William Cottagers’ Association