| Apr 10, 2008

Editorial - April 10, 2008

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Editorial -April 10, 2008 Province Should Show Common Courtesyby Jeff Green

At the citizens’ inquiry into the uranium cycle, people from four communities around Eastern Ontario are expressing opinions and concerns about a set of complex political, scientific, and environmental issues that the Government of Ontario clearly feels have already been settled.

The government has set out a request for proposal for the building of $42 billion worth of nuclear power plants. In terms of uranium mining, they have made it clear they consider exploration as unproblematic, and express confidence in federal regulations as far as mining itself is concerned.

The premier’s office, and the ministries involved: the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Energy, and even the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs (because uranium and aboriginals always seem to go together) are all confident that the scientific jury has come in, and all is well.

Not only do they feel they have found the answers to all possible questions on these matters, they also feel it is unnecessary to send a single representative, even a minor official, to hear what the people in Sharbot Lake, Kingston, Perterborouogh or Ottawa have to say.

It can’t be a matter of money, because they are spending plenty by maintaining a force of half a dozen officers on hand to witness the proceedings.

There must be an intern from one ministry or another who is capable of taking notes and reporting back, even as a courtesy to the people involved in the inquiry.

I would not suggest for a minute that any of the 150 or so presenters will have any insight into the uranium cycle that has not already been well considered by the sharply-honed Ontario bureaucracy. It’s just that it would be nice if Ontario even pretended to be interested in what the people have to say.

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