Monday, October 17, 2011

COC: Make Nuclear Waste a Saskatchewan Election Issue!

Council of Canadians
October 17, 2011

With three weeks to go until the people of Saskatchewan head to the polls on November 7 to elect a new government, there's a critical issue that isn't getting the attention it deserves: the threat of a nuclear waste dump being located in Saskatchewan.

Please take action to ensure that party leaders and local candidates can't avoid this issue, by calling on them to make their position on nuclear waste clear during the election.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Since the leaders aren’t talking about a nuclear waste dump in Saskatchewan, the Council of Canadians is mobilizing members like you to build the grassroots pressure needed to put the issue on the election agenda.

We want all candidates, and especially the leaders to answer one simple yes or no question: If your party wins the election, will your government commit to legislating a ban on the importation, transportation and storage of nuclear waste in Saskatchewan?

Here are a few ways you can ask the question and force the parties to tell the people of Saskatchewan where they stand:


1. Public Election Debates/Forums

Check your local media to find out when and where candidates forums are being held in your constituency. Many of these forums allow people to ask questions or submit questions to the moderator. Make sure nuclear waste is one of them!

2. Contact Your Local Candidates

Email or call the candidates in your riding to ask them their party’s position on nuclear waste in Saskatchewan. The more candidates that hear about it, the more likely they will be to talk about the issue on the campaign trail and with their party.
  • Contact information for Saskatchewan Party candidates, including email addresses and phone numbers, can be found here.
  • Contact information for Saskatchewan New Democrats candidates can be searched either by constituency or candidate’s name here.
  • Contact information for Green Party of Saskatchewan candidates can be found here.
  • Contact information for the Saskatchewan Liberals candidates can be found here.
3. Contact Party Leaders

Contact the leaders of the major parties in the election and voice your opposition to a nuclear waste dump in Saskatchewan, tell them you expect this to be an issue discussed during the election, and ask them: If your party wins the election, will your government commit to legislating a ban on the importation, transportation and storage of nuclear waste in Saskatchewan?
 
Here is the contact information for the party leaders:


4. Televised Leaders Debate

Unless plans change, only Saskatchewan Party leader Brad Wall and NDP leader Dwain Lingenfelter will be taking part in the televised leaders debate, which will air on Tuesday, October 25 from 6:05 – 7:00 pm on CBC, CTV and Global outlets across the province, with simulcasts on CBC Radio One in Saskatchewan.

Listeners and viewers will be given the opportunity to pose questions live via email and Twitter, so tune in on October 25 and ask: : If your party wins the election, will your government commit to legislating a ban on the importation, transportation and storage of nuclear waste in Saskatchewan?

 
5. Twitter

If you’re on Twitter, you can use the following hashtags to ask about the nuclear waste issue (shorten the message to something like: Will you commit to legislating a ban on the importation, transportation & storage of nuclear waste in SK? or Will @PremierBradWall commit to legislating a ban on the importation, transportation & storage of nuclear waste in SK?)

Election hastags (from most to least used): #skvotes, #skpoli, #sk2011, #saskvotes, #skelxn

  • Brad Wall: @PremierBradWall
  • Dwain Lingenfelter: @linkndp
  • Saskatchewan Party: @SaskParty
  • Saskatchewan NDP: @Sask_NDP
  • Saskatchewan Greens: @saskgreen
  • Saskatchewan Liberals: @SaskLiberals
(Don’t know what any of this means? Try reading this.

6. Spread the word!
 
Forward this message to friends and family and promote it through social media to encourage other residents of Saskatchewan to tell candidates from all parties that they are opposed to a nuclear waste dump in Saskatchewan, and ask candidates to commit to a legislated ban.

Sincerely,
Scott Harris
Prairies Regional Organizer
Council of Canadians
sharris@canadians.org

BACKGROUND

The industry-based Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is currently looking for what it calls a “willing community” to be the site of a long-term underground waste dump for all of Canada’s nuclear waste from reactors in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick. NWMO is currently looking at three potential sites in Saskatchewan: Pinehouse, Creighton and English River First Nation.

To transport the 1.8 million spent fuel bundles totaling 40,000 tonnes that had accumulated in eastern Canada by 2004 would require thousands of truckloads over several decades. And the industry estimates that double this amount, 3.6 million fuel bundles, will be created by the time existing nuclear plants are shut down. With less than 200 fuel bundles to a load this would require nearly 20,000 truckloads of high-level wastes. The likelihood of nuclear accidents and the carbon footprint from moving these wastes makes a mockery of the nuclear industry’s claim to be “clean energy.”

Because of the risks posed, we believe that the decision to bring nuclear waste to Saskatchewan is a provincial issue, not just a local one. Manitoba and Quebec already have bans in place against the importation of nuclear waste.

Both Saskatchewan Party leader Brad Wall and the Saskatchewan New Democrats have acknowledged that the people of Saskatchewan don’t want to be Canada’s nuclear dumping ground. In April, over 5000 petitions opposing a nuclear waste dump were presented to Premier Wall, and through the efforts of the 20-day, 820-km 7000 Generations Walk through Saskatchewan, another 10,000 petitions have since been signed saying that it’s time Saskatchewan followed the lead of Manitoba and Quebec and legislated a ban.

In an April 15, 2011 interview with the Saskatoon Star Phoenix, Sask Party leader and Premier Brad Wall was quoted as saying, “This would be very much a provincial issue and while we would respect the fact that different communities do want this, there should be a sense that the province in general is supportive and I don't have that sense." On the issue of a legislated ban, the article goes on to state, “Wall said it is not something the government has contemplated but he would not rule out such a law on nuclear waste in Saskatchewan.”

The March, 2011 Saskatchewan New Democrats policy A Rooted and Growing Vision: The Final Report of the NDP Policy Review Task Force states that “Saskatchewan people want a New Democratic government to refuse to pursue the establishment of a radioactive waste dump due to the significant long‐term environmental concerns, including irreversible groundwater contamination. As well, prohibit the transportation of radioactive waste within our province.”

1 comment: