Uranium Industry’s Impact on Community & Safety

From the Media Co-op, Uranium’s Chilling Effects

Not only is Dale Smith a soft-spoken fisherman and wild rice grower, he is also a dedicated community activist who is taking two of the world’s largest uranium mining companies to court. Smith recently filed a lawsuit together with 38 people and organizations to fight back against a $200 million agreement that he says will effectively muzzle opposition to future uranium mines.

“What I’m seeing and experiencing now is that there’s a silencing,” Smith, a lifelong Métis resident of the northern village of Pinehouse, told The Dominion. “I don’t think people really truly understand the significance of what happened to my community.”

The uranium industry is rapidly expanding its sphere of control in northern Saskatchewan, and the impacts of its widening footprint aren’t limited to the lands and waters. Residents of affected communities are speaking out against an increasing corporate influence that is altering local governance and diminishing opportunities for critical public participation.

Pinehouse residents became very active when the threat of the community becoming a nuclear waste disposal site became real.  The Committee for Future Generations worked hard to involve citizens and the greater public in their struggle to exclude Pinehouse from the list of possible locations.  And they succeeded. But the Town of Creighton saw the matter in a different light and welcomed the possibility of more jobs in the area.  It is on the shortlist.

Regardless where the Nuclear Waste Management Organization decides to dump the waste the question remains, can it be done safely over the course of the waste’s lifetime, which far surpasses the life of any one generation of humans.

From the Committee for Future Generation’s research files regarding the hazards of Nuclear Waste:

Hazards of Nuclear Waste

http://nuclear-news.net/2013/04/05/internal-radiation-emitters-cesium-and-iodine-far-more-dangerous-than-external-exposure/

http://www.llrc.org/health/healthframes.ht

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UovlbzFTBXE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbnyjW6OC7I

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=omXT5slKHGs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pjidsOytZ8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJZkz318tjI&feature=results_main&playnext=1&list=PLCE16FC12321E2E4E

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hv73MfgZWdg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saozSVjPmOE&feature=fvwrel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdqmDvvepvE&feature=relmfu

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnouqSKZP1w

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pb5HItRpDY8&feature=results_main&playnext=1&list=PL57399D593043DFA2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omXT5slKHGs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPydmupt38U&feature=related

Terrible nuke stuff going on in northern Saskatchewan

Audio link below.  From Before it’s news:

Pact with the Nuclear Devil: Saskatchewan’s Uranium Companies Derogate First Nations Land Rights

“So here to us was an immediate gag order… How come if I’m in opposition to the mining companies that this negotiation would rob me the ability to speak out my concerns to the leadership or to my own people, my own community, and my own municipality.” Dale Smith

LISTEN TO THE SHOW

Length (58:55)
Click to download the audio (MP3 format)

Dale Smith is a Métis resident of Pinehouse, a community in the boreal forest 500 kilometres north of Saskatoon in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. Pinehouse is one of those Northern Saskatchewan communities targeted by the nuclear industry for its proximity to uranium deposits and to a site for the dumping of nuclear waste from Ontario.

In the fall of 2012, news of a Collaboration Agreement between the community of Pinehouse and uranium companies Cameco and Pinehouse began to surface. Community members like Smith became outraged not only by the lack of meaningful consultation, but by the terms of the agreement.

Confidentiality Clause

A summary of the Collaboration Agreement Term Sheet became available to community members at a November 13, 2012 public village meeting. The text directly implies that the village residents would effectively be subjected to a gag order:

Summary of the Collaboration Agreement Term Sheet Made Among Cameco Corporation, Areva Resources Canada Inc. and Pinehouse (“Term Sheet”)
October 12, 2012

Section G: Other Promises

Pinehouse Promises to:

(a) Generally cooperate with Cameco/Areva and generally support Cameco/Areva operations when it deals with the provincial or federal governments although Pinehouse can raise concerns to the governments about the projects.
….

(e) Not make statements or say things in public or to any government, business or agency that opposes Cameco/Areva’s mining operations.

(f) Make reasonable efforts to ensure Pinehouse members do not say or do anything that interferes with or delays Cameco/Areva’s mining, or do or say anything that is not consistent with Pinehouse’s promises under the Collaboration Agreement. [1]

Outrage from the community and negative media exposure resulted in the wording of the text being altered to omit the gag order provisions. However, in the final draft it became apparent that another signatory, Kineepik Métis Local Inc., representing Métis peoples in the town, had obtained records dealing with traditional land use mapping fishing, trapping and other resource utilization in the area. [2]

The executive, it seems, had agreed to share this information with Cameco/Areva so that compensation for lands encroached upon by the nuclear giants could be negotiated. In exchange, Pinehouse Village Trust would receive an intitial payment of $1 million with additional payments pending as new mining projects initiate operation.[3][4]

The final Collaboration Agreement between Pinehouse, Cameco and Areva was signed December 12, 2012.

In Dale Smith’s words: “They bought Pinehouse outright.”

On June 24, 2013, Larry Kowalchuk of Kowalchuk Law Office in Regina registered a statement of claim in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan’s Court of Queen’s Bench on behalf of Smith and two other litigants backed by three dozen other plaintiffs across Canada.

The suit argued the mining operations fostered by the Collaboration Agreement would have a detrimental impact on human health and the environment. The suit also named the Saskatchewan and Canadian governments as not protecting Aboriginal and Treaty rights enshrined under the Canadian Constitution, the Charter of Rights and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. [5]

The legal battle is a difficult one for Smith. Not only is he at the centre of a classic David and Goliath duel, but he finds himself pitted against friends and family within his village with few of his loved ones willing to take to the public stage alongside him.

This week’s Global Research News Hour gives space for this humble wild rice harvester and fisherman turned defender of the land to tell his story.

For more information on this story visit the Committee for Future Generations Website
or D’Arcy Hande’s latest contribution to Briarpatch magazine – “Courting collaboration: How the uranium industry bought the Village of Pinehouse, and what residents are doing to take it back

LISTEN TO THE SHOW

Length (58:55)
Click to download the audio (MP3 format)

Notes

1) http://committeeforfuturegenerations.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/collaborationagreement.pdf
2) D’Arcy Hande, Nov. 1, 2013; “Courting collaboration: How the uranium industry bought the Village of Pinehouse, and what residents are doing to take it back”, Briarpatch Magazine; http://briarpatchmagazine.com/articles/view/courting-collaboration
3) ibid
4) COLLABORATION AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE NORTHERN VILLAGE OF PINEHOUSE AND KINEEPIK METIS LOCAL INC. AND CAMECO CORPORATION
AND AREVA RESOURCES CANADA INC. Dated December 12
http://www.pinehouselake.ca/images/pdf/Collaboration%20Agreement.pdf
5) D’Arcy Hande, op cit.

Ado in Saskatoon

Some Senators at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon want the Chair of the Board of Governors to resign. She serves on the Board of the nuclear giant, Cameco.

The senators also say lawyer Nancy Hopkins’s position as a board member for Cameco Corp. puts her in a conflict of interest chairing a search committee for a new university president.

In a letter sent to the university’s secretary and board vice-chair earlier this year, environmental lawyer and senator Stefania Fortugno points to equity Hopkins has at stake that rides on Cameco’s performance. Fortugno questions whether Hopkins’s role is connected to the university’s increasing focus on nuclear research.

“Any time that the University of Saskatchewan enlarges the role of the nuclear sciences on campus, through the appointment of faculty chairs, or establishing a new $30-million nuclear research centre and allocates scarce educational resources to the same, the share prices of Cameco Corporation correspondingly increase,” the letter says.

Cameco is everywhere in Saskatoon; it’s frightening. I’m with the Senators on this one.

Propagandizing in SK

It seems as though the editorial board of Regina’s daily newspaper can’t be bothered to so much as appear to provide balanced coverage of the uranium industry in Saskatchewan.

In a meeting with the Leader-Post editorial board this week, NWMO president and CEO Ken Nash made the point that the safe storage of nuclear waste should be a legacy to the future generations that will inherit it and who might even have the technology to retrieve and recycle it 100 years from now.

Besides the ridiculous spin Mr. Nash and the Leader Post place on the issue — that it’s our responsibility to pass the problem we’ve created on to the next generation because they might be able to fix it — they have not solicited the opinion of anyone else in reaching their decision. Interestingly, Saskatoon anti-nuclear activists and others indicate that the Leader Post‘s sister publication in Saskatoon, the Star Phoenix, has refused to meet with representatives of the anti-nuclear movement. Their editorial is misleading in that it slants toward support for storing nuclear waste in Saskatchewan for economic and xyz reasons, but ends with a call for more study.

Before turning our back on another chance – particularly in a chronically underemployed region of the province – without testing out the risks and science behind it would be unconscionable.

In their not-so-subtle propaganda, the editorial boards of two of Saskatchewan’s daily newspapers demonstrate blatant bias to the nuclear industry and choose to ignore the research already conducted, research that says that for social and technical reasons nuclear waste should not be stored underground. But, oh, they obviously enjoy the appearance that they’ve done their research otherwise, why issue such a fatherly statement?

Now is a good time for everyone to learn more about the issue, even if the facility is ultimately located elsewhere. –<<a href="“>SP>

All this is to say that the public is being misinformed about a deadly substance, courtesy the mainstream media.

There oughta be a law.

7000 Generations Walk Against Nuclear Waste

Pinehouse to Regina 7000 Generations Walk Against Nuclear Waste

please think about where you can join us. Talk to your friends and family to see if they’re interested to support this walk by walking/driving/providing food /water/transportation etc.

Together in Community,

-Debby Morin Committee for Future Generations committeeforfuturegenerations@ gmail.com Max Morin 306-865-9299
Let’s Be Active Participants in the Lives of Our Children’s Children

You can help by collecting signatures on the petition, see http://www.cleangreensask.ca to print one off

July 26th Nuclear Waste Forum in Pinehouse at 1:00pm
July 27th Walk starting from Pinehouse

August 3rd Prince Albert – Rally of Support & music at the Memorial Square, City Hall at 12:00-2:00pm

August 7th Saskatoon- Benefit of Support for Walk Against Nuclear Waste – music & more 7:00-9:30pm at St. Thomas-Wesley United Church 808 20th St West at Ave H

August 8th Saskatoon – Rally of Support & music at City Hall Square 12:00-2:00pm

August 16th Regina – March the Green Mile to the Saskatchewan Legislature, arrive @ noon

See attached for daily schedule and communities where the walk will be stopping,

For more details http://www.facebook.com/sayno2nuclear waste Things are evolving quickly so check it periodically.
Also dedicated walk page on the Clean Green website with audio interviews and more http://sites.google.com/site/c leangreensaskca/Home/learn-mor e/nuclear-waste/northerners-sa y-no-to-nuclear-waste

This is going to be an event to remember! Join in, lend a hand. For the Saskatoon part of the walk, benefit and rally email or call cleangreensask@yahoo.ca 653-1686

A point of clarification about the attached Itinerary: Some sections have groups walking simultaneously. See the 4th column called Section / Km for these details. For example, July 27th 4-27 = 4 groups with staggered starting places along the route, each walking 27 Km.

most sincerely, Karen Weingeist for the Coalition for a Clean Green Saskatchewan

The Elm Dance: Healing the World

Regina’s Making Peace Vigil and the Saskatchewan Singers of the Sacred Web invite you to join in the Elm Dance on Thursday, August 4 at noon on Scarth Street at 11th Avenue.

From its Latvian roots this intimate folk song has grown into the Elm Dance and is danced by circles of activists around the world, from Novozybkov, 100 miles downwind from Chernobyl, to the uranium mines of northern Saskatchewan.  

Danced with reverence for human and more than human life, and in solidarity with trees who breathe in what we breathe out, the dance begins always with the dancers saying together this statement of intention: ’We do this dance as a way of strengthening our intention to participate in the healing of this beloved planet,  its humans and all beings.’  

On this anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima we dedicate this dance to all places and beings damaged by uranium mining, nuclear weapons, and nuclear power generation, including most recently Fukushima, Japan. 

join us in the elm dance poster