More than 70 groups, including 13 in New Brunswick, sent a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau asking for a moratorium on new nuclear energy to be included in the mandate letters of the new cabinet, expected to be named next week.
October 4, 2021
The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
80 Wellington St.
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2
by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A moratorium on federal funding for nuclear expansion: mandate letters to cabinet
Dear Prime Minister:
Congratulations on your recent re-election. As organizations working tirelessly to protect the environment and seek solutions to the critical issue of climate change, we reflect the concerns of millions of Canadians and work as allies with Indigenous nations.
We request your attention to a critical matter of human health, environmental and intergenerational importance. In your action on climate change, we ask your government to refrain from supporting nuclear infrastructure expansion, including so-called small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs); support would delay addressing climate change because speculative SMR technology would be ready too late and pose safety and security risks. We strongly recommend that your office consult the latest expert analysis conducted by independent researchers, available in the 2021 World Nuclear Industry Status Report.
We are aware that your government is dedicating $8 billion to a “Net Zero Accelerator” fund in addition to other funding envelopes which could be available to develop new nuclear reactor prototypes. SMRs should not be eligible for any government funding, and certainly not as part of a climate action plan.
During the previous term, your government undertook no consultation whatsoever with environmental and citizen groups about new nuclear development. Further, funding or plans for new nuclear development were not included in the 2021 election platform of the Liberal Party. Your government does not have a mandate from Canadians to spend public funds on new prototype nuclear reactors, especially considering the danger and risks of the wastes generated and nuclear weapons proliferation.
The public’s voice cannot be ignored. In 2018, the Assembly of First Nations issued resolution 62/2018 calling for the Government of Canada to cease funding and support of the Small Modular Nuclear Reactors program. This past year, 120 civil society, public interest and Indigenous groups signed a public statement sent to you and all Members of Parliament; this statement expressed their opposition to federal funding for SMRs, explaining why the proposed new nuclear reactors are “dirty, dangerous distractions” from genuine climate action.
As your government deliberates on its priorities, in the mandate letters of the ministers responsible for Health Canada; Environment and Climate Change Canada; Global Affairs Canada; Natural Resources Canada; Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada and the regional development agencies; and Transport Canada, we urge you to include a specific direction to:
- Institute a moratorium on funding for new prototype nuclear reactors, for uranium enrichment plants and for used-fuel reprocessing installations, until long term safe monitored containment from the biosphere can be implemented for intermediate and high-level radioactive wastes.
- Strengthen the independence, transparency and accountability of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and ensure all SMRs are subject to full impact assessments (now, appallingly, most proposed SMRs are exempt from federal impact assessment).
- Ensure that the government and the nuclear industry engage in free, prior, and informed consent with Indigenous peoples on all nuclear development, including modular nuclear reactors, uranium mines and radioactive waste facilities.
- End the expansion of Class 1 nuclear facilities in residential areas; the unsuccessful $1 billion attempt to clean up Port Hope, in Ontario, indicates the financial and health risks associated with locating nuclear facilities in proximity to housing and schools.
- Institute a high-level review, including by international experts, of both the nuclear weapons proliferation and environmental implications of the federally funded plutonium-extraction project currently underway at Chalk River, in Ontario, and planned for development on the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick.
- Ban the import of nuclear waste and nuclear material, i.e., plutonium from dismantled nuclear warheads.
In addition, we demand that you make public the expected cost of your government’s plan to develop new nuclear reactor prototypes including the cost of long-term management of their radioactive wastes.
We request your response as soon as possible using the following email address: email@example.com
Action Climat Outaouais (QC) Réal Lalande, président
Action Environnement Basses-Laurentides (QC) Lucie Massé, porte-parole
Algonquin Eco Watch (ON) Mike Wilton, President
Anishinabek Nation (ON) Mel Hardy, Regional Deputy Grand Council Chief
Artiste pour la paix (QC) Pierre Jasmin, Leader
Association québécoise de lutte contre la pollution atmosphérique (QC) André Bélisle, président
Bonnechere River Watershed Project (ON) Dr. Kathryn Lindsay, Chair/Program Volunteer
Canadian Environmental Law Association (ON) Theresa McClenaghan, Executive Director and Legal Counsel
CARN – Citizens Against Radioactive Neighbourhoods (ON) Jane Scott, founding member
Citizens Resistance At Fermi Two (CRAFT) (Michigan) Jesse Deer In Water, Community Organizer
Citoyens au Courant de Vaudreuil-Soulanges (QC) Katherine Massam, porte-parole
ClimateFast (ON) Lyn Adamson, Co-Chair
Coalition for a Clean Green Saskatchewan (SK) David Geary, researcher
Coalition for a Nuclear Free Great Lakes (Michigan) Michael J. Keegan, representative
Coalition for Responsible Energy Development (NB) Ann McAllister, David Kersey, Lise Auffray, members
Concerned Citizens of Manitoba (MB) Anne Lindsey, representative
Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County and Area (ON) Ole Hendrickson, PhD, Researcher
Conservation Council of New Brunswick (NB) Louise Comeau, PhD, Director of the climate change and energy program
Council of Canadians (ON) Mark Calzavara, National Water Campaigner
Council of Canadians – Fredericton Chapter (NB) Gail Wylie, representative
Council of Canadians – Kitchener-Waterloo (ON) Marilyn Hay, Chair
Council of Canadians – Ottawa Chapter (ON) Eva Schacherl, Volunteer
Council of Canadians – Saint John Chapter (NB) Leticia Adair, Contact
Eau Secours (QC) Rébecca Pétrin, directrice générale
Église Unie Westmount Park (QC) Rév. Neil Whitehouse, président du Conseil d’administration
EOS Eco-Energy (NB) Amanda Marlin, Executive Director
Équiterre (QC) Émile Boisseau-Bouvier, Analyste, politiques climatiques et transition écologique
Extinction Rebellion New Brunswick (NB) Doug Swain, PhD, Organiser
Friends of the Earth Canada (ON) Beatrice Olivastri, CEO
GMob (GroupMobiliation) (QC) Michel Jetté, co-fondateur
Green Coalition/Coalition Verte (QC) Gareth Richardson, President
Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital (ON) J. P. Unger, Director
Inter-Church Uranium Committee Educational Cooperative (SK) Michael Poellet, President
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War Canada (BC) Jonathan Down, President
MiningWatch Canada (ON) Jamie Kneen, Co-manager
Mouvement Vert Mauricie (QC) Patrick Rasmussen, président
National Council of Women of Canada (ON) Patricia Leson, President
NB, not Nuclear – Le NB, non le nucléaire (NB) Erik LeBrun, Founder/Administrator
New Brunswick Anti Shale Gas Alliance (NB) Roy Ries, Coordinator and Jim Emberger, Spokesperson
Northwatch (ON) Brennain Lloyd, Project Coordinator
Old Fort William Cottagers’ Association (QC) Johanna Echlin, M.Ed, Spokesperson
Ontario Clean Air Alliance (ON) Angela Bischoff, Director
PEI (Epekwitk) Fridays for Future Climate Action Group (PE) Tony Reddin, co-coordinator
Peterborough Pollinators (ON) Jo Hayward-Haines, co -founder
Pontiac Environment Protection (QC) Deborah Powell, President
Port Hope Community Health Concerns Committee (ON) Faye More, Chair
Prairie Institute for Human Ecology (SK) Lynn Wesley Oliphant, Coordinator
Prevent Cancer Now (ON) Meg Sears, PhD, Chair
Project Ploughshares Saskatoon (SK) Linda Murphy, secretary/treasurer
QuAppelle Valley Environmental Association (SK) Randall Lebell, Communications
Ralliement contre la pollution radioactive (QC) Ginette Charbonneau et Gilles Provost, porte-paroles
RAVEN project at the University of New Brunswick ( NB) Susan O’Donnell, PhD, Leader
Regroupement des citoyens de Saraguay (QC) Sylvia Oljemark, présidente
Regroupement écocitoyen de Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac (QC) Sylvie Rose Clermont, présidente
Regroupement vigilance hydrocarbures Québec (QC) Philippe Duhamel, coordonnateur général
Religieuses de Notre-Dame-du-Sacré-Coeur (NB) Ida Nolan, Murielle Duguay, Thérèse Belliveau, Membres de la Communauté
Réseau québécois des groupes écologistes (QC) Chantal Levert, coordonnatrice générale
San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace (California) Jane Swanson, President
Saskatoon Peace Coalition (SK) Michael Murphy, Chairperson
Sierra Club Canada Foundation (ON) Gretchen Fitzgerald, National Programs Director
Sierra Club Québec (QC) Isabelle Sawyer, co-présidente
Solar Island Electric Inc. (PE) Darcie Lanthier, President
St. Stephen Environmental Group (NB) Chris Corey, Director
STOP THE HOGS (SK) Elaine Hughes, Administration
Sustainable Development Association & Indigene Community (QC) Douglas Jack, President
Sustainable Energy Group (NB) Sam Arnold, Co-ordinator
Unifor Québec (QC) Raymond Thibert, président Comité de santé, sécurité et environnement d’Unifor
United Church of Canada (NB) Kent Gibbons, Minister
VANA (Veterans Against Nuclear Arms) Saskatoon (SK) Colin Clay, Member
WaterCareAllies (First United Church, Westboro) (ON) Judith Miller, Coordinator
Women’s Healthy Environments Network (ON) Cassie Barker, Executive Director