Tbnewswatch Local News
Monday July 6 2015
7:23 AM EDT
2014-06-20 at 18:56

Saying no to waste

Protesters march across the Nipigon River Bridge on Friday to demonstrate their opposition to storing nuclear waste in Northwestern Ontario.
Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com
Protesters march across the Nipigon River Bridge on Friday to demonstrate their opposition to storing nuclear waste in Northwestern Ontario.
By Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com

NIPIGON, Ont. – Despite the small Northwestern Ontario town closest to his community ruling out storing nuclear waste, Pierre Pelletier is still concerned.

The chief of the Red Rock Indian Band, who organized a protest on Friday at the junction of Highway 11 and 17 just east of Nipigon, said voices across the region are strong in their opposition to becoming a dumping ground for the nation’s nuclear waste.

“We are not in favour of a nuclear waste dumping site up here,” Pelletier said prior to the start of the demonstration.

“We will do whatever we can to try to hold it off. We don’t want it here. We’re getting a lot of people from all across Northwestern Ontario saying they feel the same way.”

A few hundred protesters marched across the span over the Nipigon River, with the OPP blocking Highway 17 traffic in both directions for more than 20 minutes.

Story continues after video...



Earlier this week the town council of Nipigon voted to pull out of the exploratory process to become a nuclear waste storage site.

They were one of approximately 15 communities across Canada under consideration by the Nuclear Waste Management Organization to become storage sites.

Other regional communities still in the process include Schreiber, Ignace, Manitouwadge, White River and Hornepayne.

Aerial geographic surveys of Schreiber, Ignace and Hornepayne began in April.

Many of the communities are single industry towns looking for a lifeline to maintain financial stability. Even though Pelletier acknowledges the allure is a strong one, he urged they resist the temptation.

The risk of a potential incident and the calamity it could cost are not worth whatever financial benefit would be gained, he argued.

“We have people from Schreiber that are walking with us too. We know that a lot of communities are struggling for economic development and that this is a big carrot held out in front of them but we are just saying, for us as First Nations people, we don’t want it up in our area,” Pelletier said.

“They build the safest vehicle, the safest truck, the safest plane and there are still accidents. All it takes is one accident. We’re at the headwaters of all of Ontario. What affects us affects everybody.”

The protest was not the only public statement this week in opposition to the practice.

A group known as Citizens Concerned About Nuclear Waste in Schreiber provided a presentation as well as petition with more than 1,000 signatures to Terrace Bay council on Monday opposing storing nuclear in the region.

Nipigon is the first of the regional sites to remove itself from consideration. Previously Ear Falls, Wawa and Red Rock had been ruled out by the Nuclear Waste Management Organization during the Phase 1 assessment.

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Tannoy says:
Store the nuclear waste in queens park with the rest of the toxic junk
6/23/2014 12:36:28 PM
passlake says:
it is legal to protest.

it is not legal for pedestrians to walk in traffic lanes of a highway.

I agree with the reasons for the protest and I'm on their side, but I lose respect for those organizing it when they knowingly violate the HTA.
6/23/2014 10:25:06 AM
moi says:

And that's the reason why I WOULDN'T sign the petition passlake...
6/24/2014 8:48:16 AM
unknowncronik says:
If the Shield covers a total area of 4.8 million square kilometres, and almost two thirds of Ontario, why choose NWO for this???

Why isn't Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Quebec, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Newfoundland and Labrador getting pestered into holding this toxic waste too?

Why even think of putting it near Lake Superior when it can be tucked up somewhere in the NWT????

Seems the only time our government remembers us here in NWO is when they don't want it in their OWN backyard.
6/21/2014 11:04:41 PM
dynamiter says:
Do some reading at least before you comment. Put this stuff into the permafrost - makes sense to me. The shield is the best place and closest to the Southern Ontario Nukes. There is a lot more toxic stuff being dumped into our lakes every rainstorm that causes our storm sewers and sewage treatment plants to overflow. There is safety and there is 10000 percent safety. A safer way than continuing to build bigger and bigger on site storage plants is to put it into abandoned mine shaft.
6/23/2014 12:33:55 PM
Ringettemom says:
Awesome to see citizens exercising their legal right to peaceful protest. 20 minutes is nothing on a highway that at times sees construction delays for over an hour....
The less this toxic waste travels the safer it is!!!
6/21/2014 12:34:19 PM
NowayJose says:
It is against the law to block a major roadway/highway.
It is sad, that law enforcement officials’ do not possess the fortitude to enforce the laws!
I WILL NOT AND DO NOT condone this but if a trucker gets fed up, one who makes a living, “snaps”.
The roadway will be a bloody mess!
6/22/2014 6:04:33 PM
Nitesky says:
A whole lotta "ifs". If nuclear waste is shipped and if it goes the northern route then it will pass through Lake St. Helen First Nation land and if there is an accident or terrorist attack anywhere on that route it will effectively blockade the route for all time as far as we would be concerned. Can't happen? There is no way to keep a kid with a spray bomb away from all the rail cars is there?
6/21/2014 10:44:33 AM
Shane Caker says:
I most certainly support the Red Rock Indian Band's cause in this case, but why must a road block be the answer to everything? You delay a bunch of truckers whose profits often depend on making time. Not to mention that they're most likely not from anywhere near here and don't care about the issue at all. Surely there has to be a better way to get your point across.
6/20/2014 11:54:12 PM
RicknB says:
Did you read the story!

The OPP blocked the road to allow the protest!

Quote "with the OPP blocking Highway 17 traffic in both directions for more than 20 minutes."

6/23/2014 8:40:11 AM
Ranma says:
If we are going to benefit from the fruits of this, we NEEDS to take responsibility for it. We can not continue to ship this off to third world countries or let companies illegally dump ot into the ocean. The shield is one of the most geologically stable places on the planet. The sheer amount of jobs this will create and all the protections that would be in place, would make it safe.

For once people are trying to protect the planet by storing this somewhere safe, and the ignorant masses are playing NIMBY.
6/20/2014 11:01:33 PM
Shane Caker says:
And the shield is absolutely huge. Must they put this stuff on the immediate shoreline of Lake Superior? And the shield is only stable until something happens.
6/21/2014 12:48:35 AM
dman31029 says:
I haven't seen any maps but are they actually planning on putting it right on the shoreline or is that just what everyone assumes?
6/22/2014 1:03:34 PM
alarmforce says:
"Ignorance is bliss !!!"
Take a tour of a Nuclear Power & Storage Facility, get all the facts before you further embarrass yourselves.
6/20/2014 10:35:44 PM
mexifin says:
Well. Why not bury this in your back yard.
6/21/2014 7:34:51 AM
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