Spread the love

Quebec expresses “concerns” about the nuclear waste burial project in Chalk River

Photo: Francis Vachon Archives Le Devoir “Quebec had the opportunity to express its concerns about the project” regarding the nuclear waste landfill project at Chalk River, says Minister Benoit Charette.

Quebec Minister of the Environment, Benoit Charette, expressed to the federal government his “concerns” related to the proposed nuclear waste burial site at Chalk River, asking it in particular to better consult affected communities.

This is what the elected CAQ member indicated on Tuesday, during the study of the budgetary appropriations of his ministry, an important accountability exercise held annually in the National Assembly.

Pressed with questions by Parti Québécois MP Pascal Paradis, Minister Charette reiterated that he had not taken an official position on the project. The federal government was, however, made aware of its reservations.

“Quebec had the opportunity to express its concerns about the project,” he said. “What we are asking of the federal government, […]. it is to better consult […] the indigenous communities that are in the Ottawa River sector. We are asking the government to better consult the municipalities in this sector, too, who are showing concern. »

Around a hundred municipalities established along the Ottawa River and the St. Lawrence River, including Montreal and Gatineau, are publicly contesting the decision of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) to grant the necessary authorization in January for the construction of “a near-surface waste management facility” at the Chalk River Laboratories site in Ontario.

The Anishinaabe community of Kebaowek is also at the front to stop the project, which is located very close to the Quebec-Ontario border, along the river.

In February, it also took legal action in Federal Court to overturn the CNSC decision. A few days earlier, band councilor Justin Roy had indicated to Devoir that his community had detected black bears, eastern wolves as well as several species of bats, turtles and birds in the area surrounding the proponent's facilities, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories.

Earlier this year, Minister Charette and his colleague responsible for Relations with First Nations and Inuit, Ian Lafrenière, had the opportunity to speak with the community. The representatives of Kebaowek had encouraged their counterparts to join the groups opposed to the project.

Québec solidaire is one of those who also demand that Quebec take a proper position. “The opposition to the Chalk River nuclear dump project is too important for the current silence of François Legault,” supported solidarity MP Sol Zanetti in January.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116