The Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON) has voted against Ontario Power Generation’s Deep Geological Disposal (DGR) project, planned to house all of Ontario’s Low and Intermediate Level Waste (LILW) at a site within a mile of the northwestern shore of Lake Huron.

However, the OPG project for LILW has no direct bearing on the other DGR project for High-Level Waste (HLW). The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) will continue to search for a willing host community to build a DGR to house all of Canada’s irradiated nuclear fuel — also called high level waste — including two candidate sites in the same area as the OPG DGR project that now been rejected by SON. 

The nuclear waste issue is nothing if not complicated!  And the Age of Nuclear Waste is just beginning….

Gordon Edwards.

By Adam Bell, Blackburn News, January 31, 2020

Members of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation have voted against a proposal to host a deep geologic repository at Bruce Power.

Out of 1,232 total votes, just 170 voted “yes”, while 1,058 voted “no”, with four spoiled ballots.

In a release, Chief Lester Anoquot says “This vote was a historic milestone and momentous victory for our People. We worked for many years for our right to exercise jurisdiction in our Territory and the free, prior and informed consent of our People will be recognized”.

Ontario Power Generation spokesperson Fred Kuntz says “OPG respects the decision of the SON community. We followed SON’s process. So we will uphold our 2013 commitment not to proceed with the DGR at the Bruce site without their support, and now we will move forward to develop an alternate solution”.

He noted “We’ll explore other options and engage with key stakeholders to develop an alternate site selection process. Any new process is going to include engagement with indigenous people, as well as interested municipalities”.

When asked what the way forward is for Ontario Power Generation right now, Kuntz said “now we are able to move forward with other options”.

Kim George, who organized a protest by 50 members of Saugeen Ojibway Nation on Wednesday, says “I’m so happy that it’s a no, a resounding no. The people have spoke loud and clear, and it’s a no”. This effects all people along the Great Lakes basin. Millions of people drink from that water, and to have the DGR, along with the plant, we can’t do anything about the plant right now, but there was something we could do about the DGR, and yes we’ve spoken, and we said no”.

TRadditional Territories of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation (Chippewas of Nawash Unceded FN and Chippewas of Saugeen FN)