MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Stop uranium mining, says coalition

Published by MAC on 2007-09-03

Stop uranium mining, says coalition

Letters, The Hill Times

3th September 2007

Mining companies are staking claims and actively exploring for uranium in populated areas of the Mississippi Valley watershed east of Bon Echo and Crotch Lake, about 15 km north of Sharbot Lake and about 100 km upriver of Ottawa. This unwelcome activity has our communities on edge. We have formed a citizens' group called the Community Coalition Against Mining Uranium (CCAMU) to fight this threat.

The vast majority of eastern Ontario residents, businesses and associations are against exploration and mining because of the possibility of serious health and environmental damage such as has already occurred in Elliott Lake, northern Saskatchewan and other uranium mining areas in the world. If allowed to develop, uranium mines and processing sites could affect air quality and drinking water sources for up to 3.5 million people, including major centers like Kingston and Ottawa.

Contamination could also affect the Rideau Canal system (a UNESCO World Heritage site), and the Thousand Islands-Frontenac Arch (a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve). The City of Ottawa is doubly exposed since uranium exploration is also going on near Wakefield and La Pêche, Que., just north of the Ottawa River.

The CCAMU is calling for the Ontario government to follow Nova Scotia's lead and initiate an immediate commission of inquiry and a moratorium against uranium exploration/mining in eastern Ontario. Over 4,000 people have already signed a petition and a growing base of politicians and organizations at the federal, provincial and local levels of government have signed letters of support. Frontenac/Lanark is a wonderful area of rivers, lakes and wetlands. It is popular for its tourism and agriculture and a haven for cottagers and retiring baby boomers. It doesn't make any sense that exploration for uranium should take place there.

Premier McGuinty has stated that his government wants to protect environmentally sensitive areas of our beautiful province. We challenge the Premier to act on this promise by protecting the Mississippi Valley against uranium mining.

John Kittle
Community Coalition Against Mining Uranium
Snow Road, Ont.

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