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Labrador’s Inuit Regional Government kept in the dark about nuclear waste dump plan

‘Zero possibility’ of nuclear waste stored in Labrador, says Fureym  

Nunatsiavut government ‘surprised’ to learn about project through media

CBC News ·Apr 02, 2021   There is no possibility of the government of Newfoundland and Labrador approving a secretive project that would see nuclear waste stored in Labrador, says Premier Andrew Furey, while the Nunatsiavut government said it is not aware of any proposed project.

“Zero possibility,” Furey said Thursday, in reaction to the story from Radio-Canada’s Enquête investigative program.

Emails drafted in 2019 and 2020, obtained by Radio-Canada’s Enquête, reveal a group of business executives and former prime minister Jean Chrétien have been discussing a secretive project to bury nuclear waste from foreign countries in Labrador, with Chrétien saying that, as a supplier of uranium, Canada has a responsibility to safely dispose of it.

Furey said his government has never had any formal discussion about the proposal, which would see that waste stored in Labrador, nor has he seen any applications.

However, Furey said it was mentioned during a discussion with Chrétien in 2020, when Furey was running for leadership of the provincial Liberals. It was a 15-minute discussion, Furey said, in which Chrétien offered him advice on political life and public service, and mentioned the project.

………. Furey said to his knowledge, no one in his government’s administration has had any formal discussions on nuclear waste storage……..

Governments ‘have a legal duty to consult’

News of the secretive plans also came as a surprise for the Nunatsiavut government.

“The Nunatsiavut government is not aware of any proposed plans to dispose nuclear waste in Labrador, and was surprised to learn of it through the media,” reads a statement issued by Nunatsiavut on Thursday.

“The constitutionally protected Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement clearly defines Inuit rights and titles within Nunatsiavut. Under the agreement, the provincial and federal governments have a legal duty to consult with the Nunatsiavut government.”

The statement added that Nunatsiavut is gathering more information and will be getting in touch with the provincial and federal governments before releasing anything further.

Torngat Mountains MHA Lela Evans said there have been previous discussions about nuclear storage in Labrador, but said the level of secrecy of this latest story isn’t a total shock.

Four years ago, she noted, Ball’s chief of staff, Greg Mercer, was found to have failed to report his previous lobbying activities on time. Some of his lobbying involved the company at the heart of the group’s nuclear storage project, Terravault. 

“There’s so much secrecy. Back in 2017, people couldn’t find much detail, it was all very secretive, hush hush, with ties to the provincial Liberal party,” Evans said.

Now it’s being revealed again and it’s all very secretive. There’s no consultation with the people of Labrador and it reminds us of the old colonialism type of government.”

Evans said projects in Labrador can’t be approved without consultation with the people who live there.

“What we’re asking for is a voice. The Labrador people need to be consulted, and this level of secrecy and having it revealed again is really insulting to the Labrador people,” she said.

“I don’t think there’s any support in Labrador to actually be a waste disposal site for radioactive material.”……………….  https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/nuclear-waste-reaction-1.5972883

April 2, 2021 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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