Updates

13 New Brunswick groups ask PM Trudeau for a moratorium on new nuclear

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: justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca

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: info@crednb.ca

Sincerely,

Groups undersigned:

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

Global 2021 nuclear report launch and distinguished speakers

Tuesday, Sept. 28, 11am to 1pm Atlantic

We’re pleased to announce that CRED-NB member RAVEN at the University of New Brunswick, and the Environment & Society Program at St. Thomas University are the Canadian co-hosts of the global launch of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report! The WNISR is an independent expert assessment of nuclear industry developments globally. 

For more information and the join link, go to the info on the RAVEN website:

https://raven-research.org/global-launch-of-the-world-nuclear-industry-status-report-2021/

Federal parties and candidates on nuclear: for the record

What are the federal party positions on funding for new nuclear reactors? Read an article published this week in the Hill Times and the NB Media Co-op:

Party election platforms: Should new nuclear reactors be part of Canada’s climate action plan?
https://nbmediacoop.org/2021/09/17/party-election-platforms-should-new-nuclear-reactors-be-part-of-canadas-climate-action-plan/

The story was written by CRED-NB member Susan O’Donnell and Gordon Edwards, President of the Coalition for Responsible Energy Development in New Brunswick.

CRED-NB sent a questionnaire with four questions about nuclear issues to candidates in all federal ridings in New Brunswick. Only seven candidates responded. Click here to see the full questions. Here’s a summary of the questions and responses:

Q1: Question about nuclear energy and the climate crisis:

Given the urgency of the climate crisis and the need for proven technologies ready to deploy now, do you support a moratorium on federal public funding for speculative nuclear reactors, including those described as “small modular reactors”?

6 candidates said YES:

  • 3 NDP candidates: Evelyn Godfrey (Beausejour) • Richard Trevor Warren (New Brunswick Southwest) • Don Paulin (Saint John – Rothesay)
  • 2 Green candidates: Richard Dunn (Moncton – Riverview – Dieppe) • Ann McAllister (Saint John – Rothesay)
  • 1 Libertarian candidate: Brendon Kirby (Fredericton)

One candidate said NO:

  • Green candidate: John Reist (New Brunswick Southwest)

___________________________________________

Q2: Question about nuclear waste

Do you support the Wolastoq Grand Council resolution opposing nuclear energy and nuclear waste on traditional Wolastoq territory?

6 candidates said YES

  • 3 NDP candidates: Evelyn Godfrey (Beausejour) • Richard Trevor Warren (New Brunswick Southwest) • Don Paulin (Saint John – Rothesay)
  • 3 Green candidates: Richard Dunn (Moncton – Riverview – Dieppe) • John Reist (New Brunswick Southwest) • Ann McAllister (Saint John – Rothesay)

One candidate said NO

  • Libertarian candidate: Brendan Kirby (Fredericton)

____________________________________________

Q3: Question about informed consent with Indigenous peoples on new nuclear development

Do you support free, prior, and informed consent with Indigenous peoples on new nuclear development, including modular nuclear reactors. uranium mines and radioactive waste facilities?

All 7 candidates said YES

  • 3 NDP candidates: Evelyn Godfrey (Beausejour) • Richard Trevor Warren (New Brunswick Southwest) • Don Paulin (Saint John – Rothesay)
  • 3 Green candidates: Richard Dunn (Moncton – Riverview – Dieppe) • John Reist (New Brunswick Southwest) • Ann McAllister (Saint John – Rothesay)
  • Libertarian candidate: Brendan Kirby (Fredericton)

____________________________________________

Q4. Question about nuclear weapons

Do you support the call for a high-level review, including by international experts, of both the nuclear weapons proliferation and environmental implications of New Brunswick’s plutonium-extraction project?

5 candidates said YES

  • 3 NDP candidates: Evelyn Godfrey (Beausejour) • Richard Trevor Warren (New Brunswick Southwest) • Don Paulin (Saint John – Rothesay)
  • 2 Green candidates: Richard Dunn (Moncton – Riverview – Dieppe) • Ann McAllister (Saint John – Rothesay)

One candidate said NO

  • Green candidate: John Reist (New Brunswick Southwest)

One candidate was undecided

  • Libertarian candidate: Brendan Kirby (Fredericton)

Rally Sept. 24 – Climate Emergency: This is Not a Drill

Rally for a safe climate and equitable world! Stand in solidarity with people most affected by the climate crisis.

Friday, September 24 @noon at the New Brunswick Legislature in Fredericton.

Optional: 10:30am meet at Conserver House, 180 St. John Street (near the Legislature) to make signs.

Hear from climate activists, Indigenous land defenders, youth, scientists, trade unionists, energy policy experts and elected representatives on what a just energy transition looks like for Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada and beyond.

“Not a drill”: Fredericton rally to call for climate justice

Extinction Rebellion New Brunswick and partner organizations, including environmental groups and labour unions, invite everyone to assemble at the New Brunswick Legislature in Fredericton on unceded Wolastoqiyik territory on September 24 at noon to demand that all levels of government take immediate and effective action on the climate emergency that respects climate justice.

Participants are asked to wear masks and stand six feet apart in a visual display of safety and solidarity with everyone around the world affected by climate change and the global pandemic.  

“Our Indigenous Elders have told us for decades that humans have lost their way by neglecting to uphold the original teachings on how to respect and live in balance with Mother Earth. Hence, we are presently in a state of emergency facing global climate disasters and it will only worsen if we as humans don’t stop the greed of corporations and colonial governments,” says Wolastoqewi Grand Chief spasaqsit possesom – Ron Tremblay. 

“Climate justice goes beyond advocating for renewable energy, recognizing that injustice is linked to social, economic, and political systems and that climate change has its roots in capitalism, colonialism, the patriarchy and other systems of oppression,” says Susan O’Donnell, one of the climate rally organizers and lead researcher with the RAVEN project at the University of New Brunswick. 

With New Brunswick refusing to close the Belledune coal plant in 2030 as part of Canada’s transition off coal, advocates for a just energy transition point to the need to include all affected workers and communities in climate solutions and future economic planning. 

“Now is the time to be talking about a just energy transition for workers in the fossil fuel and nuclear sectors and their communities in New Brunswick as well as in Colombia where NB Power has been sourcing coal from the Cerrejón coal mine since the 1990s. It’s not the time to keep yesterday’s fuel sources like coal and nuclear on the table,” said Tracy Glynn, one of the rally organizers and who has worked with Colombian coal miners and affected community members to tell their stories for more than a decade. 

“The coal burned in Belledune comes from Colombia where its extraction is linked to the forced displacement and starvation of Indigenous Wayuu and Afro-Colombian farmers and children and repression of coal miners and unionists. Climate justice is migrant justice. It’s reproductive justice. It’s housing justice,” says Glynn. 

Climate activists, Indigenous land defenders, youth, scientists, trade unionists, energy policy experts, and elected representatives will share their thoughts on what a just energy transition looks like for Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada and beyond. Ron Tremblay, the Wolastoq Grand Chief, David Coon, MLA for Fredericton South, Fredericton Mayor Kate Rogers, Lois Corbett, Executive Director of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, and Danny Legere, President of the New Brunswick Federation of Labour are among the speakers.

This rally is supported by Extinction Rebellion New Brunswick, Council of Canadians Fredericton Chapter, Council of Canadians Saint John Chapter, Coalition for Responsible Energy Development in New Brunswick (CRED-NB), Conservation Council of New Brunswick, CUPE NB, Fredericton Club of the Communist Party of Canada, Leap4wards Saint John, New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance (NBASGA), New Brunswick Federation of Labour, NB Media Co-op, No One Is Illegal Fredericton, RAVEN, Reproductive Justice NB and Solidarité Fredericton.

All social justice, environmental and climate action groups are invited to endorse this rally. To add your name to our event coalition, contact: fredericton.solidarity@gmail.com.

For more information, contact Tracy Glynn, 506 440-5592,  fredericton.solidarity@gmail.com.

XRNB: Work together on the climate emergency NOW plus invite to meeting

1 September 2021

Work together to force governments to act on the climate emergency NOW! 

Hello everyone,

My name is Doug Swain. I’ve been a member of Extinction Rebellion New Brunswick (XRNB) since April 2019. I’m writing to you because we are at a critical stage in the climate crisis. The 2018 IPCC report stated that we needed to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by about 50%  globally by 2030 to  avoid a high probability of unstoppable runaway climate change. Three years out of the 12-year window have already passed and GHG emissions continue to rise in Canada.

Now the latest report concludes that the 2018 report was too optimistic, and greater and sooner reductions in GHG emissions are now needed (XR would say that we need net-zero by 2025). But Canada hasn’t even started to address the 2018 target of ~50% reductions by 2030.

Scientists have warned about global warming for over 30 years but governments have failed to act. Now they must take strong action immediately. In my view, governments will only start to address the climate emergency with the required urgency if 10s of 1000s of people are marching repeatedly in the streets across the country. I don’t think that this will happen until the many climate action, environmental and just transition groups act together to mobilise these numbers. So I am writing to you to see whether your group would consider working together with like-minded groups to make this happen. I have set up a Zoom meeting on September 15 for us to discuss this. The link and details are below.

Also, if you want to give this a try before our meeting, there will be an opprtunity on Wednesday Sep 8 in Saint John. On Sep 8, 350.org is organizing marches or rallies across Canada to demand a moratorium on fossil fuel expansion, including stopping existing expansion projects, and an urgent and robust just transition plan that leaves no one behind and moves us past fossil fuels. For further details and sign-up google ‘350.org/still-on-fire/’

Thanks you for your consideration.

Sincerely,
Doug Swain
Extinction Rebellion New Brunswick.

***

Invitation to work together in the fight for action on the climate emergency
Topic: WorkTogether
Time: Sep 15, 2021 07:00 PM AST
Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88954463889?pwd=aUEwelJxekZPTlpKemhnV2dSbkFxQT0
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Meeting ID: 889 5446 3889
Passcode: 276441
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NBASGA joins CRED-NB core group

The New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance (NBASGA) has joined the CRED-NB core group of members. Welcome!

From the NBASGA website:

“NBASGA values our basic human right to fresh air, clear water, a healthy environment and a prosperous future for our children and grandchildren.

“We represent the interests of all New Brunswickers opposed to unconventional shale gas and oil exploration and development.  We believe that clean energy alternatives will provide New Brunswick with a brighter, more secure future.”

Bloc Québécois shows real leadership on the nuclear file

The Bloc Québécois (BQ) could block the Liberal Party’s chance of forming a majority government in Canada. Both the Liberals and the Conservatives are pushing new nuclear development (so-called small modular nuclear reactors).

Over the past year, the BQ has issued three media releases opposing the new nuclear reactors. Now their platform has underlined the party’s commitment to stopping these dirty, dangerous distractions from climate action. Bravo!

Check out this website or read the statement signed by more than 100 public interest, Indigenous and civil society groups, including CRED-NB, explaining why we are opposing new nuclear development, HERE.

Fueling the money pit: new nuclear reactors for New Brunswick

refuelling3

Both the PCs and Liberals are fuelling the latest money pit – untested, unproven new nuclear reactor designs. If they spend enough money, and if they work, the new reactors will generate the most expensive electricity!

The cost of nuclear energy is going way up while renewable solar and wind energy costs are going way down. Spending public funds on more nuclear is a bad investment.

The provincial government and NB Power have already given $30 million to two start-up companies from the UK and the US to develop plans for new reactors at Lepreau. The Trudeau government has given more than $50 million more.

NB Power is almost $5 billion in debt. More than $3 billion of that is from its massive cost over-runs on the refurbishment of its Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station and the expensive ongoing repairs to the nuclear plant since then. And we want more?

Around the world, nuclear power has a long history of massive expenses and repairs coming in millions over-budget. And governments – we, the taxpayers – always end up with the bill.

The Point Lepreau nuclear debt is driving up electricity costs in New Brunswick. Now both the PC party and the Liberal party are promoting MORE nuclear power for New Brunswick.

Building the two proposed new nuclear reactors in New Brunswick will cost more than $2 billion each. Billions more will be required from future taxpayers in New Brunswick to clean up and store the radioactive concrete, steel, and other materials left when the  new reactors are decommissioned.

Why should we leave a financial mess along with the dangerous radioactive materials risking the health of our children and grandchildren and many, many more generations of New Brunswickers in future?

Good question, so why are both the PCs and the Liberals promising to give New Brunswick more nuclear energy?

The nuclear industry is desperate to survive and lobbying hard for public handouts. Because the new reactors have no customers, there is no business case so the banks will not finance the development unless the government guarantees the loans.

Better still for the nuclear industry, the plan seems to just hand over billions in public cash, in non-repayable grants!

The nuclear industry lobby group  representative in New Brunswick has another job: he is the Vice-President Nuclear of NB Power and the highest-paid public servant in the province. A circular, bottomless money pit!

Plutonium in New Brunswick? The facts Trudeau and Higgs are not telling us

Screen Shot 2020-08-22 at 12.56.58

Both the provincial and federal government are handing millions in public funds to a UK company to extract plutonium at Point Lepreau in New Brunswick. Read the update on this story, published in July by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, HERE.

Here’s some facts Trudeau and Higgs are not sharing:
  • One of the projects will extract plutonium at Point Lepreau that can be used to make nuclear weapons, say US nuclear experts.
  • The waste from the new reactors will be MORE radioactive per kilo than the existing waste at Point Lepreau. It will be stored next to the Bay of Fundy.
  • Building the new reactor sites will create hundreds of tons of radioactive concrete, radioactive steel and other radioactive materials that cannot be recycled. NB taxpayers will be responsible for the disposal costs.

See more information about nuclear energy on this website.

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