Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Haldimand "Public Opinion on Nuclear not Heard"

As part of the EA process, Bruce Power announced at the news conference last Friday that the public is a critical part of the process. But "YOU" have to get involved!

I am working on a blog of the time-line in Haldimand County. So far it looks like the IPSO's-Reid poll was taken after Haldimand County passed a resolution in favour of the EA process. In February and March of 2007 Haldimand County passed this resolution, and the poll was apparently done in May of 2007. If anyone has some information on this, please post. I have e-mailed IPSO to have them send me the information in regards to the wording and timing of this poll.

I am concerned about the route that our council has taken. In particular the timing of this resolution. During the Municipal Election of 2006, there was not a word spoken about the support of Haldimand Council in regards to a possible Nuclear Plant in Nanticoke, yet just "2" months after being sworn in this Council started the process by passing a resolution!

For those that may recall, the same thing happened during the Municipal Election of 2003. No sooner the election was over and Haldimand County Council announced the "proposed" sale of Haldimand County Hydro! I found out through the "freedom of information" that Council had been discussing this behind closed doors for "6" months. And yet not a mention of this during the election campaigning. We were successful in stopping this, but it cost the tax payers a great deal of money.

Is History repeating itself here in Haldimand County? You can be the judge on that one!

This question in my opinion should have been on the "ballot" in 2006! If Haldimand County Council wanted to know if the residents were in support, this would have been the best way to gauge how the residents felt.

Regardless of what Haldimand County Council has done to this point, "Your Voice Needs to Be Heard". Whether you are in favour or not, speak out!

The following is a letter to the editor by Janet Fraser of Cayuga.

Public opinion not heard
Posted By
Posted 42 mins ago

We, the citizens of Haldimand and Norfolk, are deeply concerned about the process that has taken place in our community -- the lack of transparency. In Haldimand, seven people -- the mayor and six council members -- wrote letters of support for a nuclear plant to Premier Dalton McGuinty, but failed to consult with the community. Meetings between the councils of Haldimand and Norfolk and Bruce Power took place behind closed doors. These small county councils made an assumption that the community was in support, because they were understandably concerned about losing jobs at Nanticoke.

The communities were never consulted, nor did the councils arrange public information meetings. Over the last year and a half, concerned citizens have held a few information nights with speakers presenting various points of view on energy options. Grand Erie Energy Quest was formed in June 2007 so that the citizens of Haldimand and Norfolk would have an opportunity to educate themselves about energy options and to provide an opportunity to communicate with one an-o ther.

The website http://www.energyquest4nanticoke.ca was created.

In Norfolk, two women from the Canadian Federation of University Women-Norfolk, presented to Norfolk council their concerns about the project. I felt that the same should be done in Haldimand.

I submitted a formal request to Haldimand Council three times, last spring and summer, to make a 10-minute presentation to Haldimand council on behalf of Grand Erie Energy Quest. We wanted to voice our concerns about a nuclear facility at Nanticoke in a formal way. Haldimand council refused to hear the delegation about the proposed nuclear facility. It felt it was premature and not needed at this time. Councillors held a formal vote on the matter on Aug. 5, 2008 and voted 5 to 2 to deny my request. Mayor Marie Trainer and Coun. Lorne Boyko were the only two to vote in favour of allowing the delegation.

Grand Erie Energy Quest met in the summer with Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett to discuss the issues and plan another energy symposium so that the citizens have more information about energy and the environment. Toby Barrett, is the only one of our elected officials (from all levels) who has shown any concern about what the citizens have to say about this issue. He will be hosting this event on Nov. 20 in Jarvis.

I was encouraged to learn that this $8-billion nuclear plan lacks the province's blessing, and that Energy and Infrastructure Minister George Smitherman clearly stated that this initiative does not bear the approval of the the Government of Ontario. I am puzzled that Bruce Power would spend $30 million on an environmental assessment for a nuclear power plant without the blessing of either the province or the local community.

The citizens of Haldimand and Norfolk, as well as our neighbours at Six Nations, must be able to make an informed decision as to whether or not we are a willing host community for a nuclear plant. This decision cannot be made without much discussion and education about all aspects of the issue. This will take time. It is Bruce Nuclear's announcement that is premature. There needs to be public input first.

Janet Fraser R1 Cayuga


  1. Whooee! Good letter by Janet. That Haldimand Council is about as undemocratic as they get. Where are we? Canada or North Zimbabwestan?

    Yer sure on to something wrt backroom deals and in camera sessions and pre-planning without public consultation. The only official public consultation has been by Toby with his energy symposiums. Those are information sessions, though. They are not set up or designed to make any sort of gauge of public opinion. Yet, when the two university gals went to Norfolk Council, one councilor, Ms. Van Dyke, said she thought there had been plenty of public consultation and cited Toby's symposiums as well as a couple pure-play PR events by Bruce.

    I feel somewhat sorry for our local councils. They are meant to make decisions on stuff like roads and parks and recreation and museums and snowplowing and garbage collection. The idea that these handful of local politicians are charged with the responsibility of saying "yay" or "nay" to a nuclear power plant seems absurd. Such decisions are over their pay grade, IMO. Couple that with the highly professional and well-financed lobbying effort by Bruce and you get just what we've got.


  2. Donna this is history repeating itself. Until we have a responsible council this will keep happening.

    This should have been on the ballot, I agre with you on that one!

    Councillor Sloat has a big head I am sure as he was the one that really announced this last Friday. We need to get rid of the likes of him.

    Bruce Power is taking advantage of Haldimand County Council. I am sure that some of their leg work was looking into the council members. They would have found out that most of them should not even be on council, they don't get along with each other, and have no interest in what the residents have to say. Or did Haldimand County Council approach them first, we will never know the truth.

    Good letter Janet!

  3. Good letter Janet, please let us know when you are speaking at Haldimand Council.

  4. Thanks everyone for your comments.

    I will post if and when Janet Fraser speaks to Council.

    Everyone needs to have their "Voice Heard", whether you are for or against, please get involved!

  5. The only reason a private company like Bruce Power can build a nuclear plant is because WE, THE TAXPAYERS, are paying for the INSURANCE if any disaster SHOULD HAPPEN!

    Wake up, folks, we a paying megabucks on our hydro bills to DISCHARGE THE DEBT racked up by the cost overruns at Darlington!

    We need everyone in Haldimand and Norfolk to come to the Energy Symposium on Thursday, Nov 20 in Jarvis, 7 pm to learn about all the other energy sources and the JOBS they can create when they are put in place. The threat of LOSING JOBS and the fear mongering in most of the newspapers is unconscionable on the part of the editors which allow this kind of yellow journalism to run rampant.

  6. This process should stop dead in it's tracks. If Bruce Power was a wise company they would wait and hear the real opinion of the people of Haldimand. Bruce Power is probably trusting our Council that they speak on our behalf. I want to say, they do not speak for me.

  7. The poster above made a good point. Darlington is running around 300-600 million dollars in overruns. My understanding is that the tax payer is the one paying for this!

    I read somewhere that when a Nuclear Plant is being built, the builder is not responsible for the cost of the project when it runs over the due time frame. This in itself is ridiculous that we as the taxpayer are burdened with this cost!