license renewal refused to nuclear waste polluter in pembroke written by stephen salaff sunday, 25 february 2007 http://www id=56 the recent pembroke, ontario success of canada�s nuclear concern and environmental protection movement owes much to the active collaboration of aboriginal communities in struggle for dignity, autonomy, environmental protection and social justice. never before in regulatory history has the canadian nuclear safety commission, canada�s chief nuclear regulator, denied a license application by a major nuclear industry firm. muscling this backdown were pembroke-based people of the great river kichesipirini algonquin first nation activists. chronic polluter srb technologies (canada) inc. sought relicensing for 18 months to process radioactive tritium, a hazardous nuclear material, into glow-in-thedark illuminating devices. cnsc hearings revealed that srb long operated in a failed, unfenced pembroke industrial park with no plant confinement, no containment and no physical security. srb�s plant lacked a buffer zone, but adjoined a busy pembroke artery near a heavily used hockey arena, a well-fished river and a residential subdivision. cnsc�s 31 january 2007 �reasons for decision� explained: �the licensee has not taken all reasonable precautions to control the release of a radioactive substance within the site of the licensed activity and into the environment.� (paragraph 138) within cnsc�s much safer and more democratic new pembroke model of arms-length, citizen-oriented regulation: cnsc encouraged knowledgeable intervenors like radiation protection professional rosalie bertell, phd in biometrics, representing international institute of concern for public health and concerned citizens of renfrew county, and alfred villeneuve, algonquin guardian of the ottawa river to help separate fact from fiction, through personal and dvd presentations; cnsc at last began to reject routines of cozy, partisan collaboration on radiation and fire issues between commission ceo, staff and consultants and their licensee counterparts. independent-minded commissioners, freed from government of canada thought control, authored the pembroke decision against a pro-industry, safetysecond recommendation from cnsc�s professional staff. these diverse commissioners brought to bear upon the decision their professional expertise and judgment in the respective fields of geology and oceanography, medicine and agricultural economics, business and government administration, and aeronautical engineering. identifying himself as an algonkin artist living since birth in renfrew county, currently residing in pembroke, ontario for the past twenty three years villeneuve argued: �we have been here since time out of mind. as our ancestors did, we continue to follow �algonkin law� as it pertains to the outright protection of this earth our mother, and all that exists on it.� the painter grieved the dominion�s genocide. �through history from first contact in 1603, the kichesipirini/algonkin people have suffered greatly at the hands of non-natives and government(s)." �we suffered as a nation, perhaps the greatest attempted genocide in canada when europeans set out to kill every last kichesipirini/algonkin in order to take their land and the resources of which it held.� �less than two dozen people escaped and survived, out of an entire nation� first the old men, boys, girls and women at their encampment on what is now known as the ottawa river, and then the wholesale slaughter of the men that were hunting elsewhere in their territory.�

�even through this horrific act of genocide, our ancestors survived.� �being labeled �stragglers,� when the government attempted but failed to move all kichesipirini/algonkins to a government created �landbase� in golden lake in 1837, they were discounted for the most part, into the lower socioeconomic rung in the non-native communities.� villeneuve condemned: �srb technologies, in order to reduce their toxic, nuclear waste contaminating their site, believes it is better to use our river for a �nuclear dump.�� he cried out: �you have no right to pollute the waters of our spiritual and historic heartland� you have no right to dump any garbage� into our waters.� villeneuve cautioned self-conscious civil servants in ottawa: �while this land and this river is still under dispute with our nation and the governments of canada and ontario, we as members of the kichesipirini/algonkin nation will do all that is in our power as a nation of people to alert others of any destruction of our homelands including the united nations.� stephen salaff is a toronto-based freelance energy and environment writer. salaff has contributed to seven oaks analysis on "native communities reject nuclear waste," and to dominion an interview on �land claims and the people of the great river.� salaff�s first report on the pembroke crisis appeared in ottawa xpress as �pembroke�s nuclear debacle: nuclear waste and regulatory inertia,� 9 march 2006.

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