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