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.

Making up for lost time

Lots of stuff going on since I last posted here.  Besides the Rider’s being in the Western Semi-final today, I mean. 😉

Dr. Jim Harding, ardent no-nukes activist and author, has started a website

to provide an archive of material related to the nuclear industry, renewable energy and other issues related to sustainable development.

The great part is that he’s also doing a blog, filling us in on things such as proposed uranium mines, watershed gatherings in the north and the need for a nuclear waste ban in Saskatchewan, to name a few.

The most recent, the call for the nuke waste ban has come about again because there’s talk about trekking spent radioactive waste from Ontario and into northern Saskatchewan for permanent storage.  Besides this being yet another case of ecological racism, it’s yet another case of Chernobyl on Wheels. Tens of thousands of Europeans persistently lined the shipments’ route to express their outrage over the  issue.

What happened is that once people became educated about the issue, they became outraged.  And in searching for a way to express it, they organized themselves.  It’s what Saskatchewan residents did when the Wall government tried to shove the Uranium Development Partnership upon us.  A result of that was citizens coming together to form The Coalition for a Clean Green Saskatchewan, a province-wide combination of citizens and organizations working together for, as the name says, a clean and green future for our province.

After a lull, the group is preparing to take on the next challenge to the goal of a green future, the transport and storage of nuclear waste.  Various documents are moving about, being shared across the province, the continent and around the world as the industry moves forward in its greed.

The most recent document to cross my desk is one by the Assembly of First Nations.   The Nuclear Fuel Waste Dialogue: Recommendations to the Nuclear Waste Management Organization was prepared following consultations and discussions with First Nations communities.  I’m certain it will prove to be a very useful document for it’s something to which governments, citizens and First Nations communities can point and refer in their discernment and educational processes regarding the storage of nuclear waste on their lands.

So, lots going on.  Lots to do.  More later.

Words of Caution to SK Taxpayers

Again, a little something from the Inbox for you, dear Reader.  What I can’t figure out is why the Canadian Tax Payers Federation isn’t in a big huff about all this!

Tax-payers are already paying, or will pay for:
– the research and other costs of developing the tar sands (roads,
infrastructure, etc.)
– the water reservoirs (dams) needed for the nuclear reactors (billions of dollars)
– most of the costs of a nuclear reactor (billions of dollars)
– all the costs of the power transmission lines (billions of dollars)
– radioactive waste disposal costs (billions of dollars for eternity) and
– we are paying for lobbyists in Washington.

Taxpayers should be aware of how much money we are, or will be, contributing to the nuclear and to the tar sands companies – – unless we take a stand. The best place to take a stand is on whether or not we want nuclear reactors here. It is not us that needs them as an energy source. If we don’t want nuclear reactors and we stop them, the huge energy source needed for tar sands development does not exist – – unless the Government is willing to use up natural gas supplies for tar sands processing. That would mean running us out of a relatively clean energy source to develop a very dirty energy source, and notwithstanding the fact that most of the infrastructure for heating our homes is for natural gas. The reactors have to have access to large volumes of water. We stopped (at least temporarily) the construction of the HighGate Dam on the North Saskatchewan River near the Battlefords. We would have paid billions of dollars for the HighGate Dam or “reservoirs” as the Government likes to call them.

The assumption of the Government is that these projects are going to proceed:

Wall Heads to Washington

Tuesday, 03 March 2009

The province will have some representation at an Energy Council in the US this week.

Premier Brad Wall will be giving a major speech at the council, which goes from tomorrow until Saturday. Wall plans to talk about carbon capture and clean investments in the province, as well as nuclear opportunities.

March 8, 2009 FINANCIAL POST

http://www.canada.com/Sask+premier+pushes+clean+energy+technology/1366452/story.html

… Wall spent part of his trip to Washington scouting D.C. lobby firms, with the intention of hiring one to protect the province’s interests on Capitol Hill.

“We hope to get a firm that’s not just got some ability to open some political doors. We need to continue to open financial doors and attract capital to the province,” he said.

“They would be boots on the ground in the Capitol.”

During meetings with several prominent U.S. lawmakers – including senators Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham – Wall also discussed Saskatchewan’s interest in developing small nuclear reactor technology as a way to replace the burning of natural gas in the production of oilsands oil.

“There are challenges and risk to these technologies, but we will cause ourselves innumerable more problems if our default position is to do nothing,” Wall said.

Of course, certain risks come with having a higher profile in Washington – especially regarding energy and the environment.

Alberta had early success promoting itself as a safe and secure source of foreign oil, but is now struggling to combat anti-oilsands sentiment among U.S. lawmakers under pressure from the environmental lobby.”

Nuking it up in SK

Well, well, well, aren’t we just the hub of nuke activity here in the gap!  Bruce Power‘s all set to give us a nuker.

Bruce Power, the private operator of nuclear plants in Ontario, is on track to complete its feasibility study on nuclear power in Saskatchewan by the end of this year, Hawthorne said. The company announced it would embark on the study in June.

“We will make those findings open and transparent to the public”

Areva’s meeting with folks in Saskatoon.

AREVA Public Information Meeting

Nov. 27th, 7:30 pm, Hilton Garden InnThere will be a public information meeting hosted by AREVA Resources Canada Inc. (the nuclear industry) in the Estevan Room at the Hilton Garden Inn.

At 7:30 pm, there will be a presentation on AREVA’s present and upcoming activities, followed by the opportunity to ask questions and talk about their projects. There will also be information displays where people can discuss issues one on one.

And little Braddy Wall-mart has set up a nukers’ play group.

Like the Regulatory Modernization Council, the Uranium Development Partnership is the result of political interference. Dragging its credibility down even further is the fact that at least 9 of its 12 members appear to be pro-development:

Nothing but fun, fun, fun in this nuclear winter playground!

cameco-dig-your-own-grave

Warped Priorities in SK

So, get a load of this can of shite!

Premier Brad Wall has pulled $7 million in funding for an excellent, community-based project, Station20 West, a project that has the support of the City of Saskatoon, the University of Saskatchewan, the United Way and numerous other community groups and citizens.

But isn’t it interesting that Premier Brad Wall found something like $6 million for Enterprise Saskatchewan, one of his pet projects, which is the privatization of economic decision-making in SK.  FYI, the SK budget estimates are here.

Nukes too costly

From the inbox, something Premier Brad Wall might want to think about as he and his minions consider Saskatchewan’s nuclear future. The only way the nuke industry makes money is through government subsidies, i.e. taxpayers’ money. Is this where we want our taxes spent, on an industry that is not economically sustainable?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Michael Mariotte
January 28, 2008
301-270-6477

NIRS STATEMENT ON CANCELLATION OF IDAHO NUCLEAR REACTOR

Today, MidAmerican Nuclear Energy Company announced that it is cancelling
its plans to build a new nuclear reactor in Payette County, Idaho.

The company cited the poor economics of nuclear power for its decision,
saying that its “due diligence process has led to the conclusion that it
does not make economic sense to pursue the project at this time.”

MidAmerican was planning on Warren Buffett’s Berkshire/Hathaway company to
provide major financing for the project. Buffett is a major owner of
MidAmerican.

Which leads NIRS to the obvious conclusion: if Warren Buffett cannot figure
out how to make money from a new nuclear reactor, who can?

“This cancellation is the first of the new nuclear era,” said Michael
Mariotte, executive director of Nuclear Information and Resource Service,
“but it won’t be the last. Even before any new nuclear construction has
begun in the U.S., cost estimates have skyrocketed and are now 300-400%
higher than the industry was saying just two or three years ago.”

“The extraordinary costs of nuclear power, coupled with its irresolvable
safety and radioactive waste problems, killed the first generation of
reactors, and are going to end this second generation as well. But it would
be tragedy if the U.S. wasted any money on new reactors, when resources are
so desperately needed to implement the safer, cheaper, faster, and
sustainable energy sources needed to address the climate crisis,” Mariotte
added.

–30–

Thanks, Sandra.