Clean Green Saskatchewan

Top U.S. climate expert calls Conservatives ‘Neanderthal’

Posted Sat, 04/27/2013 – 15:27

The former NASA scientist criticized by Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver earlier this week for his views on the Keystone XL pipeline is responding by calling the Conservatives a desperate and “Neanderthal” government.

In an interview with Evan Solomon airing Saturday on CBC Radio’s The House, James Hansen defended his position that approving the proposed pipeline would be disastrous for the environment.

During a stop in Washington, D.C., to shore up support for Keystone XL, Oliver said Hansen, a leading climate change activist, is “crying wolf” with his “exaggerated” comments about the effects of Alberta’s oilsands development on the environment. The minister also said that when a source of energy represents 1/1000th of global emissions, “to say it’s the end of the planet if that’s developed is nonsense.”

Hansen has said if nothing is done to stop Canada’s oilsands development it will be “game over for the climate,” a position that Oliver said he likely regrets taking and that has hurt his credibility.

Not so, Hansen told Solomon. “Not at all,” the award-winning researcher said. Hansen was named one of Time magazine’s most influential people in 2006. He retired earlier this month from NASA so he could devote more of his time to environmental activism.

“I think he’s beginning to get worried because the secretary of state, John Kerry, is well-informed on the climate issue and he knows that his legacy and President Obama’s is going to depend upon whether they open this spigot to these very dirty, unconventional fossil fuels,” Hansen said about Oliver. “We can’t do that without guaranteeing disasters for young people and future generations.”

Conservative government ‘getting desperate’ TransCanada’s proposed pipeline would stretch from Alberta to Nebraska and the project is on hold while the Obama administration considers whether to give it a stamp of approval. Oliver was in Washington lobbying for the pipeline just as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency publicly rebuked the State Department over its positive environmental assessment of the proposed pipeline.

In a letter sent Monday that was widely seen as a setback for the pipeline, the EPA raised serious concerns about the project’s carbon footprint and criticized the State Department’s draft analysis.

“That shows that they’re getting desperate,” Hansen said, referring to Oliver’s comments about him. “They realize that the Keystone XL pipeline probably will not be approved because the secretary of state and the president are beginning to realize what the implications (are) for young people and future generations.”

He also had a blunt assessment of the Conservative government’s approach to climate change and action on the environment.

“The current government is a Neanderthal government on this issue, but Canada can actually be a leader,” he said. Hansen mentioned British Columbia’s carbon tax as a positive step. “I have hopes that Canada will actually be a good example for the United States but the present government is certainly not.”

“They’re in the hip pocket of the fossil fuel industry, as you can see, but that doesn’t mean that the Canadian people are,” said Hansen.

He said many governments, not just Canada’s, are denying what science is telling them and ignoring the long-term climate change projections.

By Meagan Fitzpatrick, CBC News, updated April 27, 2013 http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/top-u-s-climate-expert-calls-conservatives-neanderthal-1.1367144

68% of Saskatchewanians say: Stop Mining Uranium

Posted Wed, 10/24/2012 – 00:00

More than two-thirds of Saskatchewanians believe that no more uranium mines should be approved in the province until the huge mess of toxic radioactive tailings, which have been left behind over 50 years of mining activity, have been contained and cleaned up. Oracalepoll Research Ltd. conducted a survey of 800 people in the province from September 10 to 16 in which respondents were presented with the following information and related question:

“Citing public record, some opponents have been critical of both government and industry for failing to effectively manage or contain radioactive uranium mine tailings in northern Saskatchewan over the past 50 years. Would you support or oppose a proposal to stop further uranium mining in Saskatchewan until all radioactive mine tailings have been satisfactorily and permanently contained?”

A 68% majority support the plan, while 23% would oppose it and 9% remain undecided.

The poll was commissioned by the HUES3 Campaign Committee and the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE).

Dr. Helen Caldicott, a physician and world-renowned speaker on nuclear issues, commented on the poll results. “It is morally indefensible that the federal and provincial governments and the uranium companies continue to rake in huge revenues from uranium mining, yet are unwilling to clean up the highly toxic radioactive tailings in Saskatchewan’s North more than fifty years after they were left behind,” she explained. “The public is right to say, Enough is enough!” Dr. Caldicott is the author of eight books and subject of the Oscar award winning film If You Love This Planet.

PDF version with methodology and graphics.

No nukes in the tar sands: survey

Posted Wed, 10/17/2012 – 00:00

The Saskatchewan public does not feel that it is safe to use nuclear reactors for oil sands extraction, according to Oraclepoll Research Ltd. survey results released today by the HUES3 Campaign Committee. By a margin of three to one, respondents said they do not feel safe with such plans, even though the Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation (CCNI) at the University of Saskatchewan has accepted millions of dollars in government and corporate funding to explore the feasibility of developing small nuclear reactors for this purpose. (See backgrounder documents.)

Oraclepoll posed the question: “The provincial government and the nuclear industry have recently pledged approximately $40 million to create the Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation (CCNI) at the University of Saskatchewan. One of its purposes is to research and design nuclear reactors that can be used as an energy source for Oil Sands (Tar Sands) extraction or for the electrical grid. . . . How safe do you feel that it will be to use nuclear reactors for oil sands extraction?” In response, 45% of Saskatchewanians said it was “totally unsafe;” only 15% said they thought it was “totally safe.” (A graphic representation and detailed methodology appear in the print version.)

The HUES3 (Health, Uranium, Environment: Sustainability, Survival, Solidarity) Campaign Committee was formed earlier this year in part to highlight the fact that the Saskatchewan government and corporations like Hitachi have been funneling millions of dollars to CCNI for this kind of research since last year.

Dr. Helen Caldicott, physician and world-renowned Australian anti-nuclear activist, was so alarmed to hear about how the University of Saskatchewan has been co-opted into the nuclear industry agenda that she volunteered to come to Saskatoon to “raise hell,” as she put it. “It is astonishing that both government and university have fallen under the dark influence of the nuclear industry, even though the general public knows instinctively that neither building nuclear reactors nor depositing radioactive wastes in Saskatchewan’s north is safe or desirable. The impact on public health would be devastating,” she explained.

Dr. Helen Caldicott speaks in Saskatoon

Posted Tue, 10/09/2012 – 21:31

Dr. Helen Caldicott speaks in Saskatoon on November 1, 2012. Her topic: “Our Toxic Nuclear Legacy: Let’s END Saskatchewan’s Growing Radioactive Footprint”

She will be speaking at Third Avenue United Church at 7:30pm. We look forward to Dr. Caldicott setting the whole issue in a global context.

There will be opening and closing ceremonies from First Nations elders, and First Nations youth will speak. Topical books including Caldicott’s brand new Loving This Planet will be available for sale.

This event brought to you by the HUES3 Campaign Health, Uranium, Environment: Sustainability, Survival and Solidarity

Poll: 75% Against Nuclear Waste

Posted Mon, 10/08/2012 – 22:19

Seventy-five percent do not want nuclear waste disposal sites in Saskatchewan, says public opinion poll By Hues³ Three-quarters of the people in Saskatchewan don’t want radioactive waste brought into the province and deposited in underground storage. That’s the message from a public opinion survey conducted from September 10 -16, 2012. The study was commissioned by CAPE (Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment) and the HUES3 Campaign (Health, Uranium, Environment: Sustainability, Survival, Solidarity).

“The nuclear industry has not found a way to dispose of the over 270,000 tonnes of high-grade radioactive waste generated around the world. Now the industry knows for certain that no one wants it brought to Saskatchewan,” says Dr. Warren Bell, Salmon Arm, BC, a prominent member of both CAPE and the HUES3 Campaign.

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) continues to target three communities in Saskatchewan as sites for radioactive waste reprocessing and disposal: Pinehouse, Creighton and English River First Nation.

The failure by government to ban the importation of radioactive waste (as done by Manitoba and Quebec) means Brad Wall’s administration in Saskatchewan is allowing the NWMO to create totally unnecessary tensions and division within northern communities. (The NWMO is an industry organization tasked with disposing of the mounting waste from nuclear reactors in Ontario, New Brunswick, Quebec and the U.S.)

The citizens of Saskatchewan, through the UDP Hearings in 2009, rejected high-level radioactive waste disposal in the province. The recent Oraclepoll Research Ltd. survey asked several questions intended to measure how public opinion on nuclear industry expansion compares today with opinion in 2009. Among other results, it found that the Government does not have a mandate to allow waste disposal to proceed here. 75% of citizens are opposed; only 15% support the plan; another 10% are undecided. (See attached report.)

  • QUESTION POSED: “The Canadian nuclear industry wants to transport high-level radioactive waste from nuclear power reactors in Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick, to northern Saskatchewan for storage. Do you support or oppose this plan?”
  • STATISTICAL RESPONSE: 18 years of age or older, 800 persons, margin of error +/- 3.5%, 19/20 times.

For more information contact:

D’Arcy Hande HUES3 Campaign
H: (306) 249-1392
C: (306) 220-0321

OR

Candyce Paul
Committee for Future Generations
H: (306) 288-2079
C: (306) 288-3157

Nuclear industry behind Pinehouse election problems?

Posted Fri, 09/21/2012 – 00:00

Is the nuclear industry behind voter intimidation and voting irregularities in the September 19 Pinehouse municipal election?

BEAUVAL, SK — Many allegations have been made, and at least one affidavit has been sworn, with regard to the highly irregular Pinehouse municipal election in northern Saskatchewan on Wednesday, September 19. Yet even before the ballots were cast, the provincial ministry of government affairs and the local RCMP detachment refused to step in and provide the monitoring and supervision requested by several seriously concerned voters. Local residents wonder what the reason is for this neglect, and some have theories to offer. They believe the nuclear industry is behind it all. And the result is an extremely divided small community of just 1,000 people.

The tension in the community arises from a concerted campaign by the industry-driven Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) to co-opt the Pinehouse village council into hosting a deep geological repository for radioactive wastes from Eastern Canada. Those in the community who oppose these negotiations wished to express their dissatisfaction at the polls when voting for village councilors. But they were met with thinly veiled threats and intimidation.

Debbie Mihalicz of Beauval said, “Canada and the United Nations have poured billions of dollars into ensuring a fair democratic process in oppressed countries around the world like Syria and Afghanistan. Recent events in the Northern Village of Pinehouse, Saskatchewan point to the sad truth, that when people within our own borders require this same protection, they are denied.”

Ms. Mihalicz went on to describe specific irregularities that were willfully overlooked:

  • the ballot box remained unsealed for the duration of election day;
  • one voter was denied the right to cast a ballot;
  • several instances of voter intimidation; and
  • a report of an illegal presence inside the polling booth area, apparently photographed by the RCMP.

Some of these suspicious practices were already evident in the advance poll on September 12. Concerns were raised then, but they were ignored by provincial government officials. Sandra Cuffe, a journalist with The Dominion magazine, filed a report on September 18 describing several of the abuses and laying out the background to this highly charged situation. (See attached.)

Related: Media Co-op coverage

Letter to Minister of Government Relations, Jim Reiter

Dear Minister Reiter:

Our HUES3 Campaign Committee is deeply troubled about reports of voter intimidation and voting irregularities coming out of the northern Village of Pinehouse on September 19. As you can see from the attached HUES3 media release and from Sandra Cuffe’s news report posted to The Dominion magazine, serious breaches of election procedures appear to have occurred. These irregularities are egregious enough to call into question the legitimacy of the whole municipal election process at Pinehouse this month.

The stakes in this year’s election in Pinehouse could not be much higher. Local citizens are caught up in a contentious, even acrimonious debate over their village council’s clandestine negotiations with the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) to establish a nuclear waste dump in the community. NWMO appears to have offered inducements to the council without the ordinary voters being aware of what was going on. It is clear that several local officials, if not NWMO itself, have an acutely vested interest in the results of this particular election. Those Pinehouse citizens who attempted to raise their concerns in the context of this election campaign were intimidated and, they believe, received thinly veiled threats if they questioned the local council’s agenda in this regard. Reports of obvious breaches in election protocol were raised with officials in your department immediately after the advance poll on September 12, but they were met with a tepid, indifferent response.

Despite the provincial government’s known affinity to the nuclear industry, it nevertheless does have the solemn responsibility to ensure free and fair elections throughout the province. Several witnesses in Pinehouse have come forward to give evidence about the voting irregularities there, despite a very real fear of retribution from local officials for having done so. In order to protect them, and to ensure the integrity of the municipal vote, we strongly urge you to launch a thorough investigation into the Pinehouse election, if necessary to overturn its results, and then to call a new, closely supervised election at the earliest opportunity.

On behalf of the HUES3 Campaign:

Dr. Warren Bell (Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment),

Dr. Dale Dewar (Physicians for Global Survival),

D’Arcy Hande,

Candyce Paul (Committee for Future Generations), and

Karen Weingeist (Coalition for a Clean Green Saskatchewan)

c.c. Hon. Brad Wall, Premier of Saskatchewan

Mr. John Nilson, Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Victor Lau, Leader, Saskatchewan Green Party

(b.c.c.’d widely to media and others)

HUES3 Campaign

Posted Tue, 08/14/2012 – 00:00

The summer of 2012 has seen a group of dedicated activists from Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario begin working to revive resistance against the nuclear industry’s persistent efforts to entrench its economic objectives in Saskatchewan.

Perhaps the most pressing issue is the continuing attempts by the industry-driven Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) at finding a “willing” community in northern Saskatchewan to host a nuclear waste disposal site. Northern communities are divided between the need to alleviate desperate poverty and unemployment and the very real concern for the long-term environmental and personal impact of toxic radioactive wastes.

At the same time, the administration at the University of Saskatchewan has fallen under the influence of the nuclear industry, and both the provincial and federal governments, wishing to promote value-added uranium development. The creation of the Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation (CCNI) at U of S in 2011 is designed to further that corporate agenda.

The HUES3 Campaign Core Committee includes, among others:

HUES3 Campaign Newsletter

Please Donate

No matter how you say it, no matter how crass it sounds to our refined ears – money makes the world go round! Our opposition knows it, and they take full advantage of the fact. How much largesse and how many billboards and TV ads have you seen lately touting the wonders of Uranium? We all know Cameco, Areva and the chambers of commerce have deep pockets to win over public opinion.

We may be volunteers, but we in the HUES3 Campaign are dedicated and knowledgeable lay people committed to resisting the nuclear agenda in Saskatchewan and beyond. Our job will be that much easier if YOU will consider a generous donation to help allay our campaign costs.

So far we have received private pledges of financial assistance amounting to $7,200. But you can imagine with the events we hope to sponsor, the publicity, posters and publications we want to distribute, that we could definitely do with more money in the bank.

Thanks to one of our major partners, Physicians for Education and Research, you can receive a receipt for your contribution as a charitable donation.

Make your donation payable to:

Physicians for Education and Research
208–145 Spruce St,
Ottawa, ON K1R 6P1

The memo line on your cheque should read, “HUES3 Campaign.”

Saskatchewan targeted for High Level Nuclear Waste Disposal

Posted Wed, 10/26/2011 – 00:00

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is looking for a place to bury high level nuclear waste in Canada. Three Saskatchewan communities have expressed interest in this plan: Pinehouse, Creighton and English River First Nation.

The Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) has accepted $1 million dollars from the NWMO for “capacity development, education and awareness and partnership opportunities with First Nations in Saskatchewan.” Given that NWMO consists of nuclear power producers, the FSIN should be encouraged to seek independent information for communities to make an informed decision.

We say NO to nuclear waste dump in our province, and we call for a STOP to the production of nuclear waste.

Green Energy Plan Saskatchewan Reports

Posted Fri, 10/07/2011 – 22:15

Green Energy Plan Saskatchewan (GEPS) have issued a series of five reports called Transforming Saskatchewan’s Electrical Future:

GEPS’ goal is to create a comprehensive, technically sound plan to transform Saskatchewan’s electricity grid to run on renewable energy sources in a way that will also be economically & socially beneficial for rural, urban & First Nations communities.

Transforming Saskatchewan’s Electrical Future (Part 5)

The Public Policies Needed to Build a Renewable Energy Society in Saskatchewan – by Peter Prebble
Executive Summary

Transforming Saskatchewan’s Electrical Future (Part 4)

Plugging the Gap: Sustainable Power Options to Complement Wind and Solar by Mark Bigland-Pritchard

Transforming Saskatchewan’s Electrical Future (Part 3)

The Potential for Wind and Solar Power by Mark Bigland-Pritchard

Transforming Saskatchewan’s Electrical Future (Part 2)

Using Electricity More Efficiently by Mark Bigland-Pritchard

Transforming Saskatchewan’s Electrical Future (Part 1)

Sustainability is Achievable, But How Do We Get There? by Mark Bigland-Pritchard and Peter Prebble

4500 Signature Petition Presented to Saskatchewan Government

Posted Thu, 04/14/2011 – 00:00

Premier says province not in the “mood” for waste

Member groups of the Coalition attended the Saskatchewan Legislature on April 14, 2011 to present a petition calling for a ban on nuclear waste disposal in the province.

Reaction was swift, with Premier Brad Wall acknowledging the “mood” of the province didn’t seem to be supporting nuclear waste storage at this time. Wall told reporters “what’s happened in Japan has got people thinking, just generally speaking, about the issue”.

The Saskatoon Star Phoenix reacted angrily to Mr. Wall’s comments by calling the Coalition a “marginal” group of ” anti-technological ideologues” responsible, in part, for increasing Saskatchewan’s coal consumption due to the defeat of the Warman uranium refinery in the 1970’s. This is a bizarre reaction for a news organization.

In sharp contrast, the Calgary Herald dismissed similar plans for Northern Alberta to become a nuclear waste disposal site.

Next step: the passage of legislation banning nuclear waste in Saskatchewan. Ask your candidates if they will work toward this waste ban.