South Bruce group “Willing to Listen” says calls for nuclear waste referendum too soon

A group of people calling themselves “South Bruce DGR-Willing to Listen”, says a group opposed to a proposed nuclear waste storage facility is pushing for a referendum too quickly.

Earlier this month, the group, “Protect Our Waterways – No Nuclear Waste”, issued a statement calling for a referendum on the issue of storing nuclear waste before a decision is made.

“Willing to Listen” founder, Sheila Whytock, says they need more information before they can vote on the proposal.

Whytock  describes “South Bruce DGR – Willing to Listen” as a local group of residents from South Bruce, with a stated goal of seeking information and education on the proposed DGR from the NWMO in their municipality.

And they are looking to engage in the conversation between the Municipality of South Bruce, the NWMO, and the community, to make an informed decision.

“They’re (Protect our Waterways) a little premature in their request of the municipality in terms of zoning and the referendum. I don’t think it’s the right time for either of those things to be going on,” said Whytock. “We’re still in the learning phase. The NWMO hasn’t even drilled a borehole yet to find out if the rock here is even suitable to site a DGR. But the Protect Our Waterways Group is asking to rezone the site,” she explained.

Whytock adds the land purchased in South Bruce by the Nuclear Waste Management Organization was for bore hole drilling and other testing to see if the site is suitable.

She says they do agree any prospective project has to abide by zoning bylaws.

“Control of these bylaws is a powerful negotiating lever for the municipality,” said Whytock. “And neutering that leverage before negotiating any terms of that amendment is harmful to South Bruce in the long term of this process.”

“This illustrates the need to continue with the process so that South Bruce residents can make a decision from a fully-informed perspective, and not half-truths or misleading data,” Whytock concluded.