Canada’s Nuclear Policy Shift

I suspect I’m not the only one who missed this.  Certainly, the mainstream media haven’t picked it up. Or, they choose to ignore it.

But The Hill Times Embassy Magazine reported a couple of weeks ago that, in fact, Canada’s nuclear policy has shifted.

In January 2002, Canada’s policy called for “the complete elimination of nuclear weapons…through steadily advocating national, bilateral and multilateral steps,” Mr. Byers points out in his new book, Intent for a Nation: What is Canada For?

But recently, the same foreign affairs website has been amended to say that Canada’s nuclear weapons policy is now “consistent with our membership in NATO and NORAD, and in a manner sensitive to the broader international security context.” As Mr. Byers rightly points out, this clause strips Canada’s policy of any real meaning.

PMS Harper really is acting as though he has a majority, isn’t he? We need to be asking why the policy was changed and why we weren’t involved in the discussion of it.  Of course, it’s likely because PMS has no backbone when it comes to the lobby of the military-industrial complex and his American Idol, Gee Dubya.

with thanks to those feministas at BnR

Danger Detected at Planned Nuke Waste Site

I guess it’s a good thing they figured it out now before they put the waste in the ground…  I think the most telling piece is the comment that the US DoE didn’t do the proper tech work beforehand…but there’s money for war…

Earthquake danger detected at planned nuclear waste site

The Associated Press

LAS VEGAS | New rock samples show preliminary evidence of an earthquake fault beneath where Yucca Mountain project planners want to handle highly radioactive waste before burial at the planned repository.

A May 21 letter and U.S. Geological Survey maps show a fault beneath where officials hope to build concrete pads to store spent radioactive fuel canisters for cooling before they are entombed in tunnels inside the mountain, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Monday. The paper said it obtained the documents last week.

“Preliminary data from the recent drilling phase indicate the location of the Bow Ridge fault in northern Midway Valley may be farther east than projected from previous work in the area,” Kenneth Skipper, chief of the USGS Yucca Mountain project branch, said in the letter to Andrew Orrell, senior program manager for the Energy Department lead laboratory.

Bob Loux, head of the Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects and the state’s chief anti-Yucca administrator, told the Review-Journal the finding meant that project planners might have to revamp plans or show regulators that the so-called aging pad could be fortified to withstand an earthquake.

“It certainly looks like DOE has encountered a surprise out there, and it certainly speaks to the fact they haven’t done the technical work they should have done years ago,” Loux said.

An Energy Department spokesman for the Yucca Mountain project did not immediately respond Monday to a request for comment.

US Ambassador to Nuclear Alberta?

So, this is a strange little tidbit I have pieced together from an e-mail message and a quick search.

According to Alberta’s XM105 Country, the US Ambassador to Canada, David Wilkins, is making a visit to northern Alberta — to Whitecourt, Alberta the snowmobile capital of Alberta — which is not too far from Peace River Country where the proposed ACR-1000 nuclear reactors are to be built. In fact, Whitecourt was the preferred site until recently. Apparently, a local backlash started to develop and that led Energy Alberta to choose Peace River as their site instead. And, I’ll bet they couldn’t resist the irony!
According to a no nukes activist, the U.S. Ambassador David Wilkins sounds like he’d love for Canada to sell out to the U.S.! She confirms that Wilkins will be attending a Whitecourt Chamber of Commerce Luncheon on Wed, 10 Oct. 2007 at 11:30 am at the Traveller’s Cloud Nine Hotel Banquet Room. Tickets cost $15 and are available at the Whitecourt Chamber of Commerce Office located at the Forest Interpretive Centre.

Mr. Wilkins is an ex-army officer who practiced law for 30 years. He is a close personal friend of George Bush and family and is a religious conservative known for his despicable opposition to women’s rights, abortion rights, gay rights, marijuana, pacifism, protecting the environment and the Canadian Softwood lumber industry. In 2001, he engineered a South Carolina legislative resolution that asked the U.S. govt. to enforce trade sanctions against Canada.

One must wonder why the hell he’s going to Whitecourt! Do you think it might be to congratulate them for not being chosen as the place to build a nuclear reactor? I don’t know, but I’d really like to be a fly on the wall at that event. And I really do hope some of my fly friends are there so they can give me a buzz and let me know what happened.

Action Alert: Anti-War Activist Targeted

Apparently, it is now illegal to be a peace activist. From the Feminist Peace Network, this action alert:

Anti-War Activist Targeted by Country Beginning With the Letter “C” Hint: It’s Not China or Cambodia

Sent: 24 Sep ‘07 13:53

The Alison Bodine Defense Committee is appealing to all progressive groups and organizations who fight for a better world to support the campaign to defend Alison Bodine, a US citizen who is being targeted by Canadian Border Services Agency for being an anti-war and social justice activist.

Originally from Broomfield, Colorado, Alison is a central organizer with Vancouver, Canada antiwar coalition Mobilization Against War & Occupation (MAWO), for three years was the president of the University of British Columbia’s Coalition Against War on the People of Iraq and Internationally (CAWOPI), a long-time executive committee member of the UBC Social Justice Center, is a prominent activist in solidarity with Cuba and the Pastors for Peace Caravan to Cuba, and a supporter of immigrant and refugee rights in Canada and the US.
Near midnight on Thursday September 13, 2007, Alison was arrested by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) when she attempted to legally cross the border at Peace Arch border crossing, travelling from Canada into the United States. Three days prior, Alison was harassed by CBSA officials while traveling from the US into Canada. The ordeal began after border officials searched her vehicle and identified her as a political organizer after they found various political materials and progressive newspapers in her car.
As an international student at the University of British Columbia who recently graduated with a Bachelor of Physics in June 2007, Alison has traveled between the US and Canada on dozens of occasions, and had never been denied entrance to Canada or asked to return to the US.

As she was returning to the US on Thursday September 13th, Alison returned to claim items confiscated earlier by the CBSA. Upon presenting her receipt to claim her materials, she was handcuffed and told she was under arrest, and that a warrant for her arresthad been issued across Canada. She was then taken into detention. This unjust and illegal imprisonment was met with a huge protest and organizing drive by the newly-formed Committee to Free Alison Bodine. Friday afternoon, on only 5 hours notice, 80 people came together at the Citizenship and Immigration Canada Offices in Vancouver, demanding the immediate release of Alison Bodine. Media was also quick to pick up this important case, which was covered locally and nationally by newspapers, TV and radio.
Following all of this, Alison’s status took a major  turn. Officials constantly reminded her all day that there was no way she would be released from detention before Monday. However, at 8:00pm on Friday, Alison was given notice by immigration officials that she would be released from custody immediately until her Admissibility Hearing on Monday Sept 17th – a major victory in the campaign for her freedom. However Alison’s ordeal is not yet over. In the early afternoon of September 17th, Alison learned from a CBC reporter that the CBSA had cancelled her Admissibility Hearing scheduled for 2pm that day. Alison herself was never officially notified by CBSA.

At 1:30pm Monday September 17th, more than 50 supporters rallied outside the downtown Citizenship & Immigration Canada offices, especially because of the cancelled hearing, to demand that all charges against Alison be dropped immediately. The CBSA postponement of Alison’s hearing is a maneuver to delay because they know they won’t be able to prove the charges they have made up so far. It also shows they have decided to escalate this case to a more political level byfinding some different charges to bring because they know right now their case cannot win in a hearing.
Being without status in Canada, Alison’s situation is always uncertain, and she can still be arrested at anytime. All progressive, humanity loving people must unite around this case. We must understand that this is not just an attack on Alison, this is an attack on all of us. This is an attack on the basic democratic and human rights of all people, especially social justice activists, immigrants, refugees and all non-status people and non-residents in Canada. The illegal and unjust arrest and detention of Alison Bodine means the Government of Canada and its agencies want to continue and escalate the silencing of free speech and political expression and continue their terrorizing of people who oppose their policies at home and abroad and the new era of war and occupation. They are also testing and evaluating our response to defend ourselves against their attacks against us. The degree, seriousness, effectiveness and consistency of our defence impact their decision on how to further their repressive measures.

For this reason, we are appealing to you to join us in this struggle by endorsing this emergency campaign and by writing a letter of support demanding that the CBSA drop all charges against Alison. Please send this appeal to your email lists and friends. We must show the Government of Canada and their agency, the CBSA, that they cannot get away with trying to intimidate activists. We have attached a template support letter, as an example. Letters of support should be
sent to:

defendalisonbodine@hotmail.com

The CBSA might think that by delaying the Admissibility hearing this campaign will lose steam and the pressure against them will lessen. On the contrary, this campaign is only just beginning. People all across Canada and the world know about this case of political harassment and this will only gain momentum from here. This is a political case; Alison
has done nothing wrong or illegal. Alison, along with supporters in Vancouver and across the country will keep up the demand that the CBSA must drop all charges
against her and restore her full rights to travel between the US and Canada. For now, they have re-scheduled her Admissibility hearing for Friday, September 28th at 9am. In the time between now and then we will not back down, we will not slow down and
we will continue fighting!
Our fight is not over. Your support is essential to get all charges against Alison dropped!

WE WILL WIN
Read the rest of this entry »

GE eyes stake in nuclear venture

Looks like the Big Boys are feeling some pressure from the masses! They’re feeling like they’re needing to gang up in order to poison us with uranium!

From the Glob and Mall

 

General Electric Co. chairman Jeffrey Immelt says his company is eager to gain an ownership stake in Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., and warns there is little future for stand-alone vendors of nuclear reactors.

In an interview after delivering a speech to the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Immelt said the global nuclear industry is rapidly consolidating. His own company merged its reactor business with that of Japan’s Hitachi Ltd. earlier this year.

“I believe, ultimately, the nuclear industry is going to be [reduced to] two or three big collaborative partnerships,” the GE chairman said.

Uranium Blockade and Protest starts Algonquin Canoe Protest

Uranium Blockade and Protest starts Algonquin Canoe Protest
September 18th, 2007 – 11:00 EDT
Algonquin first Nations at Ardoch and Sharbot Lake will descend the
Mississippi watershed on a traditional canoe journey to deliver a strong
unified message to declare a moratorium on proposed uranium mining in
all their territory.
Event: Saturday, September 22nd – A traditional birch bark canoe and
escort canoes launch from Ardoch Ontario to take water from Crotch Lake
and will transport 2 Algonquin maidens as ‘Water Carriers’ to pour out an
urgent message about uranium to the Government of Canada.
Event: Tuesday, September 25th – Rally and reception in Carleton Place
and Almonte, key towns on the Mississippi that are directly downstream
from the potential uranium mining contamination.
Event: Thursday, September 27th – Gathering of all protest canoes and
kayaks at Victoria Island (sacred to the Algonquin) in Ottawa to prepare for
a final Portage to Parliament Hill. There will be a ‘Ceremonial Signing’ of a
declaration for a moratorium on uranium mining by the Algonquin Chiefs.
Event: Friday, September 28th Native and Non-Native people of the Ottawa
and Mississippi valleys will gather for the ‘Final Portage and Rally’ on
Parliament Hill to declare to the Canadian and Ontario Provincial
Government an immediate moratorium on uranium mining. The
proclamation will be read in Algonquin with English and French translations
available.
OTTAWA, ONTARIO, EVENT ANNOUNCEMENT – The gathering of all
that stand against the mining of uranium and the mining laws will be at
Victoria Island on the afternoon and evening of 27th September. The ‘ Final
Portage & Rally ‘ will proclaim Native and Non-Native support for the
moratorium on uranium mining.
A Public Energy Forum (“Power to Choose”) at the Odawa Friendship
Center (12 Stirling Avenue, Ottawa) after the Canoe Protest.
Grand Chief Grandfather William Commanda, Chief Doreen Davis of the
Shabot Obaadjiwan, Chiefs Randy Cota, Paula Sherman and Harold Perry
and Bob Lovelace of the Ardoch Algonquin Nation will be on hand to
express their position and answer questions on the uranium mining issue.

More information can be found on the event website at:
and http://ato.smartcapital.ca/actcity
IN: Native Protest, Energy, Environment, Health, Uranium Mining, Politics
CONTACT INFORMATION
David Gill Phone:
(Day)613-943 9434
(Eve)613 288 8034
Mobile: 613-290 5790
E-mail: divadllig@hotmail.com
E2-mail : actcityottawa@gmail.com

http://ato.smartcapital.ca/actcity

Nuclear Power Is Not The Answer: Nader

Ralph Nader is speaking out on the nuclear issue in the USA and he’ll be in Regina to talk about NAFTA and Corporatism on September 19 at 7:30 pm in Ed Aud.


From Common Dreams:

Taxpayers alert! The atomic power corporations are beating on the doors in Washington to make you guarantee their financing for more giant nuclear plants. They are pouring money and applying political muscle to Congress for up to $50 billion in loan guarantees, to persuade an uninterested Wall Street that Uncle Sam will pay for any defaults on industry construction loans.

Since 1974, there has not been a filled order for a nuclear power plant. Following the Three Mile Island near-melt down, many spills and shutdowns, then the Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine, the electric utility bosses found a negative Wall Street and a protesting public in their communities too much to overcome. They dropped nuclear power like it was a radioactive hot potato.

It was just too financially risky, bogged down with delays and cost over-runs, with too many spent fuel rods filling pools at the plants because no permanent storage sites for deadly radioactive wastes had been certified. Big time financing also dried up. Finally, risks of sabotage and nuclear proliferation became prominent national security problems in the post-9/11 era.

But the atomic power industry does not give up. Not as long as Uncle Sam can be dragooned to be its subsidizing, immunizing partner. Ever since the first of over 100 plants opened in 1957, corporate socialism has fed this insatiable Atomic goliath with many types of subsidies

Still, it’s tough to have to admit that after over half a century, this coddled industry still can not pursue its capitalist path into the market standing on its own feet.

So for years, the Nuclear Energy Institute, mouthpiece for the industry, dangled new, smaller, allegedly less risky (on paper, at least) designs as a way back.

Then the big break came-global warming fed by the burning of coal, oil and gas. Violá, atomic energy, its proponents declared, produces no greenhouse gases (apart from massive coal fuel emissions to enrich the uranium). “Nuclear power can be the answer.” This became the hyped theme for millions of dollars in advertisements and propaganda reports.

And they’ll be lining up at the trough in Canada, too.